Antecedents of Organisational Creativity: A Multi-Level Approach

By Gupta, Ritu; Banerjee, Pratyush | Business: Theory and Practice, June 2016 | Go to article overview

Antecedents of Organisational Creativity: A Multi-Level Approach


Gupta, Ritu, Banerjee, Pratyush, Business: Theory and Practice


Introduction

Creative ideas can be used for problem resolution, process improvements and the development of new services and/ or products. Creativity may be defined as 'the formation of novel, appropriate and useful ideas by individuals or small groups' (see DiLileo, Houghton 2006). Woodman et al. (1993) defined creativity at organisational level as 'the creation of a valuable, useful new product, service, idea, procedure, or process by individuals working together in a complex social system'. The theory of organisational creativity suggests that when a working environment facilitates idea generation, knowledge sharing and creative problem solving, individuals in that environment are more likely to generate creative ideas that involve unique concepts or new applications of existing concepts (see Woodman et al. 1993).

Researchers also suggest that individual creativity is essential for organisational innovation (see Amabile 1988; Woodman et al. 1993), which in turn is imperative for long-term organisational survival and success (see DiLileo, Houghton 2006). In order to enhance the chances of longterm survival, organisations should focus on supporting individual creativity in the workplace (see Amabile 1988; Woodman et al. 1993). Executive creativity not only contributes to corporate differentiation and innovation, it also helps create an environment, which encourages creative contribution from others (see Ford 1996). Researchers have time and again provided comprehensive reviews of creativity in the past. For example, a review by Van Der Panne and colleagues (2001) on success and failure of innovation, implications of creativity in classroom setting (see Petrowski 2000) and an integrated review on creativity, intelligence and personality by Batey and Furnham (2006). In the context of organisational creativity, Andriopoulos has published a comprehensive literature review in 2001 taking only organisational level variables, and Klijn and Tomic (2010) contributed another review on organisational creativity from psychological perspective taking only individual level factors. However, no prior review has tried to identify and integrate the factors at individual, group and firm level which may affect organisational creativity. In past five years, no new review on creativity has been published to the best of the researchers' knowledge. In that aspect, this review provides insights from recent papers published in the domain of organisational creativity which can enhance our understanding of the processes involved behind development and sustenance of organisational creativity. Hence, we decided to conduct this literature review and provide a comprehensive insight to this issue.

For the purpose of this literature review, articles were searched from online databases EBSCO, JSTOR, Science Direct, PROQUEST and others. The key words "organisational", "occupational", "employee", "managerial", "work", "corporate" were typed with one or more of the following keywords "creativity", "creative", "creative potential", "innovative", "innovation" for the current review. Studies addressing different antecedent factors which are related to the construct of creativity at the individual, group and organisational level form the core of this review. In addition, studies providing insight about how to measure organisational creativity are also included in this review.

1. Creativity and innovation: a distinction

Creativity and innovation work together in order to give an organisation competitive advantage. However, there is a clear distinction between the two. While creativity is the generation of novel and original ideas (see DiLileo, Houghton 2006), innovation is the implementation of the same in the work settings (see West 2002). There are different stages of innovation implementation, namely, the initiation stage, implementation stage, adaptation stage and stabilisation stage. Creativity forms an essential component of the first stage of innovation, i. …

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