A Framework for the Study of Creativity
David Henry Feldman
Creativity is one of those words that seems to be everywhere. It also seems to have many meanings, which often are not made explicit enough to avoid confusion and impede communication. For example, if someone says that she is leaving a job because it is not offering her enough opportunity to be creative, there are several possible meanings for what the word creative might refer to in this context.
Does she mean that there are few opportunities to choose her own objectives? Does she mean that she would like to be able to have more leeway in carrying out objectives set by someone else? Does she mean that there is little room for spontaneity and innovativeness in her place of work? Does she mean that the standards for excellence used to judge performance are such that there is little incentive to try to exceed them? It could be any of these, or any combination.
In this book we are primarily interested in one particular meaning for the term creativity, although we readily acknowledge that there are other meanings that could be our focus. The meaning that is of primary interest to us here is creativity as the achievement of something remarkable and new, something which transforms and changes a field of endeavor in a significant way. In other words, we are concerned with the kinds of things that people do that change the world.