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2021/2022  KAN-CCBLV1037U  Culture and Creativity in Business and Development

English Title
Culture and Creativity in Business and Development

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Min. participants 40
Max. participants 75
Study board
Study Board for BSc and MSc in Business, Language and Culture, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Robin Steedman - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
  • Thilde Langevang - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Cultural studies
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 01-03-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Describe, compare and critically discuss theories and concepts of relevance to understanding how businesses and organisations leverage cultural and creative resources in the global South
  • Be able to formulate well-grounded research questions on topics related to roles played by culture and creativity in development
  • Apply key theories, concepts and tools to cases of creative and cultural businesses or organisations that work in the global South
  • Critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of these theories, concepts and tools
Culture and Creativity in Business and Development:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

The examination will consist of a written project paper. The students will choose their project topics in consultation with the lecturers during the course and will receive feedback on their project ideas from the lecturers during a workshop and through one supervision session.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Culture and creativity are key resources in many developing economies, whether this is intangible cultural heritage relating to a particularly ethnic group or the creativity of the so-called ‘Cultural and Creative Industries’ such as film, music, and fashion. How can businesses and organisations leverage these cultural and creative resources for sustainable development in the global South? What role does culture and creativity play in realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? What is at stake in using the culture of ‘others’ and what value can this add to businesses? What are the possibilities and problematics of commodifying and selling culture? What can we learn from cultural entrepreneurs in developing economies? Students will learn to reflect critically on these questions and gain practical skills needed to work in businesses and organisations that seek to leverage the power of culture and creativity.


In terms of theory, this course will make a significant contribution to students’ understandings of culture and creativity. Students will be exposed to a wide variety of perspectives on culture and creativity (e.g. Richard Florida on how creativity is essential to economic growth) and learn to evaluate them critically. Students will be introduced to foundational cultural theories (e.g. Edward Said on Orientalism, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o on decolonizing the mind, Michel Foucault on authorship) particularly suited for cultural analysis in the global South and postcolonial contexts. This emphasis on culture will be grounded in a strong foundation of socioeconomic theories of business and development in order to enable students to critically apply cultural theory to business cases.


This course will cover the following key topics in the business of culture and creativity including:

  • Dynamics of creative industries in the global South: How do markets for culture and creativity work in the global South? What is the role of informality in businesses? What constraints and opportunities does informality provide? E.g. Nollywood (the Nigerian film industry) is now among the top three film producers globally, and yet it arose without any of the typical industrial infrastructure needed to make movies e.g. no studios, no arts funding.
  • Cultural appropriation and intellectual property rights:  Making use of ‘other’ cultures can add unique value to businesses, but it can also lead to major controversy and negative publicity. How can businesses minimize these risks? What factors should they consider when being inspired by other cultures and seeking to commodify that inspiration?
  • Innovative business models: How are business models configured to generate cultural, social and/or economic value. How may culture and creativity be used in commercial enterprises and social entrepreneurship (e.g. ethical fashion firms and social enterprises) that seek to work in respectful and ethical ways.
  • Socially engaged art and culture for development: What role do cultural and creative industries play in development work? E.g. how do development organizations and creative producers work together on, for example, theatre for development projects?
  • Digital creativity in business models and firms in the global South: How do creative entrepreneurs and firms imagine the power of digital technology for their businesses? How do they use digital and data-driven technologies today, particularly social media, web-shops, and digital media platforms?


Methodologically, students will be introduced to arts-based methods and use the business model canvas to understand creative industries and other business cases.


Geographically, the course will focus on the global South and will include various cases from different countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia.


The course has a blended learning format based on face-to-face lectures while integrating different online features (e.g. videos).

Description of the teaching methods
The teaching will comprise lectures, videos, case discussions, resource person presentations (e.g. creative entrepreneurs and representatives from organisations that work with culture and creativity) and a workshop.
Feedback during the teaching period
Student feedback will occur regularly throughout the course, e.g. via feedback to case questions and exercises during lectures. The lecturers will also be available during breaks and following each lecture session as well as for a one-to-one dialogue during office hours.

Students will also receive feedback from lecturers and peers on their exam project ideas during a project workshop and be offered one supervision session with their lecturers.
Student workload
Teaching 30 hours
Preparation 120 hours
Examination 56 hours
Expected literature

Alacovska, A., Langevang, T., & Steedman, R. (2020). The work of hope: Spiritualizing, hustling and waiting in the creative industries in Ghana. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 0308518X20962810.


Barrowclough, D., & Kozul-Wright, Z. (2011). Creative industries and developing countries: Voice, choice and economic growth. Routledge.


Comaroff, J. L., & Comaroff, J. (2009). Ethnicity, Inc. University of Chicago Press.

De Beukelaer, C. (2017). Toward an ‘African’ take on the cultural and creative industries? Media, Culture & Society39(4), 582–591. 


Dinardi, C. (2019). Creativity, informality and cultural work in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. International Journal of Cultural Studies22(2), 248–263. 


Duxbury, N., Kangas, A., & De Beukelaer, C. (2017). Cultural policies for sustainable development: Four strategic paths. International Journal of Cultural Policy23(2), 214-230.


Florida, R. (2014). The Creative Class and Economic Development. Economic Development Quarterly28(3), 196–205.


Foucault, M. (1969). ‘What Is an Author?’. 


Graham, M. (Ed.). (2019). Digital economies at global margins. The MIT Press.

Lobato, R. (2010). Creative industries and informal economies: Lessons from Nollywood. International Journal of Cultural Studies13(4), 337–354. 


Khan, R. (2019). ‘Be creative’in Bangladesh? Mobility, empowerment and precarity in ethical fashion enterprise. Cultural Studies33(6), 1029-1049.


Langevang, T. (2017). Fashioning the future: Entrepreneuring in Africa’s emerging fashion industry. The European Journal of Development Research29(4), 893-910.


Maclean, K. (2019). Fashion in Bolivia’s cultural economy. International Journal of Cultural Studies22(2), 213–228. 


McNamara, J. (2017). Digital media, development and political creativity – between Utopia and digital disruption in urban Nairobi. Critical African Studies9(3), 268–280.


Miller, J. (2012). Global Nollywood: The Nigerian movie industry and alternative global networks in production and distribution. Global Media and Communication8(2), 117–133. 


Park, J., & Chun, J. (2020). What does cultural appropriation mean to fashion design? Fashion, Style & Popular Culture


Said, E. W. (1979). Orientalism. Vintage Books.


Steedman, R. (2019). Nairobi-based middle class filmmakers and the production and circulation of transnational cinema. Poetics.


Thiongʾo, N. (1986). Decolonising the mind: The politics of language in African literature. Heinemann.

Last updated on 01-03-2021