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Choreographing innovative practice in everyday work
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6920-0428
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 [en]
innovative competence, Competence development, Innovation, Contemporary dance, Choreography
National Category
Engineering and Technology Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-40211ISBN: 978-91-7485-398-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-40211DiVA, id: diva2:1231748
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
List of papers
1. Is this Choreography?: Choreographing conditions for innovative practice in everyday work
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Is this Choreography?: Choreographing conditions for innovative practice in everyday work
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. 

Keywords
innovative competence, contemporary dance, choreography, undoing everydayness, body, practice
National Category
Humanities and the Arts Other Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-40208 (URN)
Available from: 2018-07-06 Created: 2018-07-06 Last updated: 2018-07-12Bibliographically approved
2. The impact of contemporary dance methods on innovative competence development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The impact of contemporary dance methods on innovative competence development
2018 (English)In: Journal of Business Research, ISSN 0148-2963, E-ISSN 1873-7978, Vol. 85, p. 494-503Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article presents a case of Swedish municipality to demonstrate how principles from contemporary dance and choreography can be used to design and implement long-term artistic interventions on strategic level and enable employees' innovative competence development. The study described is a 2-year participatory action research project with practice-based training for 22 innovation leaders from different parts of organization. The results show that dance-based methods enabled participants to develop different innovative skills and strengthened their innovative competence. Unique contributions of dance methods are highlighted with the focus on providing a more humanistic and bottom-up approach to enabling innovation, balancing external organizational goals with the needs and drives of each individual. Choreographic tools provided an innovative frame of thinking about using body, movement, space and time in new ways in everyday work to enable individuals to feel better, develop their personal innovative practice and create conditions they need to be innovative.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2018
Keywords
Innovative competence, Competence development, Innovation, Contemporary dance, Choreography
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-38984 (URN)10.1016/j.jbusres.2017.10.028 (DOI)000428227100047 ()
Available from: 2018-04-12 Created: 2018-04-12 Last updated: 2018-07-09Bibliographically approved
3. Integrated Model of Innovative Competence
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Integrated Model of Innovative Competence
2017 (English)In: Journal of Creativity and Business Innovation, ISSN 2351-6186, Vol. 3, p. 140-169Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This conceptual article contributes to understanding of individual innovative competence by providing a comprehensive view of the concept, integrating different theories from innovation management into one model and linking it to the theory from studies of competence, where Illeris (2013) competence model is taken as the base. The contribution of this article is to fill the gap in existing innovation management theory where most researchers focus only on specific dimensions of innovative competence. The proposed integrated model of innovative competence was developed based on a systematic literature review, using the ISI Web of Knowledge database for Social Science domain between 1980-2016, and different combinations of words “individual” and “innovation” with terms “competence”, “behavior”, “skill”, “attitude” and “trait”, as search words. It shows how individuals need to combine different knowledge, personality traits, functional and interactive skills to demonstrate innovative behavior in practice. There is a certain ambidexterity or two-sidedness in the elements of innovative competence that enables individual to move between exploration of opportunities and generation of ideas on one hand, and implementation and exploitation of ideas on the other. The model can be used in different ways, both in teaching and in organizations. Teachers can use it as a reflection tool to increase understanding of innovative competence among students, but also as the basis for developing practice-based curriculum for strengthening innovative competence among students. Organizations can use the model both as a support in recruiting innovative talent, assessing and developing innovation as a core competence among employees, and when forming innovative teams. 

Keywords
Innovative competence, innovative behavior, innovation skills, integrated model, systematic literature review
National Category
Social Sciences Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-40209 (URN)
Available from: 2018-07-07 Created: 2018-07-07 Last updated: 2018-07-12Bibliographically approved

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