Department of Business Humanities and Law

  • Entrepreneurship, Ethics & Leadership Unit
guest researcher

Room: POR/18.B-3.149
Birke Otto

As a postdoctoral researcher, I am part of the research group “Organised Creativity”  funded by the German Research Council and based at Free University Berlin and Leuphana University Lueneburg and visiting fellow at the Department of Business Humanities and Law. With a background in social and cultural studies, my research concerns the question of how larger societal trends and challenges are reflected, created and challenged in the mundane and colloquial practices of organizations. My current projects concern the role of failure, time and secrecy in creative and innovation processes, which I study through processual and practice-based lenses. My previous research transparency and accountability practices as part water governance and policy making in the water sector. I employ qualitative methodologies that allow me to examine practices, affects, and discourses. I am part of the editorial team at ephemera: theory and politics in organization and coordinator of the CBS minor Building organizations for sustainable futures.

Primary research areas
  • The role of failure and time in creativity and innovation processes
  • Transparency, secrecy, ignorance as organising principles
  • Water governance and accountability, sustainability, urban settings
  • Qualitative and ethnographic methods to study practices, affect and discourse
  • Organization theory and studies, cultural sociology


Link to this homepage



Selected publications
  • Birke Otto; Elke Schuessler; Joerg Sydow; Lukas Vogelgsang: Finding Creativity in Predictability: Temporal Work in Complex Innovation Processes, Organization Science (2024)
  • Birke Otto; Elke Schuessler, Katharina Zangerle: Greenhouses are Made of Glass. Tensions in Experimental Spaces, Book Chapter, Routledge, 2021.
  • Birke Otto: The Power to Hide and The Power to Ignore (review): Journal of Cultural Economy, 2021
  • Birke Otto; Anke Strauss: The Novel as Affective Site: Uncertain Work as Impasse, Organization Studies, 2019
  • Birke Otto; Justine Grønbæk Pors, Rasmus Johnsen: Hidden in Full View. The Organization of Public Secrecy, Culture and Organization, 2018.
Publications sorted by:
Birke Otto; Elke S. Schuessler; Jörg Sydow; Lukas Vogelgsang / Finding Creativity in Predictability : Seizing Kairos in Chronos Through Temporal Work in Complex Innovation Processes.
In: Organization Science, 12.3.2024
Journal article > peer review
Birke Otto; Benjamin Schiemer; Harry Sminia; Jörg Sydow / Failure is not Quitting : The Unravelling Expectations in Creative Projects.
Paper presented at 39th EGOS Colloquium 2023, 2023
Paper > peer review
Lukas Vogelgsang; Birke Otto; Ghita Dragsdahl Lauritzen / Working With a Naked Emperor : Managing Public Secrecy in Open Innovation.
Paper presented at 39th EGOS Colloquium 2023, 2023
Paper > peer review
Birke Otto; Elke Schuessler; Jörg Sydow; Lukas Vogelgsang / Abductive Timing in Pharmaceutical Innovation
Paper presented at 83. Wissenschaftliche Jahrestagung des Verbandes, 2022
Paper > peer review
Birke Otto; Harry Sminia; Jörg Sydow / Continously Failing Creativity in Context : Project Trajectories in Antibiotics Development.
Paper presented at 23rd International Continous Innovation Network Conference. CiNet 2023, 2022
Paper > peer review
Birke Otto / The Generative Properties of Secrecy : A Case Study of Pharmaceutical Innovation.
Paper presented at The 7th Global Conference on Transparency Research 2022. GCTR 2022, 2022
Birke Otto / Book Review: The Conversational Firm: Rethinking Bureaucracy in the Age of Social Media
In: Organization, Vol. 28, No. 4, 7.2021, p. 709-712
Book review > peer review
Birke Otto; Elke Schüßler; Katharina Zangerle / Greenhouses are Made of Glass : Tensions in Experimental Spaces for Creative Collaboration in Front-end Pharmaceutical Research.
In: Collaborative Spaces at Work: Innovation, Creativity and Relations. . ed. /Fabrizio Montanari; Elisa Mattarelli; Anna Chiara Scapolan. Abingdon : Routledge 2021, p. 238-251 (Routledge Advances in Management and Business Studies)
Book chapter > peer review
Birke Otto; Benjamin Schiemer / Noticing and Ignoring Ideas in Creative Journeys in Arts and Science
Paper presented at 37th EGOS Colloquium 2021, 2021
Paper > peer review
Birke Otto; Christian Garmann Johnsen; Emil Husted; Justine Grønbæk Pors; Jette Sandager; Lena Olaison; / Pasts, Presents and Futures of Critical Publishing
In: Ephemera: Theory & politics in organization, Vol. 21, No. 4, 2021, 21 p., p. 1-21
Editorial > peer review
More results... (total 29 results)