Feral MBA (fMBA)

Lead Research Organisation: University of the West of England
Department Name: Fac of Arts Creative Ind and Education


The PhD focuses on the development the Feral MBA (fMBA), a radically different business school part-in and part-out of the University, where artists and other researchers would gather to experiment with new shapes for business and enterprise designed for a fundamentally reimagined economy. The fMBA programme will focus on collecting and analysing novel, 'outlier' business practices from the arts and elsewhere; and instigating new business experiments. The research aims are to develop a case for business as a medium for artistic enquiry, establish the challenges for experiments in business (including a context review of what 'experimental' currently is in business education) and gain new insight into a reimagined economy through designing and launching the fMBA as a distributed programme of study. The central research question is: what would an alternative MBA for artists look like? The broad context for this work is an understanding of the 'postdigital' that explores the consequences of the computer age; and a recent turn in artistic practice to making work that deals directly with economic and money matters. The immediate context is the creative economy, where the arts have taken on an uneasy prominence resulting from a policy-level requisitioning of 'creativity' as a key instrument of economic growth, along with a perceived invasion of arts education and institutions by fundamentally antithetical business models (McRobbie, 2016). The fMBA project is essentially interdisciplinary, situated between art and business, and between the Academy and the possibilities for education outside it.


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