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2014/2015  KAN-CCMVI2003U  Creative Problem Solving in Business - an in-class internship (intensive)

English Title
Creative Problem Solving in Business - an in-class internship (intensive)

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration Summer
Course period Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Course instructor - Dr. William R. Holmes, Sheridan Institute of Technology
    Patricia Plackett - MPP
Main academic disciplines
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Management
Last updated on 20-05-2014
Learning objectives
At the end of the course the student should be able to:
  • Identify, isolate and define the parameters of a real-world business problem as presented by a client company.
  • Exhibit broad comprehension of concepts, theories, models and frameworks that underpin the development of creativity as a discipline and the creative problem solving process
  • Apply the creative problem solving process to a real world business problem
  • Describe the relationship between creativity, innovation and commercialization
  • Describe the importance of risk management and risk mitigation when engaged in creative problem solving
  • Construct and deliver a well-developed and persuasive presentation promoting an innovative solution to a real world business problem or challenge.
Course prerequisites
This course should be accessible to all graduate students.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam
Number of mandatory activities: 1
Compulsory assignments (assessed approved/not approved)
Mandatory Mid-term Assignment: This assignment will involve student group presentations in the final class based on their investigation of a real-world business problem provided by a client company or organisation and their formulation and development of a solution(s) to that problem. The proposed solutions will be presented to a panel of external judges.
Home Assignment:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

This graduate level course in business problem solving provides students with a broad-based understanding of creative problem solving in business from both theoretical and applied orientations. Students are presented with a comprehensive overview of theory of creative problem solving and its development as it relates to finding solutions to real world business problems. A significant characteristic of this course is its use of self-reflection to enhance students’ self-awareness with respect to their own level of acceptance and aptitudes for creative problem solving, and to identify areas where they may need to access expertise from partners, service providers, or other external sources. A significant differentiating characteristic of this course is its use of current business problems provided by corporations and/or non-profits. By using business cases and examples illustrating specific approaches to business challenges (both successful and unsuccessful) that have been undertaken in the recent past, the aim of this course is to train students to critically evaluate contemporary business problems and to formulate and develop creative and innovative solutions to those problems.
In addition to the theoretical aspect of the course, students will be assigned groups on the first day of class and tasked with defining and isolating a current business challenge provided by a client company, non-profit or other institution. The students must investigate the problem and formulate and develop a solution or solutions to that problem. Milestones will be established, and students will be able to consult with their peers in the class throughout the course for input and ideas and support. The final class will culminate in each group presenting a proposed solution to the class and a panel of external judges from the client company, non-profit or institution. This presentation represents the Mandatory Mid-term Assignment for the course. A Preliminary Assignment early in the course will require students to write a synopsis, review and comparison of a selection of the assigned readings (max. 4 pages).

Class Schedule

Class Topic
Class 1 Course overview / Introduction to Creative Problem Solving
Class 2 Lesson 2 Presentation of Business Problems
Class 3 Lesson 3 Problem Definition and Isolation; Preliminary Assignment due
Class 4 Lesson 4 Creative Thinking
Class 5 Lesson 5 Methodologies in Creative Problem Solving
Class 6 Lesson 6 Cases and Examples of Creative Problem Solving in Action
Class 7 Lesson 7 Persuasion and Creative Leadership
Class 8 Lesson 8 Diagnostics: Evaluation the Creative Thinking Process
Class 9 Lesson 9 Critical Evaluation of Multiple Solutions
Class 10 Lesson 10 Identification and Mitigation of Risks and Pitfalls 
Class 11 Lesson 11 Presentation of Solutions to Client Panels; Mandatory Mid-term Assignment due
Teaching methods
Lectures, seminars, case study discussions, interactive exercises, and presentations.
Further Information

Preliminary Assignment: To help students get maximum value from ISUP courses, instructors provide a reading or a small number of readings or video clips to be read or viewed before the start of classes with a related task scheduled for class 3 in order to 'jump-start' the learning process.

Expected literature

Dweck, Carol S, 2006, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Ballantine Books, New York, NY, Chapters 1,2,3,5,and 8. ISBN: 978-0-345-47232-8.
Puccio, Gerard J, 2012, Creativity Rising, ICSC Press, Buffalo, NY. (Cannot be provided by Academic Books)
Amabale, T., 1993, ‘What Does a Theory of Creativity Require?’, Psychological Inquiry, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 179-237.
Amabale, T., 1999, ‘How to Kill Creativity’, Harvard Business Review, September October 1998, pp. 76-87.
Dyer, J., Gregersen, H. and Christensen, C., 2011, ‘Why Todays Business Leaders must be Innovators: The Importance of Creativity and Innovation in Maintaining Your Company’s Competitive Edge’, Excerpted from The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators, Harvard Business Review Press, Boston, MS.
Ibbotson, P. and Darse, L., ‘Directing Creativity: the Art and Craft of Leadership’, Rotman Magazine, Spring 2010
Martins, E.C.; Terblanche, F., 2003, ‘Building organisational culture that stimulates creativity and innovation’, European Journal of Innovation Management;  6, 1; ABI/INFORM Global
pg. 64

Miron-Spektor, E., Erez, M. and Naveh, E., 2012, ’ To Drive Creativity, Add Some Conformity’, Harvard Business Review

Teresa M. Amabile, T.M., 2018, Creativity under the Gun at Litmus Corporation, Harvard Business School, Case # 9-808-075
Chua, R.Y.J. and Eccles, R.G., 2010, Managing Creativity at Shanghai Tang, Harvard Business School, Case # 9-410-018
Petersen, S., Espinoza, F. and Wathieu, L., 2012, Tchibo Ideas: Leveraging the Creativity of Customers, ESMT – European School of Management and Technology

Last updated on 20-05-2014