Management Education and Creativity

Management Education and Creativity

Ziska Fields (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) and Sulaiman Olusegun Atiku (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1019-2.ch002


The traditional education system is no longer sufficient to educate and prepare the next generation of global leaders. The gap between what management students learn and the skills they need to manage organisations is growing. Creativity is seen as a critical competency for the 21st century manager. The main objective of this chapter is to explore how creativity, as a managerial competency, can be developed through management education to meet the global leadership needs of the 21st century. This will require a paradigm shift; developing curricula and teaching for creativity. Teaching for creativity can be divided into three main steps: planning and preparation; measuring creativity and making amendments; and delivering the lecture. Various insights, principles, tools, steps, and learning strategies were identified to teach creativity. Creativity tests that can be used to measure the creativity levels of management students were also indicated.
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A management revolution has started. Gary Hamel (2009) declares that “tomorrow’s business imperatives lie outside the performance envelope of today’s bureaucracy-infused management practices … Equipping organizations to tackle the future would require a management revolution no less momentous than the one that spawned modern industry” (cited in Denning, 2013, p. 1). In addition, Kinsinger (n.d., p. 1) states that many organisations and managers are struggling to cope in the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous global business environment to which he refers as the VUCA world where

… volatility refers to the nature, speed, volume, magnitude, and dynamics of change; uncertainty refers to the lack of predictability of issues and events; complexity refers to the confounding of issues and the chaos that surrounds any organization; and ambiguity refers to the haziness of reality and the mixed meanings of conditions.

This VUCA world demands a paradigm shift in management education. Management education globally has been challenged to rethink the fundamental purpose of training managers to operate within the 21th century (UNPRME, n.d.). It is suggested that management education must be aligned to the management and organizational needs of the 21st century, and develop future managerial skills, character qualities and competencies (World Economic Forum, 2016) to ensure that managers are custodians of and in service to society (UNPRME, n.d.).

Such an approach is easier said than done, because it will require a total transformation of the traditional educational system globally. The type of manager needed in the future will need to be educated from primary to higher educational levels to think and behave differently. In 1997, the White Paper Excellence in Schools (cited in Gillard, 2013) was published by the British Government. It argues that a national strategy for creative and cultural education is essential in preparing for the 21st century, in addition to raising the standards of literacy and numeracy. Creative education refers to the development of students’ capacity for original ideas and action; and cultural education refers to education that enables students to engage positively with the growing complexity and diversity of social values and ways of life (NACCCE report, n.d., p. 5). This proposed national strategy in Britain has significant implications for teaching and assessment, the school curriculum, partnerships between schools, industries and societies across the world, and teaching global leadership creativity beyond the borders of the United Kingdom.

The main objective of this chapter is to explore how creativity, as a managerial competency, can be developed through management education to meet the global leadership needs of the 21st century. The secondary objectives are to:

  • 1.

    Review the current traditional educational system and its impact on management education;

  • 2.

    Explain the rationale behind refocusing the current management education system to incorporate creativity;

  • 3.

    Explain creativity as a phenomenon and identify ways to develop creativity through management education following a three-step process; and

  • 4.

    Make recommendations to assist management institutions and educators in focusing on creativity in management education.

The chapter starts off by providing the background of the traditional educational system and its impact on preparing people for the 21st century. This provides the basis for identifying the need to refocus the current management education system and the need for teaching creativity specifically. Three main steps are then proposed to develop creativity through management education.

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