MBA 2414 Idea Work and organizational creativity

Responsible for the course
Arne Carlsen

Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

This is a course about how to manage idea work and organizational creativity to achieve excellence in change, innovation and development projects in organizations.

We start from three premises: 1) that creativity is important in all industries and organizations, 2) that creativity can be thought of as practices for generating, shaping, communicating, and handling ideas – idea work, and 3) that the such practices are collective as much as individual and can be systematically improved.

The course offers students novel and tested hands-on practices for managing idea work and organizational creativity. Students will learn from discussion of rich international cases from practice leaders, from new theory as well as joint work on real cases and a series of practical games and tools. You will be challenged to discover and cultivate those creative practices in which you yourself can thrive, manage at your best and be valuable to others.

Learning outcome
Three types of learning outcomes are sought:

a. Knowledge: Students will acquire solid research based knowledge on how to manage idea work in organizations with insights of key concepts, approaches, theoretical roots and rich examples of practice.

b. Skills: Students will acquire capabilities to manage organizational creativity through practical experiences with a range of tools for prepping, visualization of ideas, prototyping, prioritizing, generative resistance and making physical space for creative collaboration

c. Attitudes: Participants will engage in discussion of basic attitudes and virtues that are central in managing creativity. Key words here are initiative, action capability, openness, other-orientation, long terms views, tolerance for failure and holistic understanding.

Bachelor degree or equivalent, 4 years work experience, managerial experience and good written and oral knowledge of the English language. Please confirm our Student regulations.

Compulsory reading
Carlsen, A., Clegg, S. and Gjersvik, R. 2012. Idea Work. Lessons of the Extraordinary in Everyday Creativity. Oslo: Cappelen Damm
Kelley, T. and Kelley, D. 2013. Creative confidence. Unleashing the creative potential within us all. London: Willam Collins.

A selection of four cases and four papers will be made available online
Games and other tools will be introduced in class

Recommended reading

Course outline
The course is set to run for four days. The pedagogy is highly participant oriented, and each day will have an integrative mix of i) case discussion, ii) work on real life challenges, iii) lectures and iv) games and exercises

Day 1, Thursday August 14. Introducing and preparing for idea work: What is idea work and organizational creativity? How do we manage it? Practices for prepping and zooming out. Games for opening. Case: Southwest Airlines in a different world.

Day 2, Friday August 15. Getting physical with idea work: Practices for getting physical and double rapid prototyping. Games for visualizing, exploring and selecting. Case: Design thinking and innovation at Apple.

Day 3, Saturday August 16. Motivating creativity: Practices for activating drama and daring to imagine. Games for launching and imagining. Case: Managing creativity at Shanghai Tang.

Day 4, Sunday August 17: Handling controversy in idea work: Practices for generative resistance and punk production. Games for playing and closing. Case: Rob Parsons at Morgan Stanley.

Computer-based tools

Learning process and workload
The course is conducted as a teaching module, where students have classes all day for four subsequent days, a total of 32 hours.

The evaluation will be based on continous assessment:
The students are evaluated through an individual written assignment weighing 40%, presentations from group work on real cases weighing 40% and individual participation weighing 20%.

Examination code(s)
MBA 24141 - Continous assessment; accounts for 100% to pass the program MBA 2414; 5 credits.
The course is part of a full MBA and all evaluations must be passed in order to obtain a certificate for the degree.

Examination support materials
All aids permitted

Re-sit examination
Re-takes are only possible at the next time a course will be held. When course evaluation consists of class participation or continuous assessment, the whole course must be re-evaluated when a student wants to retake a exam. Retake examinations entail an extra examination fee.

Additional information