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2019/2020  KAN-CPSYV3008U  Creativity in Organizations

English Title
Creativity in Organizations

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Autumn, First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Psychology, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Christian De Cock - Department of Organization (IOA)
Main academic disciplines
  • Organisation
  • Sociology
  • Cultural studies
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 12-02-2019

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Demonstrate an understanding of key perspectives, theories and concepts that inform contemporary notions of creativity
  • Analyse the historical emergence of creativity as a crucial organisational phenomenon and understand the social, economic and political embeddedness of creativity
  • Critically evaluate the wider implications of utilising creativity techniques in an organisational context
  • Analyse the interrelation between theory and practice in a creative and independent manner
  • Develop critical thinking for evaluating a variety of texts (judgement skills)
Course prerequisites
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved: 1
Compulsory home assignments
Group project on creative city needs to be uploaded (formative assessment only)
Creativity in Organizations:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Essay
Duration 2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

The exam (essay) consists of two parts (equal length) and is 15 pages in total:  


Part 1 – Creativity in Practice (Learning Objectives 3,4): Write a critical reflection on the experiential learning exercises you have participated in. You are encouraged to go beyond your own project and also reflect briefly on (some of) the presentations of others. You will be judged on the application and use of recommended reading material, and both the quality and originality of your analysis and reflection.


Part 2 – Creativity in Theory (Learning Objectives 1,2,5):  Write a critical review of THREE book chapters or articles out of a list of six that will be suggested. The best reviews will be able to make connections across the three articles/chapters and provide a summary of your overall position on the topic of creativity and organization. They will also make connections to the wider literature and integrate this well (keeping in mind the learning objectives).

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The overarching objective of the module is to engage the students with state of the art knowledge production in the field of creativity management. By offering an intensive course where both practical methods and in-depth theoretical analysis are presented, the module will help students develop their own understanding of the field and supply them with conceptual and practical tools. Particular attention will be paid to the development of transferable skills – students will apply various creativity tools and techniques and critically reflect on these, thus enabling them to work effectively in creative problem solving teams.

The concept of Creativity has very much re-established itself on the corporate radar since its heyday of the 1950s and 1960s. In fact, the discourse of creativity is rife within society at large (Thrift, 2002), with the necessity for creativity now seemingly elevated above many other aspects of traditional management discourse. Not only is the discourse of creativity familiar, it is instantly recognisable: we know the language of creativity; we know how to identify and classify creativity; we are told how to be creative; and sometimes we are even asked ‘what do you want to create?’ Creativity has become ‘normalised’; our understanding has become framed by the language of creativity, our ‘being creative’ prescribed both substantively and instrumentally. The literature (and language) of creativity is, of course, evolving. We are re-classifying, finding new methods, working on our understanding of the ‘essence’ of creativity. Creativity has become the modern mantra. We have creative industries, creative partnerships and creative approaches of which individuals, businesses and even governments are trying to harness the potential. Creativity is seen as essential for our survival, economically and socially. Hence the need to challenge clichéd representations of ‘creativity’, the typical “creativity is wonderful and we need a lot more of it...” type arguments, and assist students to become more creative (or at least more reflective) in their own practice.

Description of the teaching methods
Each session will consist of a combination of formal lecturer-led presentations on the topic under discussion and interactive workshop-style exercises that will provide the opportunity for students to translate theory into practice. Readings will be provided in good time before each session and it is vital that students undertake the required reading prior to the sessions in order to gain as much value as possible from the lectures.
Feedback during the teaching period
All students are expected to complete a group project on 'The Creative City' organised around an experiential learning exercise during the third session of the course (see above re. compulsory assignment). Formative feedback will be given in response to the group presentations on this practical project. The purpose here is to encourage students to critically reflect on how one represents and captures experience, and how they can be ‘creative’ in their practices of perceptions and representation.
Student workload
Teaching 33 hours
Preparing for lectures 133 hours
Exam 40 hours
Further Information

Students are not allowed to use litterature from other courses. Especially CMP students.

Expected literature


Amabile T.M. (2012). Perspectives on the social psychology of creativity. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 46(1). 3-15. [ https:/​/​onlinelibrary.wiley.com/​doi/​abs/​10.1002/​jocb.001]


Barthes, R. (1997). The Eiffel Tower and other Mythologies. Los Angeles: University of California. (pp.1-5). [http:/​/​lantb.net/​uebersicht/​wp-pdf/​eiffelTower.pdf]


Benjamin, W. (1978). Hashish in Marseilles. In Reflections: essays, aphorisms, autobiographical writings. New York: Schocken Books.

[ http:/​/​periferiesurbanes.org/​wp-content/​uploads/​2016/​08/​Hashish-in-Marseilles-Reflections-on-Drug-Use.pdf

Berman, M. (1984). Signs in the Street. New Left Review, Vol. 144, 114-123.  

[ https:/​/​newleftreview.org/​I/​144/​marshall-berman-the-signs-in-the-street-a-response-to-perry-anderson]

Borén, T. & Young, C. (2013). Getting creative with the ‘creative city’? Towards new perspectives on creativity in urban policy. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37(5), 1799-1815. [ https:/​/​onlinelibrary.wiley.com/​doi/​abs/​10.1111/​j.1468-2427.2012.01132.x]


Bröckling, U. (2006). On creativity: A brainstorming session. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 38(4), 513-521.

[ https:/​/​onlinelibrary.wiley.com/​doi/​abs/​10.1111/​j.1469-5812.2006.00208.x]


De Cock, C. (1994). Creativity in MS/OR: Training for creativity - findings in a European context. Interfaces, 24(6), 59-65.

[ https:/​/​www.researchgate.net/​publication/​240293792_Creativity_in_MSOR_Training_for_Creativity--Findings_in_a_European_Context]


De Cock, C. (2013). Imagination and Organization: A Review of The Imaginary Institution of Society.Scandinavian Journal of Management, 29(4), 406-408. [https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1016/​j.scaman.2013.01.002



De Cock, C. (2016). ‘From Creativity to Imagination with Cornelius Castoriadis’ in T. Beyes, C. Steyaert and M. Parker (eds.). Routledge Companion to Reinventing Management Education. Oxford: Routledge. p. 234-248 (chapter 17).

[ https:/​/​www.routledgehandbooks.com/​doi/​10.4324/​9781315852430]


De Cock C., Rehn A. & Berry, D. (2013). ‘For a Critical Creativity Studies: The radical imagination of Cornelius Castoriadis.’ in J. Chan & K. Thomas (eds.), Handbook of Research on Creativity. London: Edward Elgar. p. 150-161.

[ https:/​/​www.elgaronline.com/​view/​9780857939807.00021.xml]



Drazin, R., Glynn, M. A., & Kazanjian, R. K. (1999). Multilevel Theorizing about Creativity in Organizations: A Sensemaking Perspective. Academy of Management Review, 24(2): 286-307.



Hall, S. (2000). Representation: Cultural representations and signifying practices. London: Sage. [chapter 1: https:/​/​culturetechnologypolitics.files.wordpress.com/​2015/​09/​stuart-hall-on-representation-1.pdf


McWhinney, W. (1993). All creative people are not alike. Creativity and Innovation Management, 2(1), 3-16. [ https:/​/​onlinelibrary.wiley.com/​doi/​abs/​10.1111/​j.1467-8691.1993.tb00064.x]


Perec, G. (1974). Species of spaces and other writings. London: Penguin  (chapter on ‘The Street, p.47-56)


(also https:/​/​www.youtube.com/​watch?v=tNpVpDp_Grc)


Reckhenrich, J., Kupp, M. & Anderson, J. (2009). Understanding creativity: The manager as artist. Business Strategy Review, 20(2), 68-73

[ https:/​/​onlinelibrary.wiley.com/​doi/​abs/​10.1111/​j.1467-8616.2009.00602.x]


Rehn, A. & De Cock, C. (2009). ‘Deconstructing Creativity’ in T. Rickards, M. Runco & S. Moger (eds.),Routledge Companion of Creativity. London: Routledge. p.222-231.

[ https:/​/​www.routledgehandbooks.com/​doi/​10.4324/​9780203888841.ch18]


Rickards, T. & De Cock, C. (2012). ‘Understanding Organizational Creativity: Toward a Multiparadigmatic Approach’. In M. Runco (ed.), The Creativity Research Handbook Vol.2, New York: Hampton Press. p.1-31

[ https:/​/​www.researchgate.net/​publication/​283908412_Understanding_Organizational_Creativity_Toward_a_multi-paradigmatic_approach]


Sutton, Robert I., & Hargadon, Andrew. (1996). Brainstorming groups in context: Effectiveness in a product design firm. Administrative Science Quarterly, 41(4), 685-718.



Thrift, N. (2009). ‘Cityescapes’.  In Beyes, T., Krempl, S., Deuflhard, A. (eds) Art and Urban Space. Zurich: Verlag Niggli, 268-284.

Last updated on 12-02-2019