The recipients of the 2007 Imagination Lab Foundation Award for Innovative Scholarship are two people who have worked together around arts-based innovation and change in organizations. Over the past years they have demonstrated a relentless drive to cross boundaries between theories and between theory and practice in line with the purposes of EURAM and Imagination Lab.
Their work is both scholarly and innovative with high scores on both dimensions. Their work exemplifies how existing ideas and practices in one field, like psychology, narrative and literary studies, art therapy, and/or artistic cognition, can fruitfully be applied in other fields, like organization studies. These works also show the benefits of hands-on co-learning with practitioners rather than only observing them from a distance. For example, by engaging hands-on with managers they have shown the value of creatively surfacing unconscious processes among groups of people in organizations, using sculpture, photographs, drawings and dramatizations to deal with standard business problems.
Several top journals have published the findings from the broader stream of research that both or one of them have pursued over the last 20 years, including Academy of Management Review, Organization Dynamics, Journal of Organizational Change Management, Journal of Applied Behavioural Science, Journal of Management Inquiry, Journal of Management Studies, Organization Science and Organization Studies. At least as important is their real-time contribution to building communities around and connected with their ideas, for example, AACORN (Arts, Aesthetics, Creativity, and Organization Research Network), which is a global group one of them co-founded a few years ago.
Imagination Lab Foundation and EURAM honour Daved Barry and Stefan Meisiek from the School of Economics & Management at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal with the first Imagination Lab Foundation Award for Innovative Scholarship.
On behalf of the Selection Committee,
Professor Johan Roos
Reactions from the Winners of the Imagination Lab Award 2008
- Of course my first words must be thank you. And my second ones as well. The Imagination Lab Foundation Award came as a complete surprise, and initially I thought, “Perhaps it was a mistake? ... Why not the others who have brought the arts and humanities into business scholarship, where they’ve so long been ignored?” And then I thought, “Why an award at all?” To me, this is not only something I enjoy, but feel I/we must do. My father and grandfathers were victims of this separation, living ‘grey flannel suit’ lives and holding out for retirement, only to find that they were too empty and tired to enjoy their final years. I have long resolved to change this in whatever small ways I could. Finally I thought, “Fantastic!” I’m so happy that this award became reality. It is a first in so many ways—for Europe and the world at large, for Management and Organization Studies, and for EURAM. It represents those things I hold most dear: freshness and ‘on-the-edgeness’ combined with culture and old world scholarship, and I feel very grateful that such an award has come my way. My hope is that it will encourage people to be curious—to not only have curiosity, but run the risk of being curious: odd, eccentric, and running off the beaten tracks. I don’t think innovative scholarship is possible otherwise.
- I am honored that I have been included in the Imagination Lab Award 2007. I see myself as the junior partner. While Daved has deserved the award for his lifetime achievement—for his relentless work on arts and humanities-based management and organization studies since the early 1990s—I have only joined him a few years ago in this endeavor during my Ph.D. studies. A few years are not much in science, but I believe we have achieved some important successes in bringing art practice and philosophical reasoning together in a stream of thought that inspires management practice, education, and research. The timing seems right as socio-economic changes demand that organizations revise their bases for competitiveness, leading them to rediscover the virtues of play, imagination, artistry, aesthetics and sensibility. Here Europe offers its riches: diverse yet close, home to and beset by multiple sensibilities, it is a place for encounters that make innovative scholarship possible. There is still much to do and the recognition that the award expresses greatly encourages me.
From left to right:
Prof. Daved Barry (School of Economics & Management at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa) , Prof. Johan Roos, Stockholm School of Economics, and Prof. Stefan Meisiek (School of Economics & Management Universidade Nova de Lisboa)