Where are the generators?

Basadur, M.S. and Basadur, T.M. (2011). Where are the generators? Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, Vol 5 (1), 29-42.


Organizational creativity is presented as four distinctly different sequential stages of a dynamic cognitive problem solving process: generation, conceptualization, optimization, and implementation. The generation stage is the activity that initiates the creative process. It is disruptive, because it entails proactively and deliberately seeking and discovering brand new problems and opportunities. Often called opportunity finding, generation results from restless discontent with the status quo. This activity is different from the second stage, conceptualization, which other researchers have previously described as problem construction, identification, or formulation. Such second stage activity gives definition to a newly discovered problem freshly emerging from the first stage or to a presented or otherwise already existing problem. We provide research showing that the people who prefer the generation stage activity (generators) are under-represented in industrial and business organizations and are likely to be found in occupations normally found outside such organizations, for example, artists, writers, designers, teachers, and academic institutions. We argue that organizations seeking increased creativity and innovation could do so by understanding and recognizing the contributions made by people preferring the generator style, and by making generator activity more attractive for all members of the organization.

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