Needed research in creativity for business and industrial applications

Basadur, M.S. (1987). Needed research in creativity for business and industrial applications. In Frontiers of creativity research: Beyond the basics. (Editor: Isaksen, S.G.) Chapter 13. Buffalo, N.Y.: Bearly.


In an article entitled "Research in Creative Problem-Solving Training in Business and Industry" (Basadur, 1982), I described both how I had learned to apply creative problem solving methodology on an ongoing basis in a large industrial organization and the research that work had spawned. As the application of processes and techniques of creative problem solving penetrated throughout this organization, opportunities for further research began to emerge. The organization became a laboratory of its own, consisting of real people learning to apply creative processes in ongoing everyday business and technical situations. Since that time, my "laboratory" has grown much larger, extending to many varied organizations. New knowledge has been gained and many new questions raised. A trained practitioner can be of great help to any organization in a variety of creative problem-solving applications. The design of each application opportunity must be developed uniquely and creatively. A thorough consulting diagnosis involving the client(s) and the practitioner is required to develop an appropriate creative plan. The plan includes the selection, development and sequence of creativity techniques to be used. It may include pre-meeting work. It always includes provisions for post meeting action planning and follow-up. The first part of this paper describes some aspects of implementing and consulting in small group creativity. Specific different types of applications and techniques that I have found successful are identified. Also described is an original piece of research that provides evidence that creativity training does work. It also provides some theoretical models of how it may work in an organization. The research is a field experiment indicating that training in a complete process of creative problem solving can improve attitudes and behaviors associated with creativity. The second part of this chapter reviews six broad issues relating to practical concerns of using creative problem solving in organizations. Some research findings are shared and directions for future research are suggested.

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