The myth of creativity at work

Sapochnik, Carlos (2010) The myth of creativity at work. In: 27th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations (ISPSO): symposium, 18–20 Jun 2010, Elsinore, Denmark. . [Conference or Workshop Item]

PDF (Conference paper) - First submitted uncorrected version (with author's formatting)
Download (136kB) | Preview


Donald Winnicott (1971) stated the necessity of separating the idea of creation from works of art, proposing that creativity belongs not to the manufacture of artefacts but to the engagement of the individual with external reality. In this paper, creativity is not considered as the prerogative of a particular type of personality but as resulting from an innate dialogic capacity manifested in every human endeavour – in science, natural sciences, education, industry and trade – towards improvement and transformation.
The paper considers how creativity is reified – made into a ‘thing’ – due to unconscious motivations, becoming a commodity to be consumed just like brands, cars, drinks, celebrities and governments. The imaginary (a register proposed by Jacques Lacan) aspect of creativity is explored with reference to desire. Creativity becomes a fetish as the focus of perverse and naïve attraction, separated from the outcomes of production.
The aim of this paper is to reclaim the commonality of creativity, exposing it as ‘ordinary’ – like Raymond Williams (1989) proposed in respect of Culture. The myth of creativity at work is rooted in an impossibility of satisfaction that makes us value that which is imaginary (in Lacanian terms) at the expense of a depressive (in Kleinian terms), both (paradoxically) lacking and satisfying, truly playful (i.e., transformational) engagement with our working practices.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords (uncontrolled): design, creativity, imaginary, desire, unconscious, commodities
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 4757
Depositing User: Mr Carlos Sapochnik
Date Deposited: 06 May 2010 11:28
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2021 12:54

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.