Failing to learn and learning to fail–exemplars of practice from the creative industries

Mark Thorley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
91 Downloads (Pure)


Universities are facing challenges not seen before. Academic development is expected to address many of these challenges, creating conditions supportive of teaching and learning. However, increasing managerialism, measurement, and risk-aversion make this difficult as the emphasis shifts from supporting individuals towards delivering institutional strategy. This can lead to a lack of creativity, a stifling of innovation, and a fear of failure. This paper uses the creative industries as a ‘parallel’ sector of practice. It outlines the challenges, similarities, and differences between the sectors, before explaining what lessons higher education can learn from the creative industries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-82
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal for Academic Development
Issue number1
Early online date23 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal for Academic Development on 23/01/2020, available online:

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


  • Academic development
  • Creative industries
  • Creative thinking
  • Failure
  • Innovation in higher education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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