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Arts-based training in management development: the use of improvisational theatre

Gibb, S. (2004) Arts-based training in management development: the use of improvisational theatre. Journal of Management Development, 23 (8). pp. 741-750.

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This paper describes and critically evaluates the use of Arts-Based Training (ABT) by exploring a case involving the use of improvisational theatre techniques as an element of management development. Claims that these techniques can be an effective means of achieving management development, as they succeed in involving managers in exploring problems and developing solutions to them at a deep rather than superficial level, while also motivating managers to “sort out” problems following development experiences, are investigated using a case study. The validity of improvisational theatre techniques, as an example of ABT in practice, needs to be balanced with a more critical appreciation of the limitations of such approaches.