Entrepreneurship, creativity, power: an ethnographic study of a creative space
AffiliationManagement and Marketing
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusThis item is embargoed and will be available on 2021-01-31.
© 2018 Dr. Paul Finn
Entrepreneurial thinking and behaviour in organisations are increasingly being encouraged as a creative response to demanding and competitive work environments. This has led to calls for researchers to widen the conceptual and empirical lens of entrepreneurship research and investigate the conditions in which organisational creativity can flourish. One way to do so is to regard entrepreneurship as a form of organisation-creation, whereby attention shifts from the lone individual with a ‘bright idea’ to organising for creative acts to happen by bringing together a variety of bodies, objects and spaces in different ways. Such creative acts may, in turn, be harnessed via other forms of organising and become innovations or solutions to various organisational, social and market-based problems. However, questions remain regarding how different elements of the creative process come together and what happens in this coming together. Likewise, the role of power in organising for such interrelations to happen -- and to be harnessed -- is unclear. I explore these issues through an ethnographic study of Science Gallery, an outreach initiative of Trinity College in Dublin that combines art and science to stimulate creativity and entrepreneurship. Science Gallery seeks to ‘ignite creativity and discovery’ around scientific, technical and social issues by encouraging interactions between scientists, artists, businesses and the local community. Its activities are expressed both materially and spatially through exhibitions, ‘live’ laboratories, workshops, and related events involving a changing programme of interactive installations based on particular themes. Science Gallery, then, can be regarded as a space that entrepreneurially organises for creativity to occur, by involving a variety of bodies and objects in different ways to allow for creativity to emerge and be subsequently steered, for the purported benefit of multiple parties. My findings show how creativity is both a situated practice and a performative act, enacted through the interaction of bodies, objects and spaces. I show that it is at the point where such bodies, objects and spaces intersect that their mutually-exclusive categories are broken down and overlap with each other, thereby allowing for new relations or connections to be established between such entities and other bodies, objects and spaces. These new relations and connections form creative capacities -- the potential for new ways of thinking and acting. I also show how, despite the indeterminacy of such interactions, the creative potential of this context is nonetheless ordered and organised to produce a particular ‘brand’ of creativity that is specifically identified with Science Gallery. My work makes a number of theoretical, practical and methodological contributions to the study of organisational creativity.
Keywordscreativity; power; organisation; entrepreneurship
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