Leadership, Creativity & Innovation:Theoretical Background

Leadership, Creativity & Innovation: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND 

 

The terms of creativity and innovation are elaborated on by many researchers. Most of them used innovation as a more inclusive two-component concept encompassing both idea generation and application (e.g.,West, 2002), while emphasizing the need of distinguishing between creativity and innovation implementation (Rank & Frese, 2004). 

 

Thus, creativity has to do with novel and useful ideas (Mumford & Gustafson, 1988; Scott & Bruce, 1994), while innovation has to do with the adoption of useful ideas and idea implementation (Kanter, 1988;Van de Ven, 1986).  West & Farr (1990) consider creativity as “the ideation component of innovation as encompassing both the proposal and application of the new ideas’’ (p. 10). 

 

While according to West (2002), innovation is restricted to intentional attempts to bring about benefits from new changes. It implies novelty but not necessarily absolute novelty. Thus, creativity and innovation differ in the required degree of novel idea: creativity is truly novel, whereas innovation can be based on ideas that are adopted from previous experience of different organizations (West, 2002) understanding the concept as a process. 

 

Accordingly, the distinction between the terms of creativity and innovation is more on the emphasis, rather than on the category, since creativity appears to be understood more an absolute novelty (bring into existence) rather than the relative novelty of innovation (bring in novelties). In this sense, various processes and products that include technological changes like new products, new production processes, and the  introduction of advance manufacturing technology may be regarded as innovations.  

HRM strategies, organizational policies on health and safety are included as well (West, 2002).  

As noted above, all the factors were classified mainly in two levels: individual and organizational, which are discussed below. 

 

The section proceeds by providing two models that present other creativity-related factors.