I’m pleased to announce my book chapter ‘Embedding an Everyday Culture of Creativity: Making Creativity Work in a University Context’ has just been published. It’s a contribution to the book The Palgrave Handbook of Creativity at Work.
The chapter explores the challenges of nurturing and maintaining creativity in the increasingly neoliberal world of UK higher education. It draws on empirical research through a case study at a London-based university. We found that freedom, trust/permission, risk-taking, and communication are the key factors that influence creativity in a work environment.
The full abstract:
Universities are often thought of as creative institutions that promote idea generation, learning, and new and valuable thinking. However, the dominant mode of neoliberal economic rationality in the UK, with its increasing emphasis on student numbers, league tables, assessment, and performance, casts such perceived wisdom in doubt. Against this backdrop, in this chapter, we report on an “innovation project” that was undertaken during 2015–2016 within a UK-based university, which had the aim of embedding a sustainable “everyday culture of creativity” through trialling a programme of creative interventions. Our findings explore challenges encountered, including the dilemma of fostering creativity while not allowing it to become instrumentalized for goal-driven purposes. We highlight the significance of freedom, trust/permission, risk-taking, and communication as creativity enablers. The chapter concludes with key recommendations for “making creativity work” in a university setting.