Leadership and Collektive Genius: A study Across Companies within the Creative Industry

Line Gernes Steffensen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to investigate whether companies in the creative industry can construct a creative and innovative work environment by the use of leadership that focuses on incorporating all organizational members in the process opposed to the traditional notion of leadership where the focus is on the leader as the visionary and the goal-­‐setter. The rationale behind this research is that what is usually known as a good leader is not necessarily the same as leading for innovation, and this research is based on the premise that one will get superior outcomes by gaining insights from multiple slices of genius and combining them into a collective genius rather than relying on “the lone inventor” that often have been the image of the leader in the past. In order to investigate whether signs of leadership that focuses on a collective genius were found in the creative industry, the communication house Media Bergen were contacted due to their business relying heavily on their ability to provide creative and innovative outcomes. The qualitative study focused on 4 companies within the organization: NOR PR, COX, Keyteq and Oktan-­‐Orangeriet, as well as the holding company Media Bergen. The data was collected from interviews with the CEO of Media Bergen as well as five top managers within the 4 other companies. The interviews were transcribed, thereafter analyzed by the help of codes and categorization, and then discussed through the lens of relevant literature on the field of collective genius, leadership and motivation theories. The main finding of the study was that the leaders within Media Bergen focused on creating communities where the organizational members are encouraged to provide their opinions in an ongoing discussion of how they should solve projects. These leaders thus relaxed the notion of hierarchy usually found within companies as everyone were encouraged to participate in both leader and follower activities as they believed that a focus on collective genius was essential for innovation. The findings that emerged from the research imply that it is necessary to ease up the notions of leadership as a person, and rather think of it as a process where multiple actors are involved. By incorporating the knowledge and insights from all organizational members, companies can bring cutting-­‐edge innovations to the table.

EducationsMSocSc in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2015
Number of pages71