Drawing on practice as a meta-theoretical lens, we explore creative deviance (CD): wilful violation of managerial orders by employee(s) to pursue creative ideas. Data for our inquiry comes from in-depth interviews with middle managers and employees in two professional service firms (PSFs). We argue that two distinct organising processes are necessary for the emergence of CD in practice: organising configuration and formalisation of R&D processes. We develop these dimensions to produce a typology of interrelated ideal types of outcomes when employees are explicitly instructed to stop pursuing an idea. We found three salient organising practices (technical concerns for efficiency and metrics, suppression of metistic knowledge and disjointed managerial responses to violations of sanctioned organising procedures), which may operate in combination or serially, to foster CD in practice. We conclude with some key implications for the theory and practice of creativity in PSFs.