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Edited by Chris Bilton and Stephen Cummings
Chapter 5: Beyond conventional Western views of creativity and innovation
There is a long-held assumption that Asians are not creative. Books from scholars based in Asia with titles such as Why Asians are Less Creative than Westerners (Ng 2001) and Can Asians Think? (Mahbubani 2002) only seem to reinforce the stereotype that Asians are not as creative as their Western counterparts. This notion, however, has not stopped governments in Asia from investing heavily both financially and through myriad policies to support creativity and innovation across a range of industries within their nations. These initiatives range from promoting creativity through design, as exemplified by the newly established Singapore University of Technology and Design, to the Chinese government stimulating creativity in arts and culture by designating certain cities in China as ëcreative centresí (Keane 2007). Other schemes include a variety of nation branding plans that are being implemented by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan and Koreaís highly successful support for local popular culture which has resulted in the so-called Korean Wave in East Asian countries (Chua and Iwabuchi 2008). This drive towards being ëcreativeí is no doubt due to the belief that creativity is an essential component for any countryís economy where the significance of agriculture and manufacturing is in irreversible decline.
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