Credits: 6

Schedule: 24.02.2020 - 01.04.2020

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Henri Weijo

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

IV-V 2018–19 (spring) Otaniemi campus
IV 2019–20 (spring) Otaniemi campus
Aalto course

Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

This class will teach students the value of creativity within marketing. Creativity and innovation are often evoked in company mission statements, but more often than not, companies fail at fostering either of them within their ranks. Students will learn to understand why and how creativity fails within organizations, and how to avoid these pitfalls. The focus of the course is explicitly on group and organizational creativity, particularly cross-functional creativity and its importance for functions such as new product development and marketing communications. A special emphasis in this course will be the use of ethnographic methods for creative problem solving. Students in this course are encouraged to think of themselves as future change agents within organizations. They will learn the tools to build processes and spaces for creativity with tangible results. The overall purpose of this class is to increase students’ appreciation for creativity and to how to foster it within the entire organization, especially for marketing operations.


  • Understand the antecedents and pitfalls of a creative marketing organization
  • Understand how creativity is fostered and mobilized across different marketing functions
  • Understanding how different marketing research methods vary in creating new knowledge
  • Understand the role of creativity for business and society


  • Processes of brainstorming and inclusive group creativity that align different organizational players towards a common marketing goal
  • Ability to apply creativity techniques to develop innovative marketing solutions (e.g., new product development, promotional efforts, etc.).
  • Experience in ethnographic fieldwork and problem formulation
  • Ability to change organizational culture that embraces creativity
  • Ability to create marketing strategies that take advantage of consumer creativity


  • Recognize how organizational creativity is necessary for innovation and a key organizational feature
  • Understand that creativity is not an inherent ‘talent based’ function, rather a trainable skill that can and should be embedded into an organizational culture
  • Recognize the role of change agents and champions of creativity
  • Recognize common misconceptions of creativity, such as the ‘genius’ myth and breakthrough technologies, and appreciates the value of innovation as a key difference
  • Recognize the wide ethical concerns of creativity including societal issues and consumer-marketer power struggles

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Brainstorming, divergence and convergence techniques, service building, brand storytelling, ethnographic methods, deep problem-solving

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Students will be evaluated based on their class participation (especially during lectures), reflection papers on the readings, and a group assignment. The group assignment will be the biggest contributor to the overall grade. In the final assignment, students will have to create a concrete plan for changing an organization’s creative culture. Groups are expected to complete peer evaluations to ensure balanced participation.

Grading: The course grade will consist of the following components:

  • Class Attendance, Participation and Preparation
  • Quizzes and Class Exercises
  • Group Project and Final Presentation
  • Individual Creativity Assignments

The final breakdown and balance between these elements will be announced at the beginning of the course.


Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

6 credits, 160 hours:

The course includes lectures, readings, individual assignments, and group work conducted both in class as well as outside of it.

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

  • Roger Martin (2009) Opposable Mind: Winning Through Integrative Thinking: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel Rasmussen (2014) Moment of Clarity: Using the Human Sciences to Solve Your Toughest Business Problems. Harvard Business Review Press
  • Academic articles or book chapters selected by the professor

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Registration via WedOodi. Check registration time in WebOodi.

NOTE: Mention your group of priority upon registration.

Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Course participation is limited to 50 students. The number of students admitted to the course is restricted to 50. Priority is given to (1) Aalto students studying in MSc Program of Marketing, (2) IDBM-students, (3) Aalto students studying a MSc minor study package in Fashion Management, (4) Aalto students studying a MSc minor study package in Consumer Research, (5) Aalto students studying a MSc minor study package in Marketing and (6) other students.

NOTE: Students are required to write own group of priority to further information field of course registration!



Registration and further information