Managing creativity and innovation: the challenge for cultural entrepreneurs

Wilson, Nicholas C. and Stokes, David (2005) Managing creativity and innovation: the challenge for cultural entrepreneurs. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 12(3), pp. 366-378. ISSN (print) 1462-6004


Purpose To distinguish managing creativity from managing innovation and highlight the importance for cultural entrepreneurs of recognising the differences between the two. Design / methodology / approach Based on Government-sponsored research project looking at access to finance in the UK music industry. Interviews were carried out with cultural entrepreneurs, finance providers and industry experts. A conceptual model of work and creative production put forward by Leadbeater and Oakley (1999) is used as a foundation for analysis. Findings Highlight the importance of recognising the differences between managing creativity and innovation, and call for effective management of them both, through developing business communication skills, external focus and promotional strategies. The different nature and role of collective activities associated with promoting creativity and innovation are highlighted. Research limitations / implications The findings are generalised across other ‘creative industry’ businesses, but the empirical research is based only on the music industry. Practical implications Practical steps can be taken to increase the success of small creative businesses in managing both the generation of new ideas (creativity) and the successful exploitation of those new ideas (innovation). Formal education courses have an important role in encouraging creativity and flair alongside the acquisition of core business skills necessary for innovation. Originality / value This paper makes an important contribution in separating creativity and innovation – concepts that are too often used interchangeably. It is argued that this analytical separation will help practitioners and researchers gain a better understanding of the management behaviours required to foster both successfully.

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