A Contribution to a Multilevel Theory of Creativity

LEADING AND MANAGING CREATORS, INVENTORS, AND INNOVATORS - THE ART, SCIENCE, AND CRAFT OF FOSTERING CREATIVITY, TRIGGERING INVENTION, AND CATALYZING INNOVATION, pp. 171-192, E.G. Carayannis and J.J. Chanaron, eds., Praeger, 2007

34 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2010 Last revised: 9 May 2013

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

Creativity research has become an accepted branch of management and organization studies, encouraged by the increased importance of innovation research. In the process, creativity research has adapted to the organization as a research object - which is notably different from individuals as used to be studied. Accordingly, a ‘multilevel’ approach has been developed that focuses on issues of ‘individuals in context’. The approach is important, serving as a conceptual framework for the study of creativity in organizations, but is still rooted in psychological creativity research. In particular, creativity continues to be associated with individuals, and idea generation tends to be treated as a single-level achievement rather than a process that involves a sequence of steps involving various levels. In this chapter, we will show that various forms of collective creativity are conceivable, or even likely, and that recognition of these will improve the prospects of a multilevel approach to organizational creativity. It appears that the reluctance to accept collective creativity derives from the lack of support for group level creativity in brainstorming research, a field of work that was inspired by psychological approaches to creativity. We offer a brief description of these psychological approaches and a discussion of brainstorming research - arguing that the well-known conclusion that individuals working separately generate more, and more creative ideas than do groups is premature). We then return to the study of creativity in organizations, in a way that meets contemporary claims that models of work group or team creativity should be developed.

Keywords: Creativity, Team, Brainstorming

JEL Classification: D21, O31, O32

Suggested Citation

Vissers, Geert and Dankbaar, Ben, A Contribution to a Multilevel Theory of Creativity (2007). LEADING AND MANAGING CREATORS, INVENTORS, AND INNOVATORS - THE ART, SCIENCE, AND CRAFT OF FOSTERING CREATIVITY, TRIGGERING INVENTION, AND CATALYZING INNOVATION, pp. 171-192, E.G. Carayannis and J.J. Chanaron, eds., Praeger, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1578864

Geert Vissers (Contact Author)

InnoTep ( email )

Enschede
Netherlands
+31 6 41118247 (Phone)

Ben Dankbaar

Radboud University Nijmegen ( email )

Postbus 9108
Nijmegen, 6500 HK
Netherlands

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