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Understanding how to enhance business creativity

By Robert Dew

Abstract

This PhD study examines some of what happens in an individual’s mind regarding creativity during problem solving within an organisational context. It presents innovations related to creative motivation, cognitive style and framing effects that can be applied by managers to enhance individual employee creativity within the organisation and thereby assist organisations to become more innovative.\ud The project delivers an understanding of how to leverage natural changes in creative motivation levels during problem solving. This pattern of response is called Creative Resolve Response (CRR). The project also presents evidence of how framing effects can be used to influence decisions involving creative options in order to enhance the potential for managers get employees to select creative options more often for implementation.\ud The study’s objectives are to understand:\ud • How creative motivation changes during problem solving\ud • How cognitive style moderates these creative motivation changes\ud • How framing effects apply to decisions involving creative options to solve problems\ud • How cognitive style moderate these framing effects\ud The thesis presents the findings from three controlled experiments based around self reports during contrived problem solving and decision making situations. The first experiment suggests that creative motivation varies in a predictable and systematic way during problem solving as a function of the problem solver’s perception of progress. The second experiment suggests that there are specific framing effects related to decisions involving creativity. It seems that simply describing an alternative as innovative may activate perceptual biases that overcome risk based framing effects. The third experiment suggests that cognitive style moderates decisions involving creativity in complex ways. It seems that in some contexts, decision makers will prefer a creative option, regardless of their cognitive style, if this option is both outside the bounds of what is officially allowed and yet ultimately safe.\ud The thesis delivers innovation on three levels: theoretical, methodological and empirical. The highlights of these findings are outlined below:\ud 1. Theoretical innovation with the conceptualisation of Creative Resolve Response based on an extension of Amabile’s research regarding creative motivation.\ud 2. Theoretical innovation linking creative motivation and Kirton’s research on cognitive style.\ud 3. Theoretical innovation linking both risk based and attribute framing effects to cognitive style.\ud 4. Methodological innovation for defining and testing preferences for creative solution implementation in the form of operationalised creativity decision alternatives.\ud 5. Methodological innovation to identify extreme decision options by applying Shafir’s findings regarding attribute framing effects in reverse to create a test.\ud 6. Empirical innovation with statistically significant research findings which indicate creative motivation varies in a systematic way.\ud 7. Empirical innovation with statistically significant research findings which identify innovation descriptor framing effects\ud 8. Empirical innovation with statistically significant research findings which expand understanding of Kirton’s cognitive style descriptors including the importance of safe rule breaking.\ud 9. Empirical innovation with statistically significant research findings which validate how framing effects do apply to decisions involving operationalised creativity.\ud Drawing on previous research related to creative motivation, cognitive style, framing effects and supervisor interactions with employees, this study delivers insights which can assist managers to increase the production and implementation of creativity in organisations. Hopefully this will result in organisations which are more innovative. Such organisations have the potential to provide ongoing economic and social benefits

Topics: creativity, motivation, creative motivation, creative production, framing effects, cognitive style, operationalised creativity, organisational creativity, supervision
Publisher: Queensland University of Technology
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:29311

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