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2023/2024  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
  • Experience economy
  • Organisation
  • Cultural studies
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 06-02-2023

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
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
Release of assignment The Assignment is released in Digital Exam (DE) at exam start
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 of roughly equal length and is 15 pages in total:  


Part 1 – Creativity in Practice (Learning Objectives 3,4): a critical reflection on the experiential learning exercise, considering the relationship between space, creativity and representation (whilst referencing key texts from the reading list)

Part 2 – Creativity in Theory (Learning Objectives 1,2,5): a critical reflection on the topic of “Creativity in Organizations” demonstrating students have read in depth at least three articles/chapters from a prescribed list, showing understanding of the key arguments the authors put forward.



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 and organization. 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 work in groups and apply various creativity techniques as well as exploring space creatively, and will critically reflect on these experiences. 


The discourse of creativity is rife within society at large, 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
Most sessions 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. There is also an extended off-campus experiential learning exercise (5 hours), whilst some theoretical lectures will be prerecorded in panopto, making this a blended learning experience.
Feedback during the teaching period
All students are expected to complete a group project on 'The Creative City' organised around an experiential learning exercise. 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.
Students will also be allocated a key reading from the reading list which they will analyse and present on in small groups. All groups will also receive formative feedback on their engagement with the key literature, allowing the groups to learn from their own and others' feedback.
Student workload
Teaching 33 hours
Preparing for lectures 133 hours
Exam 40 hours
Further Information

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

Expected literature

Indicative Reading


Ancelin-Bourguignon, A., Dorsett, C., & Azambuja, R. (2019). Lost in translation? Transferring creativity insights from arts into management. Organization, 0(0), 1350508419855716. https:/​/​journals.sagepub.com/​doi/​abs/​10.1177/​1350508419855716


Barthes, R. (1997). The Eiffel Tower and other Mythologies. Los Angeles: University of California. (pp.1-5). [ http:/​/​www.columbia.edu/​itc/​architecture/​ockman/​pdfs/​dossier_4/​barthes.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]

Bilton, C. (2015). Uncreativity: the shadow side of creativity. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 21(2), 153-167. https:/​/​www.tandfonline.com/​doi/​full/​10.1080/​10286632.2014.892933


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.



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.



Florida, R., Mellander, C., & Adler, P. (2015). Creativity in the City. In C. Jones, M. Lorenzen, & J. Sapsed (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Creative Industries. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



George, J. M. (2007). Creativity in Organizations. Academy of Management Annals, 1(1), 439-477.



Gerard, N. (2019). Cursed creatives: alienation, sublimation, and the plight of contemporary creative work. Culture and Organization, 1-17. https:/​/​www.tandfonline.com/​doi/​abs/​10.1080/​14759551.2019.1655422


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


Leach, J. (2004). Modes of Creativity In E. Hirsch & M. Strathern (Eds.), Transactions and Creations. Property Debates and the Stimulus of Melanesia Oxford: Berghahn.



Ness, I. J., & Dysthe, O. (2020). Polyphonic Imagination: Understanding Idea Generation in Multidisciplinary Groups as a Multivoiced Stimulation of Fantasy. Creativity Research Journal, 32(1), 30-40. https:/​/​www.tandfonline.com/​doi/​full/​10.1080/​10400419.2020.1712163


Osborne, T. (2003). Against 'Creativity': A Philistine Rant. Economy and Society, 32(4), 507-525.



Perec, G. (1974). Species of spaces and other writings. London: Penguin  (chapter on ‘The Street, p.46-56) https:/​/​monoskop.org/​images/​b/​b0/​Perec_Georges_Species_of_Spaces_and_Other_Pieces.pdf

(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 (uploaded in Canvas)


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. (uploaded in Canvas)


Volkmann, C. R. & De Cock, C. (2006) ‘Consuming the Bauhaus’, Consumption, Markets and Culture, 9 (2), 129-136. [doi:10.1080/​10253860600633689]


Volkmann C. R. & De Cock, C. (2007) ’The Bauhaus and the Business School: Exploring Analogies, Resisting Imitation’, Management Learning, 38 (4), 389-403. [doi:10.1177/​1350507607080570]


Yoon, S. J., Chae, Y. J., Yang, K., & Kim, H. (2019). Governing through creativity: Discursive formation and neoliberal subjectivity in Korean firms. Organization, 26(2), 175-198. https:/​/​journals.sagepub.com/​doi/​abs/​10.1177/​1350508418805286

Last updated on 06-02-2023