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The beauty and the beast – on the creativity/project management encounter

Rolf A. Lundin (Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, Sweden)

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business

ISSN: 1753-8378

Article publication date: 4 April 2008




The purpose of this paper is to focus on the creativity/project management (PM) encounter in TV production.


The paper is prompted by several questions. Does the project work form constitute a threat to creativity, inventiveness or innovation in problem solving? Is it also indirectly a threat to development? Is PM the beast killing off much of the creativity, the beauty that exists in the world? Is it the other way around? Or what is the character of the encounter? Is there even an encounter? An ongoing study of TV production companies provides empirical illustrations to our reasoning.


First, the PM focus on time performance in TV production can trigger innovative and creative responses to challenging targets because deadlines are good inspirations for creativity when time has to be compressed. Second, developing formats for TV production programs and series requires different PM creativity skills. Third, strategic development might be helped by a more strictly formulated PM procedure in order to activate attention to strategic issues in the turbulent industry.


It is rare to obtain deep insights of the lived experience of PM in the TV industry in general and more recently evolving TV cases such as in Sweden. This case study adds to our knowledge base in a PM sector viewing itself as highly creative. It also introduces readers to the idea of developing TV formats as a project product and contrasts creativity in design or TV shows with creativity in producing them. Considering the ongoing “projectification” and the commonly held views on the needs for creativity in project work, the questions are more than relevant and need to be explored further and beyond mere lip service.



Lundin, R.A. (2008), "The beauty and the beast – on the creativity/project management encounter", International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 206-215.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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