Christina E. Shalley

in Management

ISBN: 9780199846740
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:


Creativity is considered to be essential for societal and economic growth. At the individual, team, and organizational levels, creativity has been argued to be a key enabler and contributor to performance, entrepreneurship, growth, and competitiveness. Creativity as a research area has evolved over the years. Historically, it has its roots within the field of psychology, which provided a foundation for conceptual and empirical work focused on factors that can enhance or constrain creativity across all different areas (e.g., education, inventors). More recently, there has been a growing body of work on organizational creativity within management. Creativity has been defined in two ways: as both a process and an outcome. It is believed that in order to produce creative outcomes, it is important to first engage in certain cognitive and behavioral processes (e.g., linking ideas from multiple sources, broad search) that can help enable individuals to be more creative in their work. The creative process is an iterative process and involves finding and solving new problems in different ways. Creativity as an outcome has been defined primarily in management as the generation of ideas, solutions, or processes that are novel and useful. Novelty and usefulness are both considered necessary conditions for something to be regarded as creative, so even if an idea is very novel, if it is not also useful or feasible it would not be considered creative. This definition differs from some work in psychology primarily focused on brainstorming, where creative outcomes are often defined in terms of originality (i.e., novelty), fluency (i.e., number of ideas), and flexibility (i.e., number of categories accessed). There are individual differences that can predispose certain individuals to be more creative, and there are different factors in the work context that can facilitate or inhibit creativity: these personal and contextual factors can interact to affect creativity. Creativity can potentially occur in all different kinds of jobs and at all levels of the organization. Creative ideas or processes also can vary on a continuum from being new but somewhat incremental to those that are radically new and different. Also, within the organizational literature, creativity has been considered to be a necessary but insufficient condition for innovations to occur. The primary distinction between how creativity and innovation is defined is that when focusing on creativity the production of something that is new and useful is stressed, while innovation emphasizes the implementation of new ideas or procedures.

Article.  13403 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management

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