2022 Paper Prize Prompt

Creative Bursts and Intellectual Outliers

Within an individual’s career or an organization’s lifetime, there may be a period when they are especially creative or part of a “flaring of intellectual outliers,” defined by Augier, March, and Marshall (Organization Science, 2015) as “small groups of thinkers who briefly, but decisively, influence the development of ideas, technologies, policies, or worldviews.” Occasionally, individual and organizational factors interact to help encourage or cultivate intellectual outliers with constructive and innovative results; but they usually don’t last.

The Andrew W. Marshall Foundation seeks papers that

examine how collective creativity among peer groups or within an organization comes about, is fostered, and is maintained.

What are the metrics you would use to describe and define “intellectual outliers”? What conditions foster creative bursts and what cultivates intellectual outliers? What mechanisms work against keeping them innovative and creative? What can organizations do to prevent these groups of collective creativity from being suffocated? How does an organization maintain and encourage creativity as it changes (e.g., growth, culture, environment)?

Writers may examine groups of people who work together to notably advance their fields for a sustained period or share an experience that spawns later bursts of creativity from those who participated in it. Writers may also examine organizations that present or have presented unusual points of view proven to be especially noteworthy or useful; the invention of new ideas or perspectives; or more mainstream cases of creative bursts, recognized at the time or later. Writers may take a variety of approaches, including but not limited to conceptual papers, case studies, statistical approaches, or other qualitative or quantitative approaches. If writers analyze case studies, it is important that they use original or little-known cases, or provide new interpretations of known cases.

AWMF is most interested in submissions relevant to long-term international and U.S. national security broadly conceived. This does not mean the topic is limited to traditional defense subjects; it may include cases that show significant insight into culture, organizational and social behavior, or the potential for technological or scientific advancement, to name a few examples. Writers also may present case studies from other fields, such as business, scientific research, or the arts, that, by adoption or analogy, become useful for thinking about U.S. strategic competitions.


News Releases | 12/08/22

Announcing the Winners of the 2022 Andrew W. Marshall Paper Prize on Creative Bursts and Intellectual Outliers

Congratulations to our Semi-Finalists, Finalists, and Grand Prize Winner Emily A. Davis!
News Releases | 01/05/22

Call for Submissions: The 2022 Andrew W. Marshall Paper Prizes

The Role of Organizational Behavior in Competition & Creative Bursts and Intellectual Outliers The Andrew W. Marshall Foundation (AWMF) is offering two multi-round prizes of […]