Artistic education as a source of innovation and knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship

Erik Gustafsson, Maureen McKelvey, Daniel Ljungberg, Astrid Heidemann Lassen

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review


This paper explores the role of artistic higher education in fashion design for innovation and knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship in the fashion industry. Through an exploratory case study of the Swedish School of Textiles at the University of Borås, Sweden, we examine the knowledge development, through studies, of fashion design students at BA and MA level and how this relates to knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship and artistic innovation. We do so by systematically analysing the development of programme syllabi and course curricula over time, contrasting these findings with interviews with alumni as well as academically responsible individuals from the higher education institution. Our findings show that the students develop artistic creativity by acquiring creative knowledge and aesthetic knowledge, and that the knowledge development, as taught throughout the education, is aimed for artistic innovation. At the same time, we can observe that students acquire limited business knowledge and market knowledge, thereby lacking a greater understanding of the mechanisms leading to entrepreneurship. We propose that fashion design alumni develop varieties of knowledge for artistic exploration and consequent artistic innovation, and as such play a crucial role for knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship in the fashion industry.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication19th Interdisciplinary European Conference on Entrepreneurship Research
Number of pages7
Publication statusSubmitted - 2021

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