Handbook of Research on Creativity
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Handbook of Research on Creativity

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.
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Chapter 34: Creativity in R & D

Sven Hemlin, Lisa Olsson and Leif Denti


What is creativity in research and development (R & D)? How can it be achieved? These two questions are dealt with in this chapter. However, before we attempt to answer them it is important to point out that creativity is a vital part of R & D, that is, academic research and industrial research and development work. Scientists, engineers and others involved in R & D need creativity to solve difficult problems. In fact, the OECD definition of R & D includes creativity so all R & D is basically a creative endeavour (OECD, 1993). One way to approach the two questions—what R & D creativity is and how it can be achieved—is to distinguish between levels of analyses. We will discuss the three levels—individual, team and organization—on which R & D creativity may occur. Of course, individuals are the inevitable sources of creativity, but teams can add to individuals’ creativity, as can organizations.

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