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Fostering creativity understanding: Case study of an exercise designed for a large undergraduate business cohort at EDHEC Business School

Véronique Boulocher-Passet (Business School, University of Brighton, Brighton, United Kingdom)
Peter Daly (Business Communication and Language Studies, EDHEC Business School, Lille, France)
Isabelle Sequeira (Department of Culture and Society, EDHEC Business School, Lille, France)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 13 June 2016




The purpose of this paper is to encourage initiatives to train large cohorts of undergraduate students for creativity understanding. The authors describe a case study of a creativity exercise developed within a corporate setting that accommodates a large cohort and discuss the results of empirical research on this teaching experience at a French Business School. The authors reflect on the transferability of this exercise by other educators to similar educational contexts and the usefulness of training future managers to a structured creativity methodology to be exploited in the workplace.


A case study explains the features of the exercise. Hard data on students’ perceptions and motivation/satisfaction prior to and after the creativity exercise was collected through an internet self-completed survey instrument. In total, 245 pairs of survey responses from first-year students were analysed using prototypical analysis, paired samples t-test and content analysis.


The exercise proved an effective tool to help large cohorts of undergraduates to better understand that creativity is a managerial competence that can be trained. The authors particularly underlined the need for fluidity in the organisation of the exercise; use of a clear creativity process and methodology; the necessity to involve an external creativity consultant; and the importance of the chosen topic being non art related. In the workplace, this understanding of creativity methodologies will enable future managers to support, promote and manage creativity endeavours.


This paper encourages initiatives and provides insights into the difficulties of training large cohorts of undergraduate students for understanding the concept of creativity.



Boulocher-Passet, V., Daly, P. and Sequeira, I. (2016), "Fostering creativity understanding: Case study of an exercise designed for a large undergraduate business cohort at EDHEC Business School", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 35 No. 5, pp. 574-591.



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