Imagination for action: nurturing professional values and guiding good actions

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This paper explores a relationship between imagination and the perceived professional responsibilities and actions of leaders working in the cultural sector in a northern European country. Using a framework of Imagination for Action and drawing on the qualitative data from 21 leaders, the paper, firstly, illustrates how imagination is simultaneously a necessary condition and the most valuable resource for a renewal of professional calling, responsibility and motivation in value-driven and humanity-centred actions. Secondly, this paper acknowledges a wider spilling effect that emerges from the act of researching imaginative actions of a group of professionals. Using a poetic and symbolic language, inspirational and reflection-yielding value of imagination is showcased in the form of a reflective epilogue. Drawing on a written poem and visual images created in response to empirical data to re-tell the story of cultural leaders, an invitation to reflect and reconnect with a professional self is extended to the readers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-142
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Management, Spirituality & Religion
Issue number2
Early online date12 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2023


  • arts
  • imagination
  • cultural leaders
  • professional values
  • responsible actions
  • reflection coefficient


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