Skip main navigation

Innovation & Creativity

Explanation of innovation and creativity and the concept of Innovative Work Behaviour (IWB).
© University of Twente

Based on an extensive review, the researchers Crossan and Apaydin (2010) developed the following definition: Innovation is: production or adoption, assimilation, and exploitation of a value-added novelty in economic and social spheres; renewal and enlargement of products, services, and markets; development of new methods of production; and establishment of new management systems. It is both a process and an outcome.

Hence, innovation comes down to the implementation of new of significantly improved products, processes, (marketing) methods or organizational practices (OECD, 2005, p. 46), which can lead to improved competitive advantage, organizational performance and long-term survival (Anderson et al., 2004). In other words, innovation is crucial for organizations to survive! If your company does not innovate, it will be overtaken by (new) competitors, and eventually cease to exist.

A sinking company by Remco Guijs

Innovation is often confused with invention and creativity. (1) Creativity in the workplace refers to the creation of new and useful ideas, (2) invention refers to the outcome of the creative process, the new idea and potentially a prototype, whereas (3) innovation goes one step further because it also reflects the actual use and implementation of these new ideas and prototypes.

When employees in the workplace are engaged in innovative activities, this is called Innovative Work Behavior (IWB). IWB is defined as an individuals’ behaviour that aims to achieve the generation and implementation of new and useful ideas, processes, products or procedures in a work role, group or organization (De Jong and Den Hartog, 2010).

Creativity is an important prerequisite of innovation, and for that reason your creativity will be tested in the next exercise.

© University of Twente
This article is from the free online

The Future of Human Resource Management (HRM)

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education