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Is this Choreography?: Choreographing conditions for innovative practice in everyday work
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. RISE SICS Västerås.
2018 (English)In: Organisational Aesthetics, ISSN 2168-8575, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 24-45Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article introduces some of the concepts from experimental contemporary dance and choreography, such as “body and materiality”, the “method of practice”, and “undoing everydayness”, that have not been addressed much in the “dance and organization” theory. It expands the application of dance methods from the predominant field of leadership practice towards the innovation management and development of innovative competence of employees in organizations. The concept of “body and materiality” suggests that employees could focus more on engaging the body and materiality when innovating in order to balance the external drivers of innovation (such as market trends, user needs, and increase of shareholder value) with their own needs, desires and well-being, but also to make use of the vast possibilities of embodied knowledge that is often excluded from innovation processes. The “method of practice” proposes to give more attention to the process rather than just the performance or result of innovating, using methods, such as “doing less” to create more time to reflect, finding “meaningful questions” to innovate around, and using “improvisation” as a method to develop new ideas through the practice of spontaneous experimentation. It shifts the idea from using innovative competence to perform a desired effect through prescribed top-down innovation projects towards developing innovative practice through durational bottom-up exploration. “Undoing everydayness” hints that innovation can come closer to everyday work routines of all employees, by challenging existing norms and combining critical thinking with exploration of potentiality in everyday work. Concrete examples of activities through which these concepts were materialized in a choreographic intervention at the Art of Management conference 2016 are described and their potential to be applied in organizations discussed. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 7, no 1, p. 24-45
Keywords [en]
innovative competence, contemporary dance, choreography, undoing everydayness, body, practice
National Category
Humanities and the Arts Other Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-40208OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-40208DiVA, id: diva2:1231523
Available from: 2018-07-06 Created: 2018-07-06 Last updated: 2018-07-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Choreographing innovative practice in everyday work
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Choreographing innovative practice in everyday work
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thesis argues for a humanistic and democratic approach to innovation management that puts employees and their engagement in the center of organizational efforts for innovation. It proposes that a culture for innovation can be built by enabling all employees to develop their innovative practice as part of their everyday work and not as an extra activity on top of their existing responsibilities. The aim of this approach to innovation is to build more human-centered organizations that help employees improve their own motivation, creativity, well-being, and self-fulfillment at work. This presupposes that they need to be able to connect with their body, feelings, fantasy, intuition, and will, and to be able to innovate more from within, balancing external expectations from management and users with their own personal needs. Since there is a lack of discussing embodied aspects of knowledge and learning in connection to innovative competence in the current innovation management literature, knowledge and methods from contemporary dance and choreography are explored to support a more holistic approach to innovative competence development. Based on integrating research from both innovation management and contemporary dance fields, a model of innovative practice in everyday work is developed. The model suggests what kind of skills and activities can enable employees develop their personal innovative practice that is adjusted to their work context and their specific needs. It is proposed that as employees practice innovating in everyday work, they will slowly move from innovating incrementally towards developing the competence for more radical innovation. Different practical tools and exercises for enabling innovative competence development that were inspired by choreographic practices, and adjusted and tested in organizational context are described. Ideas around how contemporary dance and choreography can be used to design and implement long-term art-based interventions in organizations that can create value on strategic level are proposed.  The research approach used in the thesis is participatory action research done by several iterative cycles between practice and theory. Two empirical and two theoretical studies that were part of the research process are presented. The empirical studies were implemented in the Eskilstuna municipality and at the Art of Management and Organization conference. The theoretical studies were performed in the fields of innovative competence and contemporary dance and choreography. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Eskilstuna: Mälardalen University Press, 2018
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 271
Keywords
innovative competence, Competence development, Innovation, Contemporary dance, Choreography
National Category
Engineering and Technology Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-40211 (URN)978-91-7485-398-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-10-22, Filen, IDT, Smedjegatan 37, Eskilstuna, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-07-09 Created: 2018-07-09 Last updated: 2018-07-09Bibliographically approved

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