30297 - MANAGING CREATIVITY
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
Class 31: ALBERTO MONTI
Creativity is one of the critical components of an organization’s ability to survive and thrive in today’s competitive and dynamic markets. In fact, managing creativity is essential to achieve important organizational outcomes, such as innovation, growth, and success. As creativity is an important source of competitive advantage, organizations are increasingly seeking to foster it. Nowadays managers face the challenge of creating the right context and conditions for creativity to flourish. This course provides students a richer understanding of how creativity can be (1) enhanced and (2) managed in a work setting. Students learn about the basic features of creativity and creative processes, both short-term and over longer time periods, understand and come to appreciate a number of different psychological and socio-psychological approaches to creativity, and learn about some of the important issues involved in managing creativity effectively including other important areas of organizational behavior research (e.g., leadership, teamwork). Students study creativity in many domains, including business, science and technology, the arts, and life in general, relying on a mixture of lectures, readings, and discussion. To do so, they engage in a variety of case studies and class exercises. They also learn through articles about creativity in business and how organizations foster creativity and manage creative processes.
Students acquire knowledge regarding various theoretical conceptualizations (i.e., how do you define creativity), antecedents (i.e., what makes you more creative) and outcomes (i.e., what is the impact) of creativity as well as important practical implications in fostering and managing creativity in the workplace.How do creative ideas happen? How can we foster our creativity and the creativity of those around us? What are the paths of creative development of individuals who are successful in their creative endeavors? What are the obstacles to creativity? What is the nature of creativity in teams and organizations? These are some of the questions we address. The list below summarizes major topics are covered in this course.
- What is creativity (i.e., definition, conceptualization)?
- The (underlying) processes of creativity.
- The myths of creativity.
- What is the role of creativity in organizations?
- Individual-specific factors that underlie or affect creativity.
- The role of personality traits (e.g., openness to experience).
- Context-specific factors that underlie or affect creativity (i.e., making and keeping creative individuals creating).
- The role of working environment (e.g., organizational climate).
- Leadership and creativity.
- The role of other social and cultural factors (e.g., diversity, power distance).
- Outcomes of creativity.
- Creative idea generation.
- Design thinking.
- Teams and creativity.
- Factors affecting creativity in teams (e.g., groupthink, conflicts).
- Recognize the role of creativity and innovation in organizations and illustrate opportunities and threats for creativity.
- Identify processes and practices associated with different phases of the creative process.
- Discern the individual, group and organizational variables able to foster or to hamper creativity in different organizational contexts.
- Explain how to create a creativity-friendly culture.
- Analise creativity in different organizational settings.
- Compare international best practices of creativity and innovation management.
- Apply the appropriate tools and models to develop better organizational choices to foster and manage creativity.
- Face-to-face lectures
- Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
- Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
- Individual assignments
- Group assignments
The learning experience of this course includes, in addition to face-to-face lectures, the use of individual and group assignments throughout the course.
- These assignments allow students to:
- Challenge their own perspectives on creativity as for example to debug the “myths” surrounding the creativity process.
- Describe the main concepts covered in class and critically explain the main relationship between processes and practices associated with creativity in different organizational settings.
- Apply tools and models explained during the course to stylized real cases to be presented and discussed in class.
- Students are encouraged to bring their own views and to share their insights as well as guided to learn how to ask and give effective feedbacks during such discussions.
- In addition to one-on-one lectures, the course includes one or more guest speakers by managers and organizational members from a selection of creative industries such as social media, fashion and more traditional ones aimed at better understanding how creativity is fostered, evaluated, and managed in the everyday life of an organization.
- Case(s) study also is analyzed in class. Different cases are used to identify and illustrate different individual, group and organizational elements able to sustain or hamper creativity. Taken together these activities allow students both to identify and compare best practices across different international contexts and to apply concepts covered in class to develop solutions to potential problems presented in the cases and in the experiences provided by the guest speakers.
- At the end of each of the course’s main section, a formal assessment of students’ preparation is provided with the aim to evaluate their knowledge about the concepts, tools and models and their relationship with creativity and their application in different contexts.
|Continuous assessment||Partial exams||General exam|
With the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the above-mentioned learning outcomes, the students’ assessment is based on three main components:
- In-class participation (10% of the final grade) aimed to test the students’ ability to interact in a constructive way, to think critically and to develop their ability to speak in public as well as the ability to argue and defend one's ideas.
- Written exam (50% of the final grade), consisting of multiple-choice questions. The aims are to assess students’ ability to recognize and apply the knowledge referring to the concepts, models, guest lectures and cases discussed in class. The exam consists of two written exams taken during the course lectures. In this case, the weight is 25% for the partial exam and 25% for the partial-end of term exam.
- The field project (40%) consists of developing an in-depth analysis of a real organization chosen by the students in order to identify, illustrate and analyze the main elements and aspects of the company’s organization and approach to creativity management. The students ask to focus on different levels of analysis namely individuals, teams, and organization and to answer to questions such as: How does the company get organized to support the generation of new ideas/ products/services /experiences? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the company’s approach? Does the company have a competitive advantage in creativity? If so, is it sustainable? Additionally, they need to provide a brief analysis of a different company pertaining to the same industry where the approach to creativity strongly differs from that of the company they have chosen. Finally, they are asked to put the heat of the consultant and to provide actionable recommendations to the company in terms of fit between the strategy and the way creativity is managed and how to sustain it in the future. These projects are used to verify the ability of students to:
- Identify and examine the main problems regarding the management of creativity within the organizations.
- To apply the knowledge developed during the course to assess the fit between the strategy of the company and their approach to creativity as well as to compare it to different practices developed in similar contexts.
- To develop managerial suggestions for the future sustainability of the company itself. Finally, the students have the opportunity to present the project’s results. The presentations give the opportunity to the students to further develop their ability to speak in public and to verify their Ability to communicate concisely the results of the work completed as well as the ability to argue and defend one's ideas and conclusions reached.
The assessment method for non-attending students is based on a final exam in written form. It is made up of several multiple-choice questions referring to the concepts, models and cases contained in the textbooks and exam materials. The multiple-choice questions are mainly aimed at verifying learning of the analytical and management abilities and their correct comprehension and to assess the ability to apply the knowledge students learned when studying the course material.
The exam for attending students is based on the course slides as well as articles, case studies, exercises and other sources distributed in class and/or available online and through the Course Reserve. In particular Cases and other resources (with copyrights) can be download from the course Course Reserve The link is communicated before the start of the class. Instructions on how to access Course Reserve can be found at the following link: https://lib.unibocconi.it/screens/boc_HelpMyLibraryBoc.html. The remaining articles (HBR; MIT Sloan and the other academic articles) are available from Business Source Complete as well other databases on the library website: http://lib.unibocconi.it/.
The exam for non-attending students is based on the following textbook:
- M.D. MUMFORD, Handbook of Organizational Creativity, 2011.
- Spare hardcover copies are available through the library system. Discounted electronic copies can be obtained through the Course Reserve service.