What are the learning styles of "creatives" & "suits"? An exploratory research study challenging the opposition between the archetypal "creative genius" and the "bureaucratic manager"

Anya Tonn

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


This exploratory study pioneeres the investigation of: The learning styles of creatives and suits. By linking creative industries research with the theory of mental self-government, the thesis opens up a new analytical perspective on the assumed inevitable conflict between creatives and suits – creative artists and profit-oriented managers. Creatives are defined as people working within creative industries with creative job content, and suits are defined as people working within creative industries with humdrum job content. In educational research, learning styles have been used as a tool to make teachers more understanding of and better at reaching students with different preferences for perceiving and processing information. Learning styles could potentially be used as a tool in creative industries to reduce interpersonal conflict between creatives and suits. However, given lack of prior research on the topic, the learning styles of creatives and suits must first be discerned. 21 employees at film production company Copenhagen Bombay and media company Wulffmorgenthaler responded to the Danish Self-Assessment Learning Styles Inventory (DSA- LSI) and a background survey on demographic information. Given the small sample size, only one statistically significant finding was obtained. Creatives were found to favour the monarchic learning style (focus on single task) significantly more than suits. However, the creatives only displayed a mean medium strong preference for the style, indicating it is not a preferred learning style. Based on the analysis, 11 bold hypotheses were generated, and can function as starting points for future research. Comparing the learning styles of the creatives in the sample with results obtained in literature on the creative personality point to the existence of sub-categories of creatives, thus challenging the assumption of unitary creative and suits groups within creative industries theory. Lack of distinct differences between the learning styles of creatives and suits, and socialisation of styles can indicate that creatives’ and suits’ preferences for perceiving, and handling problems/ tasks/ situations are not as different as indicated by creative industries literature. Finally, it is concluded that according to learning styles conflict between creatives and suits is not inevitable, suggesting artistic and managerial processes can be complementary rather than antagonistic. Given the inconclusiveness of the pilot study, future research with larger samples is necessary if the learning styles of creatives and suits are to be discerned. In this endeavour, the methodology developed in the present study can be utilised and replicated.

UddannelserCand.soc.cbp Management of Creative Business Processes , (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
Antal sider97