The Influences on Creativity in Research and Innovation
Edited by Sven Hemlin and Carl Martin Allwood
Chapter 1: What is a creative knowledge environment?
Sven Hemlin, Carl Martin Allwood and Ben R. Martin INTRODUCTION The starting point for this book is the assumption that creativity is to a great extent influenced by the environment in which people work to produce creative products. This assumption is consistent with the conclusion of Amabile and colleagues who stated: Managers at all levels who wish to foster creativity and innovation within their organisations can do so not only by paying attention to what sort of individuals they hire – to the kind of personal characteristics and skills that early creativity research emphasised – but also by paying attention to the environments they create for these potentially creative individuals. (Amabile et al., 1996, p.1180; emphasis added). To adopt this starting point is not, of course, to deny that certain individuals are potentially much more creative than others, depending on the personal characteristics that they possess. Nevertheless the extent to which that creative potential is expressed in practice depends to a considerable extent on the environment in which the individual works. Furthermore people constitute an important part of the environment for others, since most creative work involves interaction or even collaboration with other people. The focus of this book is creative knowledge environments, by which we mean the environments in which new knowledge is produced by people, especially in their work settings. In order to delimit clearly the scope of the book, we define creative knowledge environments as follows. Creative knowledge environments (CKEs) are those environments, contexts and surroundings the characteristics of...
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