The Leviathan of Rationality: Using Film to Develop Creativity and Imagination in Management Learning and Education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Dogma is an ever-present danger to reason and rationality. In times of climate emergency and the dawn of a new geological era known as the Anthropocene dogma becomes particularly disabling and dangerous for business and management. However, recent research findings in the study of creativity and imagination in management learning and education provide some promising ways of responding. This essay draws on techniques in experiential learning and
contributes to the call for ‘disciplined imagination’ (Weick, 1989) to explore what can be learnt from the study of film for stimulating classroom creativity. The paper is devoted to a close analysis of Leviathan (2013), an experiential and avant-garde contemporary masterpiece in ethnographic filmmaking. We find that existing approaches to creativity need to be supplemented with greater attention to the technological apparatus of cinema and its affective materialities. Drawing on the work of Gilles Deleuze the essay shows that cinema can produce
what we call an ‘event of thought’. These events of thought require the generation of original concepts and we propose ‘becoming Go-Pro’ to best harness the affects and heightened existential awareness stimulated by Leviathan. With this concept we produce findings that challenge prevailing concepts of reason and rationality in management studies.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademy of Management Learning and Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 May 2020