This group tends to agree with Mumford's idea that creativity is a critical variable in shaping the long term success of organisations (Mumford, 2012). However, some suggest that people tend to reject creative ideas (Mueller, 2011) and that original thinkers can be more dishonest and morally flexible (Gino & Ariely, 2011). Therefore creativity was chosen as a subject of this research in order to find out its importance and usefulness in the business environment.
“a set of loose and tight processes, personal qualities and product attributes which lead to new and valuable outcomes”
understand if and how creativity can be fostered
understand how undergraduates and graduates perceive creativity
Quantitative online survey
A total of 60 responses were collected from 18 countries between the 11th of November and the 1st of December. 42 of the answers came from those in employment while the rest came from students.
The quantitative data gathering involved the distribution of 500 surveys online through the WBS network, gathering data from current students and alumni alike.
2) Would you consider creativity as a crucial value nowadays?
3) Did you always think that?
4) What might creativity look like in practice and how might it be embodied in your business life and identity?
5) Why has creativity become so important?
-Bilton (2014: p. 5)
Based on the gathered data, we conclude that creativity is considered an important and useful value in the business environment. Therefore, we agree with Sir Ken Robinson who suggests that creativity is "as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status" (Robinson, 2006).
Over 80% of the participants of the online survey strongly agreed or agreed that creativity is a vital value at the workplace.
find out if and why creativity is considered a crucial value at work
Group 10:57 - Syahirah Binti Kamal Adzham, Alix Ditisheim, Sophie Hamilton, Zoltán Mihály, Ying Wang
find out whether the significance of creativity is affected by the work environment
1) Could you describe your work environment?
Based on the data, there are four factors people point to when asked why they consider creativity to be important:
- It can bridge the gap between different disciplines, such as marketing and finance.
- It can help find alternative solutions to an existing problem.
- It allows for adaptation to different stimuli rather than merely seeing obstacles and only thinking how to maneuver around.
- It can create a motivated working environment which increases employee's engagement in their work.
- It can help a business find a unique selling point which differentiates it from competitors and which attracts clients and customers.
In terms of the relationship between different working environments and creativity, the data we gathered was not sufficient to come to a proper conclusion on how much the significance of creativity is affected by environment. Therefore, it might be pertinent to pursue further research in this area.
The qualitative data gathering involved the interviewing of four employees from various different occupations to see the significance of creativity in different working environments.
Two interviews were done face-to-face and two were done through Skype. The interviews were conducted on the 30th of November and on the 1st of December.
Do you think creativity is vital at the workplace?
Number of people
- Interviewee number 1
What value do you think is the most important?
How can you foster creativity?
Trust and empower staff
Encourage freedom of thought, initiative and innovation
Give people time and opportunity
Don't tell, suggest!
Be open minded
Do something artistic
Freedom of expression
Inspiring work environment
Think outside the box
Experience new things and learn
Finally, we support the efforts of WBS Create to educate creative leaders and managers by using drama and theatre techniques (WBS, 2015) as research participants considered these techniques (see above) effective in fostering creativity.
As Hitchcock & Hughes suggest, qualitative research is rather about discovery than verification of existing theories (Hitchcock & Hughes, 1995: p. 297). The most interesting discovery was one candidate's suggestion that all the Warwick Business School (WBS) graduate attributes are equally important, although some values become more salient in certain context or in certain phase of a business.
The data from our survey seems to contradict to this statement as creativity was considered significantly more important than two randomly selected WBS values. Although it may be the case that the candidates' workplace is in a phase where being creative plays a bigger role than being meritocratic or dynamic, in which case the data seems to support the interviewee's suggestion.
The conclusion reached may be affected by the group’s initial positive bias towards creativity (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2011: p. 204, 225). We paid close attention to the formulation of interview questions, so as to mitigate possible bias (ibid. p. 205). In addition, since the responses collected were summarised, ethical considerations can also be raised: we may have subconsciously emphasized responses that fell in line with our own expectations while neglecting those that did not (ibid. p. 208). Although our data for the online survey was collected globally, we utilised convenience sampling (i.e., sourcing from relatives or professors) for interviews because of time constraints.