Creativity, knowledge and IS: A critical view

Oded Nov, Matthew Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The growing importance of creativity in organizations, the reliance of creativity on knowledge, the increasing use of information systems (IS) as means to support organizational knowledge - all point to the importance of research on the relationship between IS, knowledge and creativity in organizations. In this paper, evidence from case studies of realworld industrial creative processes is presented. Drawing on the evidence, the creativity, knowledge and IS literatures are critically examined. In particular, attention is given to the Creativity Templates approach - according to which, fundamental "templates" representing creativity regularities underlie seemingly original product instantiations, and therefore algorithms for the development of creative products can be used to enhance creative processes. An alternative view of bounded creativity is explored that is reliant on flexible knowledge sharing, rather than on prescriptive creativity algorithms. This view involves primarily two complementary organizational practices: communication of exemplars and references, and knowledge restriction. Ideation, in this view, takes place with no direct use of techniques or creativity enhancement methods. Such approach may be more suitable to highly creative organizations given the strong sense of identity and high regard of originality. Unlike many of the creativity support approaches presented in the literature, it is not an isolated technique but rather a set of fairly specific organizational practices, which, brought together, seem to give rise to creativity, and mitigate against potential identity conflicts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
StatePublished - 2005
Event38th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - Big Island, HI, United States
Duration: Jan 3 2005Jan 6 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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