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Figure out how organizations encourage creativity in their working environments.

Determinants of organizational creativity

Read this article and learn how organizations encourage creativity in their working environments.

As we have learned in earlier lessons, creativity is affected by the press, meaning the environment. Five factors seem to determine the creativity in an organization: the organizational climate, leadership style, organizational culture, resources and skills, and the structure and systems of organization. But these are all internal factors and have nothing to do with ‘press’ meaning publicity or reputation. It is worth mention that all the above factors have influence on both the individual’s and the organization’s creative performance.

The organizational climate is related to the atmosphere or feeling in the environment, where expression, participation, and creativity can be boosted. To create this climate, interaction barriers should be lowered, stimuli should be increased, experiment should be encouraged, and building on early ideas should be allowed.

A democratic and participative leadership style is known to boost creativity. The leader’s vision is important for management, while effective communication through both formal and informal channels is also a key factor. What’s more, constant employee encouragement and conveying vision from the highest level to the lowest are also needed for managing creative individuals. In addition, leaders should be able to form effective work groups, which involves trusting individuals from diverse backgrounds.

The term ‘organizational culture’ refers to the deepest level of basic values, assumptions and beliefs in a group. Those values are shared by all its members and are shown by the rites, language used, stories, legends and myths shared by all members. An environment of innovative and supportive people best encourages creativity . To create this environment, principles that everyone accepts should be set and a culture that encourages risk-taking should be developed. Moreover, individuals and teams with high autonomy can foster creativity.

Resources and skills’ here emphasizes human resources. It is obvious that if organizations want to keep creative, they should hire people who are creative in their thinking processes. The managers of organizations also have to offer sufficient resources and training to boost creativity. Money and time are both key factors that should be provided to employees; this is discussed in the previous article “Sources of creativity”.

Structure and systems’ refers to both the formal and the informal processes within the company. The structure and systems truly enhance creativity when the organization wholeheartedly gives it support. To motivate creativity the structure of the organization should be flat to allow decisions at all levels, while evaluation should be supportive and informative. Only by integrating and allocating employees’ creative contributions to the right place where they can generate products, services and processes, can creativity be used in the most effective way.

After reading this article, we want to know your opinion. Please share your responses with your fellow students in the comments!

Reference:

Andriopoulos, C. (2001). Determinants of organisational creativity: a literature review. Management decision, 39(10), 834-841.

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This article is from the free online course:

Using Creative Problem Solving

National Chiao Tung University