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Reflecting on a phenomenological study of creativity and innovation in haute cuisine

Stierand, Marc and Dörfler, Viktor (2012) Reflecting on a phenomenological study of creativity and innovation in haute cuisine. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 24 (6). pp. 946-957. ISSN 0959-6119

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Abstract

This paper aims to present and reflect on a phenomenological research process used to elucidate the nature of creativity and innovation in haute cuisine. In-depth conversational interviews and field notes capturing subjective experiences were employed to elucidate the experiences of 18 world-class chefs from the UK, Spain, France, Austria and Germany with regards to creativity and innovation. The findings presented in this paper are twofold: first, an empirical sample finding is presented in order to contextualize the type of findings obtained; second, key methodological findings are presented explaining the process of elucidating the nature of creativity and innovation through iterative learning from the descriptions of the interviewees and the subjective experiences gathered. The underlying phenomenological study is limited to male haute cuisine chefs in five European countries. Future research is planned including female and male chefs from other countries in order to learn whether similar empirical findings can be obtained. The paper presents a research process for elucidating cognitive and nebulous phenomena such as creativity and innovation to make them accessible to managers, researchers, students and policy-makers. The findings explain the process of elucidating the nature of creativity and innovation through iterative learning from the descriptions of the interviewees and the subjective experiences gathered. Further conceptual and methodological development emerges from investigating interviewees representative of the notion of the extraordinary.