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What makes this issue of Creativity and Innovation Management special is that it does not contain a special section. Normally, the journal contains a set of articles that originate from a conference or a topical call for papers. In this issue, only the first article originates from a conference – the 2009 IPDMC conference in Twente. Other articles from this event were published in an earlier issue. The remaining articles are regular submissions. This implies that we have a wide range of topics in this issue, including creative leadership, organization capabilities for innovation, creative self-efficacy, creative methods, a cross-cultural comparison of creative behaviour, and the role of creativity in Western thought.

In the first article, Gregor Jawecki, Johann Füller and Johannes Gebauer compare creative behaviour in online communities across cultures. They analyse English- and Chinese-speaking online basketball communities, investigating how innovations develop in these virtual consumer groups, and what motivates members to engage in joint creation. They show that culture does have an influence. English- and Chinese-speaking online communities differ with regard to innovation patterns and the kind of emerging innovations.

In the second article, Johann Packendorff and Monica Lindgren develop a novel perspective on leadership in research and development. Their distributed leadership perspective implies that leadership is studied as a process of social interaction, involving several individuals who continuously construct leadership activities together. From a case study of a bio-tech venture, the authors conclude that leadership work in R&D projects involves constructing issues, resolving ambiguities concerning responsibilities, and developing understandings on identity bases.

Sofia Börjesson focuses on the development of organizational capabilities for innovation. There is much discussion in the literature on the content and importance of these capabilities, but less attention has been paid to how companies can develop these capabilities in practice. This article provides insights derived from a longitudinal study of Volvo Cars. The study reveals several activities that enable the changes required for the development of organizational capabilities.

In the fourth article, Gro Ellen Mathisen investigates the organizational antecedents of creative self-efficacy. Using a survey in a manufacturing company, she studies the influence of employees' task type and task autonomy, the quality of the relationship between leaders and subordinates, and the perceived collegial support for creativity. These factors prove to be positively related to creative self-efficacy.

Marcus Selart and Svein Johansen make an important contribution to our understanding of value-focused thinking in idea management. In an empirical study, they compare value-focused thinking – a creative method that focuses on different decision objectives and the alternatives that may be generated from them – with alternative-focused thinking – a method in which the decision maker takes notice of all the available alternatives and then makes a choice. The study reveals that value-focused thinking produces fewer ideas, but the quality of the ideas is higher in terms of creativity and innovativeness.

In the final article in this issue, Joelle Forest and Michel Faucheux analyse creative rationality in Western thought. They conclude that it has been pushed aside, especially in the education of engineers. To stimulate creativity and innovation they propose a pedagogy of adventure.

The final issue of 2011 will contain a special section again, based on the CINet conference of 2010. It will also contain a call for the 4th Creativity and Innovation Management Community Meeting, which will be organized by Jan Kratzer at the TU Berlin on 28–29 June 2012. An event to look forward to, as we also look forward to the CINet Conference 2011 taking place in Arhus, Denmark, and the first Cambridge Academic Design Conference organized by James Moultrie, both in September 2011. In Cambridge, James will also give CIM the floor to hand out the Tudor Rickards and Susan Moger Award for the Best Paper published in CIM to Soeren Salomo and his colleagues. We wish you a good start to the Academic year 2011–2012, and an inspiring read of this issue of our Journal.