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Management and Creativity

Research into the relationship between creativity and management sets out to challenge some of the orthodoxies in management theory and practice, and in creative industries policies. This research is led by Dr Chris Bilton and draws upon his experience of running the Centre's MA in Creative and Media Enterprises.

The Centre's research on management and creativity aims to challenge some of the assumptions surrounding creativity both in cultural policy and in management contexts. The assumption that the cultural sector is badly managed is premised on a characterisation of creative people and processes as individualistic, unpredictable and irrational. Whilst there may be some truth in such a perspective, creative processes can also be collective, deliberate and rational. The belief that creativity is inherently unmanageable contributes to a sometimes crude managerialism in cultural policy interventions in the creative sector, and lies behind a double-edged mix of fear and attraction towards ‘creativity’ in management theory and practice.

Taking as its starting point an analysis of the complexity and diversity of creative processes, Dr Chris Bilton’s research on the relationship between management and creativity aims to challenge the stereotypical separation of ‘creatives’ and ‘suits’. Opposing this ‘genius’ perspective on creativity, he argues that creative thinking depends upon making transitions and connections between seemingly contradictory frames of reference, thinking styles and collaborative contexts. This approach to creativity can be observed both in the creative industries and in mainstream management. In Dr Bilton’s book Management and Creativity (Blackwells 2006) perspectives on creativity are applied to aspects of management, from organisational structure and strategy to marketing and organisational change, as well as to cultural policy on the creative industries.

In 2010 the connections between creativity and management were further explored from the perspective of business management in Creative Strategy: reconnecting business and innovation (Wiley). The book, co-authored by Chris Bilton and Stephen Cummings, sets out to uncover the connections between creative processes and strategy, drawing on cases and models from the arts, creative industries, sports and traditional business. The book is structured around the four elements which drive successful strategy: innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and organisation.

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Bilton, C. (2007) Management and Creativity: from the creative industries to creative management (Blackwells)

Bilton, C and Cummings, S (2010) Creative Strategy: reconnecting business and innovation (Wiley)

Bilton, C and Cummings, W. ed. (2014) Handbook of Management and Creativity (Edward Elgar - forthcoming January 2014)

Articles and book chapters

Bilton, C and Leary, R. ‘What Can Managers Do For Creativity? Brokering Creativity in the Creative Industries’, International Journal of Cultural Policy 8.1 (2002), pp. 49 - 64

Bilton, C, Wilson, D and Cummings, S (2003). ‘Strategy as Creativity’ in Images of Strategy, ed. David Wilson and Stephen Cummings (Blackwells), pp. 197 – 227

Bilton, C. (2009) ‘Relocating Creativity in Advertising: From Creativity versus Strategy, to Creative Strategy, and Strategic Creativity?’ in A. Pratt and P Jeffcutt (eds.) Creativity, Innovation and the Cultural Economy, London, Routledge, pp. 23 – 40

Bilton, C. (2010). 'Managing the Creative Industries: from content to context' in M. Deuze, Managing Media Work (Sage)

Bilton, C. (2010) ‘Manageable Creativity’. International Journal of Cultural Policy – Special Issue on ‘Creativity and Cultural Policy’ ed. C. Bilton, Vol. 16 no. 3 (July 2010), pp. 255 - 269

Selected Presentations

‘Management in the creative industries’ - ESRC / AHRC Creative Industries Seminar series Management of Culture / Culture of Management, University of Warwick June 2006

‘Rethinking Management’ - WBS Executive Programme Lead To Differ, Warwick Business Schoool April 2007

‘Creative Management: from individual talent to collective process’ - Creative Industries Workshop, Creative Industries Observatory, Copenhagen May 2007

Master class on innovation and organizational change for the Roads Academy (Warwick Business School, November 2011)

Presentation on leadership and innovation for the Highways Agency (London, May 2012)