Centre for Creative-Relational Inquiry (CCRI) is smashing interdisciplinary boundaries

We’ve been accepted to host a panel at the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) 2018 Conference (11-13 April 2018 in Edinburgh).

The School’s new innovative Centre for Creative-Relational Inquiry (CCRI) is smashing interdisciplinary boundaries!


We’ve been accepted to host a panel at the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) 2018 Conference (11-13 April 2018 in Edinburgh).


Our panel is called ‘New directions in research methods: creative-relational inquiry in public service management and policy'.


Its purpose is to challenge traditional paradigms in (health) management, policy and practice, and explore the use of creative techniques to understand what public services or other social interventions do. It is a way to explore the ‘unmeasurable’ aspects of the impact of social interventions in people’s lives (full panel description and further details below).


If you have questions about submitting a paper, please contact the panel chair Marisa de Andrade (marisa.deandrade@ed.ac.uk) – blue-sky thinking encouraged, anything is possible!


You can submit an abstract via this link: https://www.business-school.ed.ac.uk/irspm/call-for-abstracts/


Please note, the submission of abstracts closes mid-October, so please register your interest in submitting a paper or performance soon!


Panel description:


This panel introduces ‘creative-relational inquiry’ as a dynamic conceptual frame for vibrant, incisive research and practice in public services, management and policy. Acknowledging the policy landscape focused on outputs, outcomes, targets and measures at a time of increasing resource restraints and personal strain, it pauses to consider what is not ‘captured’; reflects on the fluidity of creativity as process, relating as process. It considers human connection in creating and co-creating value in public service delivery, and the influence of authentic leadership from without and from within.


Creative-relational inquiry is inquiry that works its hyphen. The hyphen as connection and link. The hyphen as dynamic, as catalytic, as engaged. The hyphen as push and pull, as tension, as force. Always ensuring inquiry, and mindful of the processes of power within and beyond it.


Driving our inquiries, may be the desire to understand the creative-relational effect of public service processes on their users and employees – both at the frontline and in the boardroom. Or the personalisation of public service processes and activities so service user experiences are tailored to an individual’s or communities’ needs and assets; creative-relational in the sense that they are co-produced by users in innovative ways.


Creative-relational inquiry might also embrace participatory and collaborative approaches to produce meaningful public services reform and encourage innovation. Or it could challenge structural determinants of inequity through the collision of art and data science.

Cutting-edge papers or performances, poems, music, dance, creative writing or inquiries in other mediums are invited that engage scholars, practitioners and the wider public – creatively, relationally – in and with research that:


  • is situated, positioned, context-sensitive, personal, experience-near, and embodied;
  • embraces the performative and the aesthetic;
  • engages with the political, the social, and the ethical;
  • problematizes agency, autonomy, and representation;
  • cherishes its relationship with theory, creating concepts as it goes;
  • is dialogical and collaborative;
  • is explicit and curious about the inquiry process itself;
  • provides detailed, close-up explorations of, for example, management and pedagogic relationships;
  • use the arts and performance as a methodological approach;
  • put public services, management and policy concepts and theories to work.

These possibilities are illustrative, not exhaustive. We look forward to a stimulating, energising and inspiring session.