From creativity to success: barriers and critical success factors in the creative process
Considerable research efforts have been invested in identifying the individual and contextual factors that facilitate employee creativity. However, the literature also abounds with conflicting research results regarding critical factors for employee creativity. At the basis of these contradictions is the lack of attention that has been given to the study of the potential differential impact of these antecedents on specific sub-processes of creativity. Historically, scholars have focused on studying the antecedents of creativity as an outcome variable, but far less is known about how these factors differentially impact the various stages within the creative process. Building on this research gap, the aim of this study is to explore the possible differential impact on the phases of the creative process of five antecedents previously identified as important predictors of creativity: (1) personality; (2) rewards; (3) the role of co-workers; (4) leadership; and (5) the configuration of work settings. The present study demonstrates the need to conceive creativity as a process if we want to advance in building a comprehensive theory of employee creativity. We found that the factors that emerged in one phase of the creative process were not necessarily the same as the factors observed in other phases. In fact, the prerequisites for creativity in one phase sometimes contradicted the necessary conditions for creativity in another phase. Specifically, we found evidence for six countervailing forces.
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