Academic journal article Journal of Management and Organization

Pedagogical Learnings for Management Education: Developing Creativity and Innovation

Academic journal article Journal of Management and Organization

Pedagogical Learnings for Management Education: Developing Creativity and Innovation

Article excerpt


This paper argues that management education needs to consider a trend in learning design which advances creative learning through an alliance with art-based pedagogical processes. A shift is required from skills training to facilitating transformational learning through experiences that expand human potential, facilitated by artistic processes.

This creative learning focus stems from a qualitative and quantitative analysis of an arts-based intervention for management development, called Management Jazz, conducted over three years at a large Australian University.

The paper reviews some of the salient literature in the field, including an 'Artful Learning Wave Trajectory' Model. The Model considers four stages of the learning process: capacity, artful event, increased capability, and application/action to produce product. Methodology for the field-based research analysis of the intervention outcomes is presented. Three illustrative examples of arts-based learning are provided from the Management Jazz program. Finally, research findings indicate that artful learning opportunities enhance capacity for awareness of creativity in one's self and in others, leading, through a transformative process, to enhanced leaders and managers. The authors conclude that arts-based management education can enhance creative capacity and develop managers and leaders for the 21st century business environment.

Keywords: management education, arts, creativity, business, innovation, aesthetics, leadership, learning, development design, human resource


This paper makes an argument for the place and purpose of arts-based learning within management education. Although in its infancy, arts-based learning, outside of the creative arts industries, is beginning to find its way into a range of business and management education environments. Nissley, Executive Director, Banff Centre, Canada, says:

As leaders and management educators seek to find other ways of communicating, creating knowledge, and making sense of the complexities of managing in the New Economy, we are likely to see the continued growth of artsbased learning in organizations. (2002: 46)

Based on a three-year study of an arts-based management education program at an Australian University, this paper concurs with Nissley. The authors discuss the necessity for creativity and innovation in the workplace and the need to develop better leaders and managers. An argument is made for the introduction of arts-based learning by demonstrating how artful learning opportunities can enhance a capacity for awareness of creativity in one's self and others, based on a 'selected emerging model for innovation of arts-based learning in management education' (Nissley 2008: 22). This Model, called the Artful Learning Wave Trajectory (Kerr 2006), generated an arts-based learning process in a management education program called Management Jazz. This is a Model of artful experiences, bridging from any one artsbased learning event to another, like the points in a trajectory, linking an individual's perceptions of artful experiences and their appropriated benefits.

A research methodology section is presented and three illustrations of arts-based processes are examined. Finally, a three year qualitative and quantitative research strategy to explore the management implications of this arts-based intervention is presented. Some findings from data collected indicate positive correlations between the arts-based learning program and individual perceptions of transformational learning, and awareness of individual creativity, linked to innovation.


Although creativity is currently high on business agendas, and is seen as a major component for business success, 'there is no agreed definition of 'creativity' among educational policymakers, academics, teachers or employers' (Oakley 2007: 11). In the context of this paper, creativity is defined as the creative human attributes and qualities concerned with imagination, inventiveness, improvisation, insight, intuition, and curiosity - the natural 'artful' genius and talent of people (Lloyd 2007: 5). …

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