Creativity in a Box - Creativity and Routines in a Symphony Orchestra
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to provide a more profound knowledge of how routines impact creativity when studying a Symphony Orchestra. This includes the exploration of obstacles hindering individuals to be creative as well as enabling factors that enhance creativity within the context of routines. Following an interpretivist tradition, our qualitative study uses an abductive approach to a single case organization. We gathered our empirical data by conducting thirteen semi-structured interviews and through observations of rehearsals and concerts of the Swedish Symphony Orchestra. Our theoretical framework outlines previous studies regarding the effects of routine on creativity. Furthermore, we explain the role of creativity in a musical context and highlight several routines in the Symphony Orchestra. Then we link those notions to the role of leadership and hierarchy. Our findings reveal that musicians in the orchestra can be creative within several constraints. Routines and repetitiveness do not hinder creativity. Our findings suggest four ideal-typical dimensions of how musicians view their creativity while having constraints limiting their artistic freedom. By looking inside the box, we have noticed other kinds of hindrances such as tradition, time, and hierarchical structure. Finally, we analyzed the notion of enabling directive leadership as a nuance to autocratic leadership styles and its possibilities to enhance creativity in the orchestra.
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