Academic journal article Journal of Economics & Management

Ontological, Epistemological and Methodological Taxonomy of Creativity Phenomenon Research - Call for Path Forward

Academic journal article Journal of Economics & Management

Ontological, Epistemological and Methodological Taxonomy of Creativity Phenomenon Research - Call for Path Forward

Article excerpt


While some aspects of creativity like facets (i.e. 4P - person (traits), process, product, and press (context)) are recalled in the studies as well as there is intensive research in that field conducted from various perspectives and approaches, there is still a lack of consensual conceptualization of creativity what leads to various and not unified measurement approaches and hinders the findings synthesis in that field [Batey 2012].

Hence, the aim of the paper is to contribute to call for, on one hand, systematizing the research on creativity in terms of linking ontological, epistemological, and methodological issues - specifically, for a heuristic framework combining individual, team, and organizational level, creativity facets at every level, and the antecedents of those facets at every level of analysis, as well as, on the other hand, for more focus on unifying methodology and on qualitative research methods in that field since it seems that dominant quantitative research methodology does not help investigate on one hand contextual factors influencing creativity processes and, on the other hand, the aggregation that occur amongst creativity levels. The aim has been realized through extensive literature studies and in the part concerning creativity methodology review - systematic literature review in the field of selected journals specialized in examining creativity phenomenon.

The paper is organized three-fold. The first section presents a brief description of the creativity phenomenon as a multi-dimensional and multi-faceted construct in terms of ontological and epistemological layers - traits, processes, and outcomes occurring at multiple levels of analysis. The second section involves a general review of creativity research methodology that has revealed the methodology gap - too little scholars' attention paid to qualitative methodology. Finally, as a result, some propositions and recommendations in terms of ontological, epistemological, and especially methodological issues have been alluded.

1.Disentangling creativity -a multi-dimensional and multi-faceted construct

Intensive research has been conducted in psychology [e.g. Amabile 1996; Hennessey & Amabile 2010] and management [e.g. Shalley, Zhou & Oldham 2004; George 2007] to better explain and understand creativity phenomenon as well as it has been explored from various realms, e.g. cognitive, neurological, personal, or organizational as well as in terms of different theoretical approaches such as:

* confluence approach in which creativity requires interaction of individual, domain, and field [Csikszentmihalyi 1988; 1996, pp. 107-126 plus Notes] including an investment theory as for which creative people buy low and sell high in the world of ideas - it encompasses confluence of six resources: knowledge, intellect, thinking styles, personality, motivation, and environment [Sternberg & Lubart 1999],

* systems theory [Csikszentmihalyi 1988] that involves the following interrelated elements: a field (community of practice, gatekeepers) including a social system, a person (an individual practitioner) with genetic makeup, talents, experience, and a domain (knowledge, tools, values, practices) embedded in a cultural system,

* contextual methodology [Mayer 1999] detecting social, cultural and evolutionary influences on creativity,

* social psychology and componential model emphasizing the impact on the creative process of external social - environmental factors and illustrating creativity as a process consisting of five stages: problem or task identification, preparation, response generation, response validation and communication, and outcome [Amabile 1996],

* Social Cognitive Theory & socio-constructivist approaches in which creativity is invoked in a complex socio-cultural process enhancing convergent and divergent brain capacities [Edwards-Schachter et al. 2015],

* psychological trait theory [Hennessey and Amabile 2010] positing that the individual psychological traits determine individual level creativity degree,

* a psychodynamic approach due to intrusion of unmodulated thoughts into consciousness [Kris 1952],

* behavioral theories & functionalist approaches in which a creative individual is perceived due to cognitive characteristics, personality and motivational features with contextual factors [e. …

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