Table of Contents

Handbook of Research on Creativity

Handbook of Research on Creativity

Elgar original reference

Edited by Kerry Thomas and Janet Chan

In this timely work, creativity is not defined by an ideal, rather it encompasses a range of theories, functions, characteristics, processes, products and practices that are associated with the generation of novel and useful outcomes suited to particular social, cultural and political contexts. Chapters present original research by international scholars from a wide range of disciplines including history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, cultural studies, education, economics and interdisciplinary studies. Their research investigates creativity in diverse fields including art, creative industries, aesthetics, design, new media, music, arts education, science, engineering and technology.

Introduction to the chapters

Janet Chan and Kerry Thomas

Subjects: business and management, organisation studies, innovation and technology, innovation policy


Recent decades have seen a resurgence of interest in creativity and innovation in the public sphere. Although the link between the two has not really been explored until recently (see Mann and Chan 2011), their reappearance, at least to a significant degree, can be attributed to a new global recognition that national, regional, corporate and commercial competitiveness now requires innovation more than ever (see Menger; DeCock, Rehn and Berry, this volume). From this perspective it is expected that creativity will spark innovation, which in turn will create a competitive edge for business (Pink 2004). Creative workers in creative industries are seen as ‘agents of urban regeneration’ while creative ideas ‘have become economically vital in late capitalism, both as products in themselves . . . and as a means of stimulating new demand through advertising and branding’ (Taylor, this volume, p. 176). Yet, the ‘new’ may not always be as promising as expected nor associated with the good or a more just and equitable society, as a number of authors in this Handbook suggest (e.g., see the authors above and McGuigan; Cropley, Kaufman and Cropley; jagodzinski, this volume).