Artistic Interventions in Organizations: How Organizations can Integrate Artistic Processes and Aesthetic Intelligence, to Spark Creativity, Develop Cross-Disciplinary Collaborations and Innovate Value Creation Leading to Strategic Transformation

Ellen Marie Sønderris Pedersen, Marie Luja Rasmussen & Kathrin Appelhoff

Student thesis: Master thesis


Creativity and innovation are key concepts for organizations to be successful in the business landscape of the 21st century in which managers must deal with a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment. Artistic interventions, in which an artist facilitates an artistic process in an organization, are a way to deal with these circumstances. Artistic processes lead to artful ways of working, such as being open to uncertainty as well as embracing failure. However, these interventions are not well known and if used, they are often not fully integrated and thus the effects do not unfold their full potential. Hence, the purpose of this thesis is to investigate how to integrate artistic processes in organizational practices for organizational development and value creation. The main findings are that the creative logic cannot simply be transferred into the economic logic of organizations and that stakeholders, such as intermediaries, artists, managers and employees, need to use their overlapping roles in order to create interspaces for the artistic process. The managers’ primary role is to create support around the artistic intervention, whereas the artist needs to provide transparency. Intermediaries function as process managers throughout direct and/or indirect facilitation but the role can sometimes also be taken up by artists. In general, an artistic intervention unfolds itself in three steps which are the problem identification, aesthetic experience and reflection, where stakeholders must actively deal with challenges such as the lack of education, the dilemma of evaluation, the rigid organizational structure, involvement of third parties and successful integration. Whether or not these challenges can be tackled successfully, is dependent on time and space given to the intervention to ensure reflections and learnings. This thesis provides five recommendations on how to bridge between the economic and the creative logic. In conclusion, it has been possible to present the strategic objectives and benefits on the organizational level but also that, for organizations to get there, organizational members need to be influenced at the (inter-)personal levels in order to create spillover effects. Therefore, artistic interventions are highly useful for organizations’ strategic development, to be successful in the VUCA environment and to foster societal reinvention.

EducationsMSocSc in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages168
SupervisorsChristian De Cock