Today’s global business scenario is characterised by time pressure and competitiveness, and by the constant demand for companies to do more with less while operating amid unprecedented uncertainty. Several studies on innovation and creativity in organisations emphasise the need to expand horizons and to take on alternative and unexpected views to produce something new. This paper theorises the potential impact artists can have as creative catalysts, working embedded in non-artistic organisations. It draws attention to Artist-in-Residence as a vehicle for epistemic friction between divergent and convergent thinking, which allows the creation of unparalleled ways of knowing in the dailiness of situated and contextualised social processes. We argue that artists can be a source of positive disruption for organisations, able to temporarily suspend conventions and rules, opening up to ambiguity and exploration of alternative behaviours.
This study foregrounds embeddedness as the key concept to understand the interdisciplinary organism that are embedded Artists-in-Residence, where the outcomes are shaped by the knowledgeability in the daily practices and by collaborations, unprecedented frictions, and social connections. The artist brings expertise that is different from but potentially complementary to the one of the organisation’s members: through the embeddedness lens, the artist is both an insider and outsider for the organisation and contributes to the development of new narratives and to the creation of new creative milieus.
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