Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy

guest researcher

Room: POR/18.B-3.131
Birke Otto

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the European University Viadrina, Germany  and visiting fellow at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy. 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; 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
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
Birke Otto; Elke Schüßler; Jörg Sydow; Lukas Vogelgsang / Between Predictability and Creativity : The Role of Temporal (Dis-) Entrainment in Drug Development Processes.
Paper presented at 36th EGOS Colloquium 2020, 2020
Paper > peer review
Laura Kemmer; Annika Kühn; Birke Otto; Vanessa Weber / Standby : On Sociomaterial Modes of Organizing.
Abstract from Annual Meeting of the Society of Social Studies of Science (4S), 2020
Conference abstract for conference > peer review
Birke Otto / The Power to Ignore and the Power to Hide
In: Journal of Cultural Economy, 25.12.2020
Book review > peer review
Birke Otto; Jana Costas / "We Did not Pay Any Attention to Them" : Practices and Implications of Deliberate Ignorance in Creative Processes in Pharmaceutical Innovation.
Paper presented at 35th EGOS Colloquium 2019, 2019
Paper > peer review
Birke Otto / Book Review: The Conversational Firm: Rethinking Bureaucracy in the Age of Social Media
In: Organization, 19.6.2019
Book review > peer review
Justine Grønbæk Pors; Lena Olaison; Birke Otto / Ghostly Matters in Organizing
In: Ephemera: Theory & politics in organization, Vol. 19, No. 1, 2019, 29 p., p. 1-29
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, Vol. 25, No. 2, 15.3.2019, p. 91-103
Journal article > peer review
Birke Otto; Floriane Clement; Binayak Das; Hari Dhungana; Lotte Feuerstein; Girma Senbeta; Jasmina Van Driel / Social Accountability and Water Integrity : Learning from Experiences with Participatory and Transparent Budgeting in Ethiopia and Nepal.
Bergen : Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) 2019, 60 p. (U4 Issue, No. 2019:11)
More results... (total 20 results)