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Abstract

Creative processes, for instance, the development of visual effects or computer games, increasingly become part of the agenda of information systems researchers and practitioners. Such processes get their managerial challenges from the fact that they comprise both well-structured, transactional parts and creative parts. The latter can often not be precisely specified in terms of control flow, required resources, and outcome. The processes’ high uncertainty sets boundaries for the application of traditional business process management concepts, such as process automation, process modeling, process performance measurement, and risk management. Organizations must thus exercise caution when it comes to managing creative processes and supporting these with information technology. This, in turn, requires a profound understanding of the concept of creativity in business processes. In response to this, the present article introduces a framework for conceptualizing creativity within business processes. The conceptual framework describes three types of uncertainty and constraints as well as the interrelationships among these. The study is grounded in the findings from three case studies that were conducted in the film and visual effects industry. Moreover, we provide initial evidence for the framework’s validity beyond this narrow focus. The framework is intended to serve as a sensitizing device that can guide further information systems research on creativity-related phenomena.

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