Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


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
  • Understand how creativity informs strategy


  • 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

Credits: 6

Schedule: 01.11.2021 - 08.12.2021

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Henri Weijo

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

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

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    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
    • Possible 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.


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    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 for whole curriculum period:

    Academic articles or book chapters selected and provided by the professor

Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    4 Quality Education

    8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

    9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    12 Responsible Production and Consumption


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    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) BIZ exchange students, (5) Aalto BIZ B.Sc. students with 150 credits, (6) other BIZ students


    Teaching Period:

    2020-2021 Spring IV

    2021-2022 Autumn II


    Course Homepage:

    Registration for Courses: In the academic year 2021-2022, registration for courses will take place on Sisu ( instead of WebOodi.

    Check registration time in Sisu.