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The Discipline of Creativity: Exploring the Paradox
Workshop 4 on Creativity and Creative Industries: "This Motley Crew": Managing "Creatives" and the Creative Unit

Glasgow, February 2007

Notification of Workshop and Call for Papers

The Institute for Capitalising on Creativity has been awarded an AHRC
grant for a series of workshops on the Nature of Creativity and the
Management and Organisation of Creative Industries. The workshop series,
entitled The Discipline of Creativity: Exploring the Paradox, was one of
13 awarded under a competitive scheme run by the Arts and Humanities
Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Department
of Trade and Industry and the Arts Council (England). A series of five one
day workshops will explore the interplay of discipline and creativity that
characterise the creative industries. The 2006 workshops will take place
at the Management School at St Andrews University. The 2007 workshops will
take place at the Royal Academy of Music and Drama, Duncan of Jordanstone
College of Art & Design and the University of Abertay Dundee.

Creative industries pose distinct managerial and organisational challenges
revolving around five different elements or characteristics: (a) the
inherent unknowability of the outcome and success of creative endeavour
(the nobody knows property); (b) the intrinsic motivation beyond economic
concerns (art for arts sake property); (c) the range of factors that
sustain appreciation of creative work (infinite variety property); (d) the
reliance on the skills of a number of talented individuals for creative
production (motley crew property); (e) and the importance both of complex
temporal coordination, timeliness, and the often limited durability of
creative products (time flies and ars longa properties).

Participants are invited from faculty and PhD.s from all Higher Education
Institutions with an interest in the creative industries, across all
spheres, including architecture, advertising, arts and cultural
industries, design, crafts, film, computer games, multimedia, music, new
media, publishing, radio, and television.

The workshops are designed to explore practical, conceptual and
theoretical issues in relation to these themes, bringing together people
working in a number of different disciplinary areas in order to examine
areas of mutual interest and potential overlap. The objective of these
research workshops is to help build a critical mass of researchers in
Scotland who have an interest in the creative industries, bringing
together researchers from a variety of different disciplinary backgrounds
to explore areas of similarity and difference in understanding the
dimensions of creativity and the factors that facilitate it.

The workshops to be held through the coming academic year will focus on
these five themes:

27 October 2006: "Inherent unknowability": recognizing creativity and
successful endeavour.

What is the nature of creativity and how is it identified and understood
within different disciplinary and creative areas and are there points of
complementarity and overlap? This touches upon the nature of academic
disciplinary boundaries and whether there aren.t more similarities
between, for example, the arts and management than is traditionally
supposed. Other strands of the debate focus around whether creativity is a
unitary concept, and whether there are different types of creativity
according to different endeavours. Questions examine the degree of
individuality involved in a creative process or the extent to which it is
a collective endeavour that favours a more ecological account. 

1 December 2006: "Art for arts sake?": responses to commercialization.

Why is there an emphasis on creativity at this particular time? To what
extent is this a reflection of changing economic conditions and is this
the case for all the creative disciplines? How do current socio-economic
conditions impinge on disciplines and with what effects? To what extent
are, and how do, the pressures for commercialization of content impact on
the creative process? How is the balance between the two demands managed? 

21 February 2007: "Infinite variety": variety in creative production, the
role of audience responses and the possibilities of standardization.

An audience has to be taught, or must learn, what to appreciate in
responding to an artistic creation or being associated with a particular
design or brand. This involves the production of a particular identity,
which functions in the response to, or appreciation of, the creative
product. How does identity link to the risks attached to creative products
and strategies of risk allocation or sharing that are such an important
element of the management of creative industry ventures? What are the
mechanisms whereby the infinite variety of responses can be managed? How
are audiences educated into a range of responses? Equally for those who
are creative what are the links between creativity and identity? How does
being creative and appreciating creative endeavours construct a sense of
identity and with what effect?

21 March 2007: "This motley crew": managing "creatives" and the creative

How is the creative process and how are creative individuals managed? This
involves an exploration of how the discipline of production and the work
context required for the successful coordination of activity impinge on
the creative process, the organization of creative work and creative
talent. How does creativity relate to the demands of production and
productivity, and concerns with efficiency and control? What are the
constraints on the passion and imagination that creative work warrants and
what are the compromises that are forced on these and with what effects by
commercial demands? Equally what are the processes that encourage
experimentation and creativity?

2 May 2007: "Ars longa": establishing value.

What are the processes of exchange and evaluation, i.e., how does
creativity become recognised and rewarded as such? And what are the
impacts of these processes on the creative endeavour? Any evaluation
system requires a standard or discipline from which to assess something as
being creative and .worthy. or not. In business the evaluation mechanism
is achieved through the market: a product sells or not. While this is also
true of the creative industries, to what extent does evaluation in the
arts generally rely on more elaborate mechanisms and social networks that
bestow worth and then how is this used for the creation of economic value.
How successful are the signals that are used with which to predict
indicators of success, i.e., that act as proxies for the market?

Application Process and Call for Papers

As numbers are limited, those interested in attending the workshops are
asked to complete the application form and return it by 16 October 2006.
Those interested in presenting papers are asked to submit an abstract of
maximum 1000 words outlining their research and stating at which workshop
they wish to present their paper, by 16 October 2006 for the October and
December workshops and by the 2 February 2007 for the February, March and
May workshops. Full papers will need to be received by the date of the
workshop. It is intended that suitable papers will be published in an
edited collection. A number of journals are also being approached about a
special issue.

There may be limited funding available to assist PhD students with travel

Applications/abstracts/full papers should be submitted by post or email to
the following address:-

Barbara Porter 
Institute for Capitalising on Creativity 
University of St Andrews, The Gateway, North Haugh, St Andrews, Fife, KY16
9SS, Scotland 
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