There is an emergent consensus among policy makers, scholars, economic, social and cultural actors about the fact that creativity not only produces desirable experiences and qualities, but also engender the sorts of significant changes that are integral to innovation (Baumol 2006, Pratt, 2007, 2008; Cooke and Lazzeretti, 2008; Potts 2009, Bakshi & McVittie, 2009; Muller et al., 2009). Consequently, a host of policy-makers have promoted instruments over the course of the last decade, which are geared towards fostering the development of the cultural and creative sectors and which have innovation as their planned outcome (European Commission, 2009; European Commission, 2010b and 2012; Council of the European Union, 2015). The rationale, here, is that there is a direct causal link between investing in creativity and innovation.
This paper is problematizing this causality and argued that it cannot be taken as axiomatic. It raised the question of what constitutes the type of (institutional) change that promotes radical innovation or even a paradigm shift in a knowledge domain (Kuhn, 1996) and beyond, as well as considering how (creative) individuals, communities, or even an entire society can understand and cope with these changes.
One of the limitations of extant theories on (cultural) innovation is that they do not account for cultural shifts, and, at best, can only be said to touch upon social shifts. Instead this paper first, argues and illustrates that these theories must address this lacuna and seek to incorporate cultural and social changes as being important signals of qualitative changes. The arguments here build on the Kuhn’s (1962/1996) paradigm shift in a knowledge domain in conjunction with the notion of innovation introduced by Schumpeter (1975) and social-psychology perspectives of the “transformational power” of creativity (Amabile, 1983; Csikszentmihalyi, 1996).
Once the cultural and social embeddedness of the (cultural) innovation is established, the paper proposes a comprehensive framework based on value-based approach (VBA) that allows to analyse those cultural and social changes (Klamer, 2017).
In order to be able to make sense of the dynamic process of value formations, as well as the way they can yield transformations, the paper adopts the VBA to study different (cultural) valorisation practices within the visual arts and GLAM sector.