A theory of the creative project—the underexamined, nonroutine trajectory for getting new things done—is the focus of this chapter. First, the chapter draws on insights from pragmatist philosophy with respect to the interplay of routine and nonroutine action. Next, the chapter summarizes the organizational literature’s treatment of routine and nonroutine innovative action and their expression in the learning-curve construct. The chapter next introduces a conceptual framework for action trajectories in project-based and routine-based innovation. The chapter then explores the role of brokerage and knowledge articulation in creative projects. This is followed by a brief examination of meta-routines and meta-trajectories. Next, the chapter provides exploratory criteria for making distinctions between innovation in creative projects and innovation in organizational routines. Finally, the chapter concludes with a hypothetical case of the Apple Watch to illustrate the concepts introduced here.
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