This paper examines the relationship between perceptions of organisational culture, academics’ social
embeddedness and their creative paper project output. It argues that the extent to which researchers
working on paper projects are socially embedded through social ties with colleagues inside and outside their
academic department (but within the same university) is a causal step linking organisational values and
norms to creative outputs. This study does not, however, find support for the proposed mediating effects.
Instead, results indicate that three organisational culture dimensions – i.e. performance orientation,
environmental orientation and innovation support – affect employees’ creative project output through their
social embeddedness outside the department (but within their own university). As the organisational culture
and social embeddedness of employees outside the department are both contextual factors that matter
(either indirectly or directly) for the generation of creative project outputs by researchers, this study
concludes that “no creative person and no project is an island”.