The Social Psychology of Creativity and Innovation: Process Theory (Pt) Perspective

Article excerpt

The sources, stages, and processes of organizational innovation in some of Taiwan's benchmarking companies in the service industry are discussed. Process-theory-based research methodology was used to analyze the characteristics of the innovation process to achieve a better understanding of how and why innovations emerged, developed, grew, and terminated. The stage/process model was used to investigate organizational innovation (01) processes and factors which affected processes. Conclusions were obtained chiefly through in-depth field studies and a retrospective cross-sectional survey. Amabile's (1988) model was modified to account for differences between practices and theories. The research resulted in an organizational innovation process model that was divided into five stages, just as in Amabile's model; on the other hand, Amabile's (1988) model was modified to account for differences between practice and theory during this study. The conclusions of this research may serve to broaden various perspectives of debate about individual, organizational, and environmental factors.

Keywords: social psychology, creativity, innovation, process theory (PT).

A large body of literature records examination of the possibility that creativity is affected by a variety of individual difference characteristics - for example, demographic and biographic variables (Rodan & Galunic, 2004; Schaefer, 1969; Tierney & Farmer, 2002). In a few studies the possibility that contextual factors interact with either individual personality or with their cognitive styles has been examined. In addition to research on the creativity-innovation connection, work is needed to determine whether or not there are negative, unintended consequences of creativity and innovation that offset any possible benefits (Shalley, Zhou, & Oldham, 2004). Following Schumpter's (1934) elucidation of the effects of innovation and expansion in industries, the concept of innovation has become an important subject in organization research. In 1994, Wolfe indicated three different research thrusts involved in organizational innovation and each one had its pivotal research problems, model and data collection method. On the basis of his views of research method suitability, in this study in-depth investigations of organizational innovation and the process theory were employed to analyze Taiwan's service industry. According to this methodology, we have used qualitative research on six innovative service companies in Taiwan, and modified the organizational innovation model proposed by Amabile (1988). The main purpose and proposed contribution of this research is to develop an organizational innovation process model for Taiwan's service industry.

Taiwan was formerly an agriculture-oriented society and then became an industry-oriented society; at present, the contribution of Taiwan's service industry to GNP is on the rise and employment in this sector has steadily made gains. Taiwan's service industry accounted for 46.39% of GDP, employing 17% of the labor market in 1951 (Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics, Taiwan, 2005). By 1988, the industry's share in GDP finally exceeded 50%. In 2005, the service industry's GDP share exceeded 77.52% while employment rose to more than 58% of the labor market. The service industry is Taiwan's largest industry now and the key to Taiwan's economic progress in the future. As the service sector is growing rapidly and the dynamics of the industry are confronting management with new problems along with new phenomena like the Internet, the need for research on service innovations is becoming increasingly urgent (Van der Aa & Elfring, 2002). This study is focused on the service industry that requires extensive cultivation of their innovativeness (Djellal & Gallouj, 2001; Hipp & Grupp, 2005; Tidd & Hull, 2003; Van der Aa & Elfring, 2002).

For the present study service industry enterprises in Taiwan were used as subjects, for in-depth investigations on OI and related research issues. …