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2014/2015  KAN-CCMVV1495U  Managing in the Creative Economy

English Title
Managing in the Creative Economy

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Robert Austin - MPP
Administrative contact: Karina Ravn Nielsen - electives.mpp@cbs.dk or direct phone: 38153782
Main academic disciplines
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Management
  • Experience economy and service management
Last updated on 04-12-2014
Learning objectives
After taking the course, students should be able to:
  • Analyze creative economy firms, taking into account strategy, competitive situation and operational risk, capabilities and limitations.
  • Explain and defend a position in creative company management
  • Describe the framework for creative firm management derived from course materials
  • Reflect the theoretical approaches introduced in the course as a way of deciding creative company management questions.
  • Recognize creative economy business models
Course prerequisites
Students with a BA or BSc (or equivalent) degree can attend. The course will encourage analysis of business problems from a variety of perspectives, thus diverse backgrounds are welcome. Case discussions will provide opportunities for students to draw from what they have learned in other courses, as well as from their own experiences. The course is designed to be integrative and complementary with the offers of programs in innovation, creative businesses, and the like.
Managing in the Creative Economy:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam
Individual or group exam Individual
Assignment type Case based assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period December/January
Aids allowed to bring to the exam Open book: all written and electronic aids, including internet access
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
Description of the exam procedure

PC exam on CBS computers with e-hand in.
It is not allowed to bring your own PC and printer.
Access to internet, LEARN, and personal S:/drive.
Before the exam starts information can also be uploaded from a USB-key to PC, then the USB-Key should be put away during exam.

Students are advised, however, that most exam aids are likely to be more of a distraction than a benefit, however. Assessment will be based on professor’s evaluation of how well students demonstrate achievement of the learning objectives in the written final exam.

Course content and structure

The course examines the nature of work and management that consistently produces valuable creative outcomes. We find examples of this kind of work in many important industries (design, entertainment, media, pharmaceuticals) and in expanding enclaves (product development, even manufacturing) within industrial firms. By analyzing cases across industries and organizations, we discover a core of common practice. This integrative approach encourages students to derive management principles, processes, and practices, and to decide how they would apply them as managers in Creative Economy Firms (CEFs). The course’s case approach is designed to complement the approaches in other courses on related topics, offering students an opportunity to apply and test theoretical materials from this and other classes, against real practice situations. Materials for the course are mostly original, developed for this particular course, and mostly published as Harvard Business School cases.

Structure: The course contains three modules:

  1. The Characteristics of Creative Economy Firms
  2. Work in Creative Economy Firms
  3. Managing Creative Economy Firms

The first module addresses questions of how we might define CEFs and how they are different from other firms. The second module examines the processes, principles, and practices of expert innovators from a range of fields, including the arts, design, entertainment, information technology, and life sciences. The third module focuses on the management implications of differences between CEFs and other firms, and between the work of expert innovators and other kinds of workers. In all three parts, we examine cases that challenge conventional wisdom and practice: how the leader of a string quartet manages collaboration with the same small team for more than three decades; how a design-intensive company convinces customers to pay very high prices for a trash bin; how a Broadway musical moves from New York to another city while being careful to protect its brand; how a media company manages accelerating demand for entirely new kinds of creative work (e.g., digital colorization).

The course's development of personal competences:

This course builds students’ capacity for experiential learning (Kolb, 1976) by exercising both deductive (left side of the Kolb learning cycle) and inductive reasoning capabilities (right side of the Kolb cycle; see, Austin, Nolan, and O’Donnell, Academy of Management Learning and Education, 2009). That is, students will reason from theoretical frameworks to predict and make judgments about application to practice (deductive reasoning), but they will also reason from case facts and outcomes to refine theoretical formulations (inductive reasoning). The objective is to encourage students to develop a complete (deductive + inductive) learning capability. Because of the discussion- and critique-oriented nature of the course, students will develop and refine skills for presenting arguments persuasive to others and for listening to others; they will practice putting theoretical ideas into action and be forced to confront situations where theory and practice do not meet up neatly.

Teaching methods
The course will be conducted using the “case method” in the Harvard style, which involves high-energy discussion, debate, and interaction. Students will be encouraged to bring their own views into discussion, to share learning with fellow students. Class attendance, preparation, and participation will be important if you want to do well in the course; theoretical materials will be discussed, extended, and critiqued during class sessions, not just in readings.
Further Information

Co-teacher: Shannon Hessel

This course is part of the minor in Design Strategy

Changes in course schedule may occur
Monday 08.00-10.35, week 36-41, 43,44,45,47,48

Expected literature

The course is based on a mix of cases and other materials:

Austin, Robert D., and Daniela Beyersdorfer, "Vipp A/S," Harvard Business School Case 607-052, 2006.

MacCormmack, Alan, ”Team New Zealand,” HBS case 697-040, 2002.

Austin, Robert, Shannon O’Donnell, , and Silje Kmille Friis, ”e-Types A/S,” Harvard Business School case 606-118, 2006.

Austin, Robert D., Silje Kamille Friis, and Erin E. Sullivan. "Design: More Than a Cool Chair." Harvard Business School Note 607-026, 2006.

Austin, Robert D. and Lee Devin, ”Accidental Innovation,” Harvard Business School case 607-082, 2007.

Thomke, Stefan, ”Innovation at 3M Corporation,” Harvard Business School case 699-012, 2001.

Austin, Robert D., and Shannon O'Donnell. "Paul Robertson and the Medici String Quartet." Harvard Business School Case 607-083, 2007.

Austin, Robert D., and Debra Elana Schifrin. "Ascent Media Group (A)." Harvard Business School Case 607-064, 2007.

Austin, Robert D., and Daniela Beyersdorfer. "Bang & Olufsen: Design Driven Innovation." Harvard Business School Case 607-016, 2006.

Austin, Robert D., and Richard L. Nolan. “Bridging the Gap Between Stewards and Creators,” MIT Sloan Management Review, 48, no. 2 (winter 2007): 29-36.

Austin, Robert D. and Shannon O’Donnell, ”The Phantom of the Opera,” Harvard Business School case 608-029, 2008.

Austin, Robert D., ”The People’s Light and Theatre,” Company Harvard Business School case 600-055, 1999.

McCormmack, Alan, ”Activision: The 'Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer' Project ,”Harvard Business School case 605-020, 2001.

Austin, Robert D. and Carl Stormer, ”Miles Davis: Kind of Blue,” Harvard Business School case 609-050, 2008.

Austin, Robert D., Lee Devin, Artful Making: What Managers Need to Know About How Artists Work, New Saddle River NJ: Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2003.

Austin, Robert D., Richard L. Nolan, and Shannon O'Donnell. "The Boeing Company: Moonshine Shop." Harvard Business School Case 607-130, 2007.
Brown, T. 2008. Design Thinking. Harvard Business School. E-resource.
Verganti, R. 2006. Innovation through Design. Harvard Business School. E-resource
“Shopclassas Soulcraft,” by Matthew B. Shepherd, The New Atlantis, 13, Summer 2006

Last updated on 04-12-2014