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 18: Creative management in practice: bisociation with 'timely balance'

Zhichang Zhu, Chris Bilton and Stephen Cummings


Throughout this handbook, we and our contributors have highlighted the bisociative connections which lie behind creativity and its variants, and which also characterise the relationship between creativity and management. The dichotomous pairs of discoveryñcreation, diligentñ dilettante, visionñaction and looseñtight properties provide a pattern for analysing and understanding creativity and its management. But how can we now turn this understanding into action? How might the theoretical and empirical models and ideas advanced in this handbook be applied in practice? How can we turn the nouns ñ innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership, organisation ñ into verbs ñ innovating, ëentrepreneuringí (see Chris Steyaertís Chapter 9 for an explanation), leading and organising? Koestlerís notion of bisociation, the theoretical underpinning of the handbook, argues that the creative mind brings together two habitually disconnected frames of reference. But, interestingly, Koestler acknowledged that bisociation works differently in different settings. Scientific creativity, Koestler argued, works towards a resolution, following a dialectical process which ultimately resolves or reorders apparently contradictory phenomena. Artistic creativity, on the other hand, works towards juxtaposition ñ the two opposing ideas remain unresolved, a source of creative tension and mental stimulation for the recipient. Scientific bisociation ultimately works through the creative process towards a resolution, a harmonious order or balance. Artistic bisociation throws up thought-provoking problems, challenges and questions.

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