When many people think of entrepreneurship, creativity, or innovation, they immediately think of the lone, sole creative genius, the sudden flash of inspiration, or the final breakthrough product or business model. I examine creativity and innovation as a collective and negotiated process, one that's best understood when studied from idea stage through to implementation.

More specifically, I focus on how leaders, entrepreneurs, and change agents imagine, negotiate, and implement creative projects and innovative ventures.  I explore how claims to control, legitimacy, and expertise are negotiated in the creative process and the challenges involved in managing ambiguity and harnessing expertise across disciplines, organizations, and networks. I am also interested in gender and leadership outcomes--helping women innovators and entrepreneurs across the globe advance novel solutions and change.    

I've studied these questions across a range of contexts--in the arts, in cities, in higher ed, and in businesses, and how factors such as gender and cross-cultural dynamics shape the collective creative process. I'm particularly intrigued by new business and pedagogical models (especially the power and constraints of design thinking) that integrate across domains--the arts, design, engineering, and business.


Nexus Work: Managing ambiguity in Creative Projects

My study of producers working in the Nashville country music industry was a three-year ethnographic study recognized as a best paper at the Davis Conference on Qualitative Research.  Using a grounded-theory approach, I developed a theory of “nexus work”—how brokers on creative projects foster and integrate others’ contributions throughout the creative process.

My article, “Nexus Work: Brokerage of Creative Projects,” with Siobhan O’Mahony, was published in Administrative Science Quarterly in 2010 and chosen in 2012 for the ASQ Editor’s Choice Collection as one of the top papers focused on networks and knowledge. 

In our paper, we advanced the field’s understanding of creative work by focusing not only on how ideas are generated, but also how ideas and contributions are edited and synthesized—while maintaining the commitment of those involved. We identified three types of ambiguity inherent to the creative process and provided a more nuanced and practice-based understanding of brokerage, resolving two conflicting portrayals of brokerage and its consequences. We found that producers moved between two ideal conceptions of brokerage—as strategic actors extracting advantage from their position or as relational experts connecting others to foster creativity and innovation—to respond to ambiguity and foster a collective creative outcome.

Expanding upon this work, I illuminated the role of the creative foil in harnessing multi-disciplinary expertise in the invited chapter, "The Role of the Creative Foil," in Kimberly D. Elsbach and Beth A. Bechky's (Eds.), Qualitative Organizational Research: Best Papers from the Davis Conference on Qualitative Research (2010).   

Citations

Long Lingo, Elizabeth and Siobhan O’Mahony. 2010. “Nexus work: Brokerage on creative projects.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 55: 47-81.

Long Lingo, Elizabeth.  2010. “The Creative foil: Managing multi-disciplinary expertise.”  2010.    In Kimberly D. Elsbach and Beth A. Bechky (Eds.), Qualitative Organizational Research: Best Papers from the Davis Conference on Qualitative Research, Charlotte, North Carolina: Information Age Press. 


Developing ENTREPRENEURIAL Capacity

This research, with Matt Grimes, is a grounded theory piece focused on the socialization process of early stage entrepreneurs.   We find that the socialization of entrepreneurs seeks to move individuals from a more individualized practice of developing a creative idea to a collective and commercially-oriented practice of creative production that requires a balance of advocating for one’s idea while also eliciting and synthesizing the input of others.

Further, the socialization process challenges individuals to adopt a more systematic and formalized process for moving through the entrepreneurial and creative production process that balances both improvisation and a formulaic approach. Socialization occurs throughout the creative production process, as entrepreneurs and stakeholders compete for control over both the content of the entrepreneurial ideas as well as the method of the entrepreneurial process.  We find that variation in how socialization practices are employed—in terms of exerting control, supportive or attacking and public versus private—results in different degrees of success regarding the socialization process.

Citations

Matt Grimes and Elizabeth Long Lingo. “Battling Heroes and Myths: The Socialization of Entrepreneurs,” in preparation.


Women, LEadership and Entrepreneurship Outcomes

How do we foster women's global leadership and entrepreneurship outcomes? I explore this fundamental question in four research streams.

First, with co-authors, Kathleen McGinn and Mayra Castro Ruiz, we examine the factors that foster learning, labor and leadership outcomes for women internationally. Our paper, "Mums the Word! Cross-national Effects of Maternal Employment on Gender Inequalities at Work and at Home" contributes to a growing body of research that establishes the benefits of maternal employment on their children's well-being, engagement at home, and career outcomes. This research was featured in the New York Times, The Guardian (UK), Forbes, Fortune, the BBC Global news network, Canadian Broadcast System, NPR, and KQED in San Francisco.  

In a second stream, I examine the unique challenges faced by female creative entrepreneurs seeking to break into the male-dominated creative industries. How do they manage challenges to their legitimacy as producers in the marketplace, and challenges to expertise among contributors to their projects? 

In a third stream, I explore efforts to launch entrepreneurship initiatives at all-women’s colleges, and as part of a larger regional effort to foster entrepreneurship among college-aged men and women.  What approaches work, and what challenges remain? How do we foster success?

Citation:

McGinn, Kathleen L., Mayra Ruiz Castro, and Elizabeth Long Lingo. "Mums the Word! Cross-national Effects of Maternal Employment on Gender Inequalities at Work and at Home." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 15-094, June 2015. (Revised July 2015.)


Artistic Careers & the Creative Workforce

In our special issue of Work and Occupations, “Patterns and Pathways: Artists and Creative Work in a Changing Economy,” my colleague Steven Tepper and I bring together a unique blend of traditional research papers and policy briefs from leading scholars in the cultural policy field to take stock of our understanding of artistic careers and the creative workforce.

In our editor’s essay,  “Looking Back, Looking Forward: Arts-Based Careers and Creative Work,” we note that the last two decades of research and policy discussion have illuminated important changes in both the opportunities and challenges facing artists and artistic workers as they pursue their careers and advance their artistry.

We argue that artists need to be masters of navigating across historically disparate domains, for example specialization and generalist skills, autonomy and social engagement, the economy’s periphery and the core, precarious employment and self-directed entrepreneurialism, and large metro centers and regional art markets.

In addition, artists both work beyond existing markets and create entirely new opportunities for themselves and others. As catalysts of change and innovation, artistic workers face special challenges: managing ambiguity, developing and sustaining a creative identity, and forming community in the context of an individually-based enterprise economy.

Citations

Long Lingo, Elizabeth and Steven Tepper. November 2013. Co-editors, Special Issue: “Patterns and Pathways: Artists and Creative Work in a Changing Economy,” Work and Occupations, 40 (4).

Long Lingo, Elizabeth and Steven Tepper. 2013. “Looking Back, Looking Forward: Arts-Based Careers and Creative Work.” Work and Occupations, 40 (4): 337-363.


How do we re-design higher education to Foster Entrepreneurship and Innovative Leadership?

Despite the tremendous enthusiasm and buzz around creativity and innovation in higher education, what is meant by these terms —in theory and practice—requires further interrogation.  

I examine higher education initiatives integrating the arts, design, engineering, entrepreneurship, and science; national field formation around arts and creativity initiatives; and the process of how leaders are advancing initiatives at their respective institutions (including gender- and role-specific leadership challenges).

Citations:

Long Lingo, Elizabeth. “Re-imagine higher Education: Building the capacity of scholars to advance change and innovation,” working paper in preparation. 

Long Lingo, Elizabeth and Steven Tepper. 2010. “Time for a C-Change.” The Chronicle of Higher Education


Advancing a Collective Action Agenda for the Performing Arts Field

This project focused on the efforts of major national performing arts leaders to develop and advance a collective action agenda for the field. I co-led a multi-method research project that involved supervising and instructing a multi-disciplinary group of 10 graduate students. Two publications came out of this research, including a research report to the field that outlined strategies and obstacles for advancing a collective action effort, and a peer-reviewed article with Caroline Lee, “The 'Got Art?' Paradox: Questioning the Value of Art in Collective Action,” which was published in the top cultural sociology journal, Poetics.

Citations

2008 NPAC: Assessing the Field's Capacity for Collective Action

Lee, Caroline W., and Elizabeth Long Lingo. 2011. “The 'Got Art?' Paradox: Questioning the Value of Art in Collective Action.” Poetics, 39(4): 316-335.


PUBLISHED PAPERS

Long Lingo, Elizabeth, Colin Fisher and Kathleen McGinn. 2014. “Negotiation processes as sources of (and solutions to) inter-organizational conflict,” Handbook of Conflict Management Research.   

Long Lingo, Elizabeth and Steven Tepper. November 2013. Co-editors, Special Issue: “Patterns and Pathways: Artists and Creative Work in a Changing Economy,” Work and Occupations, 40 (4).

Long Lingo, Elizabeth and Steven Tepper. 2013. “Looking Back, Looking Forward: Arts-Based Careers and Creative Work.” Work and Occupations, 40 (4): 337-363.

Lee, Caroline W., and Elizabeth Long Lingo. 2011. “The 'Got Art?' Paradox: Questioning the Value of Art in Collective Action.” Poetics, 39(4): 316-335.

Long Lingo, Elizabeth and Siobhan O’Mahony. 2010. “Nexus work: Brokerage on creative projects.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 55: 47-81.  

Long Lingo, Elizabeth.  2010. “The Creative foil: Managing multi-disciplinary expertise.”  2010.    In Kimberly D. Elsbach and Beth A. Bechky (Eds.), Qualitative Organizational Research: Best Papers from the Davis Conference on Qualitative ResearchCharlotte, North Carolina: Information Age Press.

Long Lingo, Elizabeth and Steven Tepper. 2010. “Time for a C-Change.” The Chronicle of Higher Education 

Long Lingo, Elizabeth. 2010. Findings and Assessment of the EmcArts Innovation Lab for the Performing Arts. Report to the field produced on behalf of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Long Lingo, Elizabeth.  2009. 2008 National Performing Arts Convention: Assessing the Capacity for Collective Action in the Performing Arts Field.  Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt.

Long Lingo, Elizabeth.  2007. Nashville Arts Summit: Synthesis of Discussion. Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt.

McGinn, Kathleen L., Elizabeth Long Lingo, and Karin Ciano. 2004. "Transitions through out-of-keeping acts." Negotiation Journal 20, no. 2 (April): 171-184.

Long, Elizabeth. 1998. “The Promus Hotel Corporation’s 100% Satisfaction Guarantee,” In Hart, C. W. Extraordinary Guarantees, Achieving Breakthrough Gains in Quality and Customer Satisfaction.