The public defense of Nina Bozic's doctoral thesis in Innovation and design

Datum: 2018-10-22
Tid: 13.00
Plats: Filen (Campus Eskilstuna)

The public defense of Nina Bozic's doctoral thesis in Innovation and design will take place at Mälardalen University, room Filen (Eskilstuna Campus) at 13.00 on October 22, 2018.

Title: “Choreographing innovative practice in everyday work”.

Serial number: 271

The faculty examiner is Professor Daniel Hjorth, Copenhagen Business School, and the examining committee consists of Professor Brigitte Biehl, SRH Hochschule der populären Künste (hdpk); Professor Mats Magnusson, KTH Royal Institute of Technology; Professor Magnus Wiktorsson, KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Adjunct member of the examining committee : Director Janez Janša, Maska.

Reserve; Professor Yvonne Eriksson, MDH.


The thesis argues for a humanistic and democratic approach to innovation management that puts employees and their engagement in the centre of organizational efforts for innovation. It proposes that a culture for innovation can be built by enabling all employees to develop their innovative practice as part of their everyday work and not as an extra activity on top of their existing responsibilities. The aim of this approach to innovation is to build more human-centred organizations that help employees improve their own motivation, creativity, well-being, and self-fulfilment at work. This presupposes that they need to be able to connect with their body, feelings, fantasy, intuition and will, to be able to innovate more from within, balancing external expectations from management and users with their own personal needs. Since there is a lack of discussing embodied aspects of knowledge and learning in connection to innovative competence in the current innovation management literature, knowledge and methods from contemporary dance and choreography are explored to support a more holistic approach to innovative competence development. Based on integrating research from both innovation management and contemporary dance fields, a model of innovative practice in everyday work is developed. The model suggests what kind of skills and activities can enable employees develop their personal innovative practice that is adjusted to their work context and their specific needs. It is proposed that as employees practice innovating in everyday work, they will slowly move from innovating incrementally towards developing the competence for more radical innovation. Different practical tools and exercises for enabling innovative competence development that were inspired by choreographic practice and adjusted and tested in organizational context are described. Ideas around how contemporary dance and choreography can be used to design and implement more long-term art-based interventions in organizations that can create value on strategic level are proposed.  The research approach used in the thesis is participatory action research done by several iterative cycles between practice and theory. Two empirical and two theoretical studies that were part of the research process are presented. The empirical studies were implemented in the Eskilstuna municipality and at the Art of Management and Organization conference. The theoretical studies were performed in the fields of innovative competence and contemporary dance and choreography.