Handbook of Management and Creativity
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Handbook of Management and Creativity

Edited by Chris Bilton and Stephen Cummings

This Handbook draws on current research and case studies to consider how managers can become more creative across four aspects of their business: innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and organisation – and does so in an accessible, engaging and user-friendly format.
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Chapter 17: Shaping creative organisational environments through the arts

Giovanni Schiuma


This chapter follows the notion introduced at the beginning of this handbook, that in order to provide space and time for creativity, organisations need to combine ëlooseí and ëtightí properties. I will argue that this can be achieved by integrating emotional aspects of the organisation with technical, rational systems. From this perspective the creative environment is considered as a platform supporting and catalysing bisociation processes, shaped by managers who integrate emotional and rational knowledge. In order to influence this synthesis, managers need to consider the aesthetic dimensions of the organisation. One instrument for nurturing a creative environment might accordingly be the instrumental use of the arts in the form of ëarts-based Initiativesí (Schiuma 2011). They bring artistic projects or attitudes into the organisation to trigger bisociative thinking. I will illustrate this process by analysing the use of arts-based initiatives at Elica, an Italian company and a world leader in the design and production of kitchen hoods. In order to create an organisational context which could nurture human potential and creative thinking, Elica has adopted the arts as an instrument to support the development of a creative organisational environment.

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