Innovation management

Topics: Validity, Creativity, Environment Pages: 64 (12589 words) Published: February 19, 2014
Assessing the Work Environment for Creativity
Author(s): Teresa M. Amabile, Regina Conti, Heather Coon, Jeffrey Lazenby and Michael Herron
Source: The Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 39, No. 5 (Oct., 1996), pp. 1154-1184 Published by: Academy of Management
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Academy of Management Journal
1996, Vol. 39, No. 5, 1154-1184.

Harvard University
Colgate University
University of Michigan
University of Southern California
Personnel Decisions International
We describe the development and validation of a new instrument, KEYS: Assessing the Climate for Creativity, designed to assess perceived stimulants and obstacles to creativity in organizational work environments. The KEYS scales have acceptable factor structures, internal consistencies, test-retest reliabilities, and preliminary convergent and discriminant validity. A construct validity study shows that perceived work environments, as assessed by the KEYS scales, discriminate between high-creativity projects and low-creativity projects; certain scales discriminate more strongly and consistently than others. We discuss the utility of this tool for research and practice.

All innovation begins with creative ideas. Successful implementation of new programs, new product introductions, or new services depends on a person or a team having a good idea-and developing that idea beyond its initial state. Departing from the traditional psychological approach to creativity, which focuses on the characteristics of creative persons (e.g., Barron, 1955; MacKinnon, 1965), we assume that the social environment can influThe reported research was conducted while Teresa Amabile, Regina Conti, and Heather Coon were at Brandeis University, and Michael Herron was at the California School of Professional Psychology. This study was supported in part by a grant to Teresa M. Amabile from the Exxon Education Foundation ("Creativity in R&D Laboratories"), and preparation of this manuscript was supported in part by her grant from the National Institute of Mental Health ("Creativity and Motivation," #1-RO1-MH-44999).

We wish to acknowledge the generous help of Dean Whitney, Mary Ann Collins, Sylvester Taylor, and Nur Gryskiewicz with data analysis and the helpful comments of several colleagues who read earlier drafts of the manuscript: Kim Appelmans, Margaret Baillio, Mary Ann Collins, Beth Hennessey, Karl Hill, Herminia Ibarra, Elise Phillips, Martha Picariello, Dean Whitney, and three anonymous reviewers.


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Amabile, Conti, Coon, Lazenby, and Herron


ence both the level and the frequency of creative behavior. Like other researchers (e.g., Stein, 1974; Woodman, Sawyer, & Griffin, 1993), we define creativity as the production of novel and useful ideas in any domain. We define innovation as the successful implementation of creative ideas within an organization....

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