Creative Work Beyond the Creative Industries

Creative Work Beyond the Creative Industries

Innovation, Employment and Education

Edited by Greg Hearn, Ruth Bridgstock, Ben Goldsmith and Jess Rodgers

Creative workers are employed in sectors outside the creative industries often in greater numbers than within the creative field. This is the first book to explore the phenomena of the embedded creative and creative services through a range of sectors, disciplines, and perspectives.

Chapter 13: Developing agency in the creative career: a design-based framework for work integrated learning

Oksana Zelenko and Ruth Bridgstock

Subjects: business and management, organisational innovation, organisation studies, innovation and technology, organisational innovation


Research (Freeman 2007; Higgs, Cunningham and Bakhshi 2008; Andrews, Yeabsley and Higgs 2009; Higgs and Freebody 2010) shows that approximately half of all creative practitioners operate as ‘embedded creatives’ – that is, they secure creative employment in organizations located in fields beyond the Creative Industries. However, it is also known that creative workers move between embedded and specialist roles over the course of their career (see, for example, Vinodrai 2006; Bridgstock and Hearn 2013). These career circumstances foreground the significance of having the necessary skills to successfully cross disciplinary boundaries in order to negotiate a professional role. An implication of this for emerging creative practitioners is the need to be able to identify and successfully target shifting professional and industry standards while remaining responsive to change. A further implication involves creative practitioners engaging in a continuous cycle of renegotiation of their professional identities. This makes the management of multiple professional selves, along with creating and recreating a meaningful frame of reference (such as the language around their emerging practice), a necessary skill. This chapter presents a framework for work integrated learning (WIL) experiences, in which undergraduate Creative Industries (CI) students develop the skills necessary to manage their emerging professional identities with agility. Agility is required in the face of rapidly changing work contexts. Central to the framework is the use of ideas and processes from the field of design practice (for example, architecture, industrial design, interaction design).

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