Creativity, Invention and Innovation – Relationship and Differentiation

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Creativity, Invention and Innovation – Relationship and differentiation

This article explores the relationship and differences between creativity, invention and innovation in the organisational context.

Creativity, invention and innovation are not the same thing. Creativity is the ability to see or perceive the world in different ways and to make connections between things that may be unrelated or those that we previously thought were not connected resulting in a generation of solutions to problems.

Cooper (1998) considered creativity as an element of competitive advantage for organisations. Creative organisations need to be skilled at creating, acquiring and transferring knowledge and modifying behaviours.

A number of research initiatives on creativity have shown that creativity is influenced by the organisational context. One of the notable research is that of Amabile (1997) who showed that there are a number of parameters that impeded or stimulated creativity: - Organisational encouragement;

- Supervisory encouragement ;
- Work group encouragement ;
- Freedom and autonomy ;
- Resources ;
- Pressures ;
- Organisational Impediments

Ekvall (1996) looked at the organisational climatic dimensions which affects organisational creativity. He identified ten dimensions :
- Challenge ;
- Freedom ;
- Idea Time ;
- Dynamism ;
- Idea Support ;
- Trust and Openess ;
- Plyfulness and Humour ;
- Conflicts ;
- Debates ;
- Risk-taking

The strength of both Ekvall and Amiable research is that they both demonstrated the relationship between individual creativity and the organisation culture and climate. The weakness however is that they both have not included leadership impact on creatvity. Andreopaulos (2001) included leadesrhip style with organisational climate, organisational culture, resources and skills, and structure and systems of an organisation as paramters that affect organisational creativity.

It is a myth to believe that only...
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