Innovation and Creativity in Organizations

From Adaptive Cycle
Jump to: navigation, search


Ferdi, Koen, Olivier, Stefan Paap, Sybe

Authors: Neil Anderson, Kristina Potočnik, Jing Zhou

Publication Year: 2014

Source: SAGE Publications ;

Journal: Journal of Management

Volume: 40

Issue: 5

Categories: Information Management, Innovation


Creativity and innovation in any organisation are vital to its successful performance. In this article, the researches perform a review of this fast growing research area. They focus mainly on the last decade, 2002 to 2013. In the paper, first they review popular definitions and typologies of creativity and innovation, with a focus on the workplace aspect, after which they propose an integrable definition that cover the different perspectives. This integrative definition is used to provide some degree toward definitional clarity. Next, they take a closer look at six theoretical perspectives:

  • Componential Theory of Organizational Creativity and Innovation
  • Interactionist Perspective of Organizational Creativity
  • Model of Individual Creative Action
  • Theorizing on Cultural Differences and Creativity
  • Four-Factor Theory of Team Climate for Innovation
  • Ambidexterity Theory

They note that all these perspectives focus on either idea generation or the implementation of ideas. After this, the researchers look into other researches and use their levels-of-analysis framework to look into four levels of analysis: individual, teams, organizational and multilevel. For each of these four levels, they look at factors that are applicable on a certain level. For each level, the researchers sum up their findings and suggest, if applicable, future research to improve or enhance certain aspects. After this, the researchers look into the hard task of measuring the creativity and innovation within an organization. They find that the methodologies that exist for measuring these variables, are well developed and give reliable results. However, the individual level is behind on the results, since the results for this are based on self-made reports. This makes it unreliable. For this, the researches suggest multiple directions for future research: they provide a table with 60 possible future research questions that future studies can address. They also provide a list of 11 themes, which they think deserve greater attention by researches, and provide a short statement substantiating their opinion. They conclude their review with a statement saying that, although the field has continued to make strides forward, there are notable shortcomings that remain afflicted by the various approaches. By reviewing and redressing these limitations, it could create a big improvement in the understanding of the creativity and innovation aspects of an organization.

Critical Reflection

The Adaptive Cycle

This article is relevant to the topic adaptive cycle of change because it provides a critical review on several theories of creativity and innovation, a subject that lies very close to the adaptive cycle. The adaptive cycle stands for the changes within an organization, in case of a crisis. This crisis can be in the negative sense of the word, but it can be also seen as an opportunity to innovate. This crisis will make the state of the organization go from quadrant 1 (Equilibrium) to quadrant 2 (Crisis). As said, this state of crisis will most likely need innovation to reinstate itself as a solid company. To achieve this, new ideas that will lead to the innovation are key. Hence creativity and innovation are key for a company or organization if it wants to come out of a crisis as a solid, stable business. The focus of this research lies therefore mostly on the transition from quadrant 1 to 2. This transition is, for most organizations, a critical substitution that is essential for the existence of their business. In case the creativity and innovation are not useful enough, there’s a chance the organizations will not survive the crisis.
However, the creativity and innovation may also take place in the first quadrant, since a company can anticipate on this crises to make sure it won’t last long: if one happens, the efforts done in the first quadrant will make sure the innovation and creativity isn’t suddenly needed, but ongoing for a while. This can reduce the amount of time an organization is in crisis.
The goal of this article is to provide clarity about the concepts creativity and innovation. With an integrative definition, the researchers look at different studies and provide these studies with their view. Though the article doesn’t conduct a research itself, it does have 60 suggestions for research questions that can be performed for future research. Also 11 overarching directions are provided. These suggestions can have an influence on the development of creativity and innovation, thus it can also influence the adaptive cycle. If these suggestions have new, useful knowledge, the adaptive cycle can be improved with this knowledge. The researchers provide, by sharing all these new, possible future researchers and research areas can gain inspiration from this article.
So, although the article doesn’t have a direct influence on the Adaptive Cycle, it can definitely be relevant for the topics we’re currently studying. By using the findings of the researchers on excising techniques used to develop the Adaptive Cycle, a new and enhanced conclusions can be drawn that can influence the Adaptive Cycle.


Ferdi, Koen, Olivier, Stefan Paap, Sybe