Title: Barriers and obstructive practices for out-of-the-box creativity in groups

Authors: Tea Lempiala

Addresses: Innovation Management Institute, Helsinki University of Technology, P.O. Box 5500, 02015 HUT, Finland

Abstract: This paper examines the barriers and obstructive practices for out-of-the-box creativity in group ideation. It first combines knowledge from creativity and innovation literature, summarising four antecedents – vision, culture for questioning and tolerance, balanced risk-taking and priority and demand for radical innovation – for out-of-the-box creativity. It then examines how these antecedents are concretised in group practices and identifies the practices that are detrimental for out-of-the-box creativity. Such practices include the misuse of humour, silencing ideas and overemphasis on proof and detail. The empirical materials were collected from three group ideation contexts. The first and most in-depth data collection setting was a large, globally operating technology company, where an ideation group was observed during a six-month period. The two other settings included a two-day ideation workshop organised by a large global manufacturing company and two ideation workshops in a mixed environment with both students and corporate participants. The methods of data collection were interviews and observation.

Keywords: radical innovation; groups; antecedents; barriers; practices; product development; out-of-the-box creativity; group practices.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2010.033959

International Journal of Product Development, 2010 Vol.11 No.3/4, pp.220 - 240

Published online: 05 Jul 2010 *

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