Skip to main content

"Artists and business people have a lot to learn from one another"


Mary Jo Hatch has an extensive academic background, including an MBA in Finance and a PhD in Organizational Behavior from Stanford. She is a Professor Emerita at the University of Virginia and a Guest Professor at the Copenhagen Business School.

But Mary Jo Hatch is also an artist. And as a Visiting Professor at the School of Business, Economics and Law, she has the chance of combining her great passions in life.

“Business has always been interested in creativity, but perhaps above all in understanding and controlling it,” says Mary Jo Hatch.

“My premise is that artists and business people face similar challenges and there are methods and techniques that can work in both worlds.”

One example is using jazz as a starting point to look at different organisational development issues. Mary Jo Hatch tells more:

“It’s common to view the business manager as the conductor of an orchestra. But this metaphor is not relevant in modern society. If you’re interested in getting creative rather than repetitive responses, jazz is a more interesting starting point for comparisons and inspiration. There, it is more about passing the solo around in the group and sharing leadership.”

In a recent project, Mary Jo Hatch brought together artists and business representatives in a workshop. The artist was given the task of translating an organisational problem to his or her reality and approaching a solution with the help of artistic techniques and methods.

“The School of Business, Economics and Law is unique in making such a thing possible. It requires considerable openness both from the School and the business people who participated. I could not have held this workshop anywhere else in the world other than here,” concludes Mary Jo Hatch.

This is an article from the School´s presentation brochure.

Download the brochure