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Type: Thesis
Title: From Community Artist to Leadership Bricoleur
Author: Philip-Harbutt, Lisa Jane
Issue Date: 2019
School/Discipline: Business School
Abstract: This abstract comes with a warning. This thesis is not conventional. Although the writer has chosen to give a nod to the more recognisable format of a PhD thesis she has also chosen to discard many of the accepted academic conventions in her pursuit of a more authentic exploration of creative research. In doing so she is forecasting much more varied audiences for this thesis. The thesis offers a demonstration-in-action of her role as a creative disrupter of both form and function. After a successful career as a community artist, Lisa Philip-Harbutt wondered if the skill-set she had honed in a wide range of community contexts could be useful in another setting. Needing a challenge as far from both community and the arts as possible, Lisa headed to university and the School of Business. From her work in the community, Lisa was aware of many of the ‘wicked’ problems currently being faced by society. Within academia she found people searching for new models of leadership but still working within systems that were biased toward the charismatic hero (e.g. middle-aged, white, confident male interested in the bottom line). Lisa wondered if the current leadership focus, which was based on analytics and a bottom-line business model might be exacerbating the mismatch between how we train leaders and the expectation of their followers. She set about exploring alternative options that could contribute to more useful training for our would-be leaders. The research described in this thesis explores Lisa’s primary question of ‘How useful is a community artist in leadership development?’ This thesis is both explorative and experiential, calling on the reader to join in and play along with the many participants that attended workshops and presentations across Australia and overseas. Combinatory play is offered as a way to attract participants and advocate for a different style of researching. The empirical approach undertaken drew on methods from Action Research (AR) to provide iterative and reflective opportunities for interactions with others and Arts-based Research (ABR) to inform the creative workshops process. These provided substantive material for an autoethnographic (AE) style of story-telling, used at both conferences and in the presentation of this thesis. This thesis collages the many playful interactions Lisa had on her creative journey from community artist to leadership bricoleur and in doing so offers insights into how a creative disrupter can support the development of leaders. As a final AR cycle Lisa offers some contributions this research has made. She is at pains to outline that these are the ones that strike her as useful in the lasts moments of this process, suggesting that a few months earlier the list would have been different and into the future it will change on every re-reading. For this is not a definitive rendering of a piece of research. It is instead an art-work, collaged together to explore a field of practice and offer up multi- readings and alternative ways of seeing and being seen. It calls on the reader to engage with it differently.
Advisor: Sandiford, Peter
Daniel, Lisa
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, Business School, 2019
Keywords: Leadership
community arts
arts based research
action research
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
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