A Voyage in and out of Arts-based Business Education
: Der Bildungsroman — ein Aktualisierungsversuch

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis sets out to examine the ‘lived out’ (but largely hidden) challenges for lecturers undertaking arts-based approaches (ABA) in business education, based on my own experience of introducing ABA as a management lecturer. It explores the ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ realities of being an artist / management lecturer struggling within the complex context of a business school environment. ‘Reliving’ my experience through artistic practice, I apply arts-based research (ABR) to create a representation in the form of autobiographic fiction writing, or more specifically a Bildungsroman, the novel of education or formation, titled ‘Maxim’. Over and above my primary intention to explore the challenges for lecturers in adopting arts-based business education (ABBE) (Objective 1), the thesis critically considers how ABR can be undertaken to help identify, explain and share a feeling for these challenges (Objective 2). Particular attention is given to how the Bildungsroman is employed as a specific and appropriate method for achieving these aims. In response to the thesis’s first objective, I demonstrate how ABA, which often sit uncomfortably within traditionally oriented business education practices, can cause challenges at intellectual, institutional and, in particular, personal levels. The thesis highlights the difficulties in, and resistance to, codifying the rationale and benefits of ABA in terms that are, in effect, obligatory in a business education context. In response to the second objective, the thesis demonstrates how the potential strengths of ABR, including the Bildungsroman, can help identify, explain and share a feeling for such challenges through painting an intellectual and emotional landscape that exposes the otherwise hidden reality of working in a business education context. The Bildungsroman form allows images to develop that affect (through sensual meaning) and effect (through engagement). As an emerging artwork, the thesis communicates not only ‘what is’, but also what might become through undertaking artistic practice. It indicates a progression towards a ‘becoming’ present in the form of a textual métissage suggesting the possibility of valuable new spaces for inquiry in ABBE through ABR.
Date of Award2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorAnna Reading (Supervisor) & Nick Wilson (Supervisor)

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