Playing to His Strengths: A Case Study of Artist Entrepreneur Thomas Dambo

Angela Del Monte

Student thesis: Master thesis


Businesses today are constantly seeking ways to use resources more efficiently, innovate, and grow. To do this, they increasingly look to the arts to see how adding artistic elements as part of everyday practice can transform the workplace and stimulate creativity. Most however, find it difficult to balance creativity with organizational realities as managerial practices prioritize predictability and control. As organizational research continues to look to the arts and to the field of entrepreneurship for successful examples of innovation, and entrepreneurship studies can be furthered by looking at unique examples in the form of cases, this thesis will explore the Artist Entrepreneur using the case study of Danish recycling sculpture artist Thomas Dambo. This thesis aims to answer two research questions: 1. What does the creative process of the Artist Entrepreneur involve? 2. What role does storytelling play for the Artist Entrepreneur? To answer these research questions, qualitative primary research in the form of interviews with Thomas Dambo and his staff were conducted, along with observations in his workshop, and a review of online interviews, videos and social media. The findings of this thesis suggest that in the case of Danish sculpture Artist Thomas Dambo, the Artist Entrepreneur uses the creative processes of effectuation, bricolage, and embodied intuition to effectively utilize resources at hand, maintain flexibility, and be open to inspiration. It demonstrates that underpinning Thomas’ creative work, is storytelling, a practice central to our human nature and critical to the Artist Entrepreneur to describe his entrepreneurial journey, establish identity and legitimacy as an artist, and to act as a bridge enabling him to extend his vision, promote his work, connect on an emotional level, and to frame, legitimize, and rationalize potential opportunities.

EducationsMSocSc in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages100
SupervisorsChristian De Cock