Department of Business Humanities and Law

  • Entrepreneurship, Ethics & Leadership Unit
guest researcher

Room: POR/18.B-3.149
Birke Otto

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the European University Viadrina, Germany  and visiting fellow at the Department of Business Humanities. 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. As a member of the research unit ‘Organized Creativity’ funded by the German Research Council and based the Free University Berlin, I currently study the role and effects of transparency and secrecy as normative concepts and concrete practice in creative and innovation processes. In further research, I have studied transparency and accountability as part water governance and policy making in the water sector. I use qualitative methodologies, focusing amongst other on affects and discourses.  I am a member of the editorial collective of ephemera: theory and politics in organization.

Primary research areas
  • Transparency, secrecy, ignorance
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Water governance and accountability, sustainability, urban settings
  • Qualitative methods
  • Affect and discourse
  • Organization theory, Social and cultural studies
Link to this homepage
  • Reimagining Capitalism (Copenhagen Business School, course coordinator) 
  • Theories of Contemporary Society (Copenhagen Business School)
  • Organizational Transparency and Secrecy (Leuphana University Lüneburg, course coordinator)


Selected publications
  • Birke Otto; Justine Grønbæk Pors; Rasmus Johnsen: Hidden in Full View : The Organization of Public Secrecy in Miéville’s The City and the City. In: Culture and Organization, 12.12.2018
  • Alexa Färber; Birke Otto / Saving (in) a Common World: Cosmopolitical Instances from a Low-budget Urbanities Perspective. In: Urban Cosmopolitics: Agencements, Assemblies, Atmospheres. ed. /Anders Blok; Ignacio Farías. Abingdon : Routledge 2016, p. 25-43 (Questioning Cities)
  • Birke Otto: Selbstorganisierte Infrastrukturen in der Stadt. In: Urbane Infrastrukturlandschaften in Transformation: Städte - Orte - Räume. ed. /Antje Matern. Bielefeld : Transcript Verlag 2016, p. 189-210
  • Paula Bialski; Heike Derwanz; Birke Otto; Hans Vollmer: ‘Saving’ the City : Collective Low‐budget Organizing and Urban Practice. In: Ephemera: Theory & politics in organization, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2.2015, p. 1-19
Publications sorted by:
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
Laura Kemmer; Annika Kühn; Birke Otto; Vanessa Weber / Standby : Organizing Modes of In|Activity.
In: Ephemera: Theory & politics in organization, Vol. 21, No. 1, 2021, 20 p., p. 1-20
Editorial > peer review
More results... (total 28 results)