What do we know about art-based methods in management education?

Arts-based methods are increasingly used to facilitate meta-level learning in management education. Such increased use suggests that these methods are relevant and offer a unique contribution meeting a need in today’s management education. Yet, the literature is not clear on what this unique contribution may be even though it abounds with suggestions of varying quality. To explore this matter, I conduct a systematic literature review focused on arts-based methods, management education, and meta-level learning. I find that the unique contribution of arts-based methods is to foreground the process of making and expressing more refined perceptual distinctions, not to get accurate data, but as integral to our thinking/learning. This finding is important, because it imply that certain (commonly applied) ways of using arts-based methods may limit their potential. Finally, I suggest that future research regarding arts-based methods should focus on exploring the impact the process of learning to make and express more refined perceptual distinctions may have on managerial practice to further understand the relevance of these methods to managers.

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