Creative management of creative management : a critical systems approach
This thesis draws on current research from the systems world - that of Critical Systems Thinking - in such a way as to bring the study of creativity into a new era. Recognising a novel link between these two major fields of activity has enabled a new form of creativity to be both developed and operationalised; that is, a form of creativity which can claim to have a sound theoretical base and to be practically useful. 'Critical creativity' is put forward as a form of creativity which is worthy of pursuit today. Based on similar philosophical foundations to those of CST, critical creativity is underpinned by four main principles - a systemic principle and principles founded on participation, reflection and human needs. While it is appreciated that some creative problem solving approaches, (Ackoff's 'idealized design' and Morgan's Imaginization', for instance) implicitly rely on critical creativity, this is not sufficient for the practising manager. Only the explicit incorporation of critical creativity will ensure that creative approaches are used appropriately in each context. Total Systems Intervention (TSI) is shown to provide an overarching framework which integrates all creativity centred approaches in a critical manner; a metamethodology which promotes the practice of critical creativity. TSI is therefore capable of guiding managers to 'successful' choices and implementations during creative problem solving. A comparison of two case studies - one in which creativity per se was practised, and another in which critical creativity was strived for - emphasises the benefits of explicitly pursuing the latter form. Associated difficulties from accepting the guidance offered by TSI are explored, and subsequent realisations are used to enrich the 'theory-practice' cyclic process of critical creativity. Such guidance is not intended to be sterile and staid: indeed, this guidance will, itself, incorporate creativity. It is concluded that TSI provides a framework for the 'creative management of creative management'.