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This paper aims to investigate the role of lean talent management (LTM) as a novel approach for optimising creativity in architectural design firms (ADFs) towards achieving divergent heritage sustainability (DHS).


To achieve the abovementioned aim, a mixed qualitative and quantitative methodology is designed to accomplish three objectives. First, investigating the relationship between heritage and urban development; types of heritage and the role of LTM in enhancing creativity in ADFs. Second, presenting and analysing six heritage-related case studies to assess the need for creative solutions based on extent of deterioration in three different places in Egypt. Third, outlining the results of a survey questionnaire conducted with a representative sample of ADFs in Egypt to investigate the role of LTM towards optimising creativity in ADFs for achieving DHS.


The extent of deterioration increased for modern heritage than old heritage. Conventional approaches adopted by ADFs failed to develop built environments that can bridge the gap between the diverse identities. Creativity was not optimised when talent management (TM) was integrated solely and architects failed to develop appropriate solutions. LTM use architects to allow expression of arts towards heritage sustainability through the built environment, in which they feel associated with physical heritage. Consequently, individuals’ intangible heritage is preserved in which they will less deteriorate the physical heritage. Hence, LTM is a paradigm shift that has a great potential for DHS. Research limitations/implications – The survey questionnaire and case studies focused on the Egyptian context because the region is in critical need for effective creative solutions and for such research that is unprecedented in investigating this gap. However, findings are absolute and could be used at any country sharing the Egyptian context and wishing to achieve a DHS approach.

Originality/value – The research work presented in this paper is novel in approach as it integrates two divergent fields and highlights the concept of DHS with its threefold approach. In addition, the concept of LTM is proposed as a novel paradigm shift in which it has received scant attention especially relating to heritage sustainability. The proposed ideas represent a synthesis that is novel and creative in thought and adds to the existing body of knowledge for future research in LTM and DHS