Managing in the creative economy: A Daoist perspective

Nikolaj Madsen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Creative organisations differ from other organisations in many respects. Conventional management tools often prove limited in their applicability in the creative business context. Furthermore, there is a greater emphasis on non‐rational aspects, such as faith, energy and emotion in creative firms. Traditionally, managers have been educated to control business processes with a toolbox of rational planning tools. This has enabled them to lead companies, often with successful results. However, there seems to be a conflict between the traditional management approach and the art of leading in the “chaos” of the creative economy firm. Often, rational management toolboxes do not suffice, when it comes to understanding and leading in the different world of the creative economy. Managers of creative processes often fall short of understanding and leading the creative firm, as they mistake the creative processes with conventional, rationally led business processes. Analysis, planning, control and other traditional management tools do not seem to suffice. Daoism is an old Chinese philosophical system that offers helpful concepts and perspectives for managers in the creative business sector. The philosophy of Daoism emphasises non‐rational, holistic leadership qualities that can provide managers of creative firms with new perspectives to inform their understanding and management of the creative company. Thus, the present paper is an exploratory study into Daoism and the relevance it can hold for people managing in the creative business context. The research comprises ten in‐depth interviews with people managing in the creative economy and a literature study of Daoism and the creative organisation.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2010
Number of pages178