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6 November 2023 - 6 November 2023

1:30PM - 3:30PM

MHL 427 and Online

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Leadership Seminar Series, Sponsored by the International Centre for Leadership and Followership, Durham University Business School

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Durham University Business School

Are we on the same page? A critical re-appraisal of creativity scholarship’s assumptions with an alternate way forward


“If you’ve truly created an innovative work, it’s likely to alienate as many people as it attracts. If everyone likes it, you probably haven’t gone far enough.”

Rick Rubin producer of Beastie Boys, Geto Boys, Run-DMC, Public Enemy, and LL Cool J.

As Rick Rubin’s quote expresses people don’t always agree on what is creative. Such exemplars sit uncomfortably with the influential consensual paradigm of creativity that appropriate observers offer a consistent and consensual yardstick of what is creative. We critically assess this paradigm. We note modest shared variance across raters, and that depending which rater is used within the same studies differing variables are related to creativity. In turn we explore if creativity is a socially-constructed phenomenon what does that mean for how we study it. From this we offer an agenda that recognizes consensus as only one possible form of social construction. We suggest, for instance, research framing creativity less as a consensual process and more as a contested domain aiming to catalyze and augment research focusing on different lines of inquiry. 

About the Speaker

Giles Hirst is a Professor of Leadership at the Research School of Management, The Australian National University and visiting Fellow Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. Developing creative ideas is one of mankind’s greatest gifts, so Giles’ main interest is helping individuals and leaders unlock their creativity. With a keen interest in building rewarding and inclusive workplaces his research spans creative industries, sciences, precarious work, refugees and socio-technological advances at work. Giles completed his PhD at the Melbourne Business School and is an awarding winning educator. He publishes in The Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Management, The Journal of Applied Psychology where he serves as consulting editor.