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2022/2023  KAN-CSIEO2006U  The Art of Innovation

English Title
The Art of Innovation

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory (also offered as elective)
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Third Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Social Sciences
Course coordinator
  • Andrew Popp - Department of Business Humanities and Law
Main academic disciplines
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
  • Organisation
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 10-10-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Demonstrate thorough knowledge of practices and principles common to arts- and design-based innovation processes.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of leadership decisions of strategic importance regarding the application of arts and design-based methods to innovation objectives.
  • Demonstrate thorough knowledge of principles for how organisational conditions for arts- and design-driven creativity can be provided.
  • Demonstrate thorough knowledge of how the dynamics between management, leadership and entrepreneurship matters for the art of organisational innovation.
Course prerequisites
Only for students of the Master of Social Sciences in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The Art of Innovation:
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 72 hours to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Spring
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Artful and designerly ways of creating new business have become increasingly relevant in the current competitive business environment that favours novelty and originality as sources of value. Arts- and design-based practices provide organizations with powerful methods for innovating products, services, systems and experiences. In this course, we investigate these practices in order to learn how to provide organisational conditions for artful processes that lead to competitive advantage. We build our knowledge dynamically in class through course literature-based analyses of cases (art, design, entrepreneurship, innovation), in order to develop a more precise understanding of the organisational conditions for arts- and design-based creativity/entrepreneurship and innovation. This includes an emphasis on understanding the special conditions and capabilities that enable groups to engage in collaborative creativity, what leadership that is required as well as approaching entrepreneurship as an organisation-creation process.
The pedagogical approach is highly interactive and discussion based, driven by cases from art- and design intensive entrepreneurial companies. By engaging in Harvard Business School-style case discussions, students will learn how to make decisions regarding the organisational conditions for artful innovation practices in organisation-creation and innovation. See "Teaching Methods" for further information.

Description of the teaching methods
As stated in the course description, the pedagogical approach is highly interactive and discussion based, driven by cases dealing with art, design intensive companies, and artful innovation/​entrepreneurship. By engaging in Harvard Business School-style case discussions, students will learn how to make decisions regarding the application of arts and design practices to organisation-creation (entrepreneurship) and innovation. Drawing on the instructors' experiences from researching and engaging with artful entrepreneurship and innovation, case issues will be discussed, using course literature, in class. This allows for knowledge being created in class. It is therefore crucial that students come well prepared for discussion—having completed the reading and reflected on cases and assignment question—and willing to participate. Participating in the exercise of case analysis and debate in the classroom directly prepares the student for the exam.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students receive feedback from the instructor and peers during the course of highly interactive case discussions, in small groups and in plenary. By participating in discussions, students practice the skill of making arguments based on course literature and case analysis, supporting and defending their perspectives. Feedback will also be offered on the basis of group exercises, where we reflect together on learning experiences.
Student workload
Participation in case-discussions and lectures 33 hours
Preparation for case-discussion and lectures, e.g. reading and reflection 132 hours
Exam (including exam preparation) 41 hours
Expected literature

Literature (preliminary list, subject to change, final list will be published on Learn):

Austin, R., Hjorth, D., and Hessel, S. (2017) “How aesthetics and economy become conversant in creative firms,” Organization Studies, online first, Oct. 2017.


Austin, R. and Devin, L. (2004) “Successful Innovation through Artful Process,” Leader to Leader, Spring: 48-55.


Castañer, X. and Campos, L. (2002). The determinants of artistic innovation: Bringing in the role of organizations. Journal of Cultural Economics, 26, 29–52.


Catmull, E. (2008) “How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity,” Harvard Business Review, September: 1-11.


Guillet de Monthoux, P. (2000) “Performing the Absolute. Marina Abramovic Organizing the Unfinished Business of Arthur Schopenhauer,” Organization Studies, 21: 29-51.


Goodwin, C. and Mucha, R. (2010) “Aesthetic Intelligence: what business can learn from the arts,” Rotman Magazine, Spring: 53-57.


Hargadon, A. B., and Bechky, B. A. (2006) “When collections of creatives become creative collectives: a field study of problem solving at work,” Organization Science, 17(4): 484-500.


Hennessey, B. A. and Amabile, T. M. (2010) “Creativity,” Annual Review of Psychology, 61: 569-598.


Jones, C., Svejenova, S., Strandgaard Pedersen, J, and Townley, B. (2016). Misfits, Mavericks and Mainstreams: Drivers of Innovation in the Creative Industries. Organization Studies. Special issue introduction, 37(6): 751-768


Khaire, M. (2017). Doing Their Job: The Functions of Intermediaries (Chapter 4). Culture and Commerce the Value of Entrepreneurship in Creative Industries. Stanford University Press.


Lampel, J. and Meyer, A. D. 2008. Field-Configuring Events as Structuring Mechanisms: How Conferences, Ceremonies, and Trade Shows Constitute New Technologies, Industries, and Markets. Journal of Management Studies, 45(6): 1025-1035.


Obstfeld, D. (2012).  Creative Projects: A Less Routine Approach toward Getting New Things Done Organization Science, 23(6): 1571–1592.


Patriotta, G. and Hirsch, P. (2016). Mainstreaming Innovation in Art Worlds: Cooperative links, conventions and amphibious artists. Organization Studies, 37(6): 867-887.


Ramirez, R. and Arvidsson, N. (2005) “Aesthetics of business innovation: experiencing ‘internal process’ versus ‘external jolts’,” Innovation: management, policy & practice, 7(4): 373-388.


Styhre, A. and Eriksson, M. (2008) “Bring in the Arts and Get the Creativity for Free: A study of the artists in residence project,” Creativity and Innovation Management, 17(1): 47-57.


Schüßler, E., Grabher, G. and Müller-Seitz, G. (2015). Field-configuring events as arenas for innovation and learning. Industry and Innovation 22 (1), 165-172.


Svejenova, S., Mazza, C. and Planellas, M. (2007). Cooking Up Change in Haute Cuisine: Ferran Adrià as an Institutional Entrepreneur. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 28(5): 539-561.


Svejenova, S., Strandgaard Pedersen, J., and Vives, L. (2011). Projects of Passion: Lessons for Strategy from Temporary Art, in G. Cattani, S. Ferriani, L. Frederiksen, and F. Täube (ed.) Project-Based Organizing and Strategic Management (Advances in Strategic Management), 28: 501-527.


Wijnberg, N.M. and Gemser, G. (2000) Adding Value to Innovation: Impressionism and the Transformation of the Selection System in Visual Arts. Organization Science, 11(3):323-329. 




e-types: Austin, R. D., O’Donnell, S., and Friis, S. K. (2006), N9-606-118 (Harvard Business School case)


BMW: Bangle, C. (2001) How BMW turns art into profit, R0101B (Harvard Business School case)


Paul Robertson and the Medici String Quartet: Austin, R. D. and O’Donnell, S. (2007) “Paul Robertson and the Medici String Quartet,” 9-607-083 (Harvard Business School case)


Camper: Mitchell, J. and Velamuri, R. (2007) “Camper: Imagination is not expensive,” E-105-E, 2-607-008 (Harvard Business School case)


How to kill creativity: Amabile, T. M. (1998) “How to kill creativity,” Harvard Business Review, October: 76-87.


teamLab: Farhoomand, A. (2015) “Creativity in design: experimenting and innovating at teamlab Japan,” The Asia Case Research Centre, and Harvard Business School case.

Last updated on 10-10-2022