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First Page

108

Last Page

111

Abstract

In August 2014 we ran a stream on The Disruptive Potential of Arts Based Approaches at the Art of Management and Organisation Conference held at Copenhagen Business School. We were curious about trends in organization studies literature that are encouraging a search for new and innovative modes of inquiry questioning “assumed certainties” and disrupting predominant narratives (Dey and Steyaert, 2007: 443). Linked to this, we have noticed increasing recognition of the need to find new ways to address demands for flexible responses, innovation and knowledge creation in times of unpredictability and instability with calls to the organizational and management studies community to take inspiration from the arts. Nancy Adler (2006), for example, argues that new ways of seeing are necessary to understand the actual “realities” of the world we live in, and not to mistake them for seeing things as they are labelled. She suggests that people have to be able to dream, to envision possibilities, quoting Hamel who says: “Companies fail to create the future, not because they fail to predict it, but because they fail to imagine it.” (Hamel, 2000: 120). Arguing that such methods offer a fundamentally different way of approaching the world, Taylor and Ladkin (2009) suggest that arts based methods enable us to access and develop different ways of sensual knowing which can “contribute to a more holistic way of engaging with managerial contexts” (2009: 56). Taking inspiration from these approaches our own research invited participants to engage in a variety of arts informed approaches designed to stimulate imagination and intuition to disrupt predominant managerial discourses and thinking towards diversity management. By opening spaces to access tacit knowledge, imagination and dream participants were able to re-engage with their experiences of diversity and apply them to re-energise their practice (Page, Grisoni and Turner 2014).

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