Theories of Creativity, Innovation and Change in Business

Introduction

Creativity, innovation, and change are interrelated phenomena affecting the operations in the organization. The human endeavor is characterized by creativity, in which the people and workers come up with new practical ideas to make the operation more efficient. Through creativity and innovation, one can add unprecedented value to the products, an issue that is critical to the workers’ performance in the organization, thus creating the desired change.

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Scholars have noted that creativity and innovation have overcome some of the greatest challenges, which the company might be facing, thereby improving the production system and service delivery (Noe, 2009).

For this essay, the central issues discussed include the theories of creativity, innovation and change, the theoretical models of explaining the matters, critical consideration of individual performance as a leader, and the key aspects of innovation and change. Notably, those are the integral aspects of creativity, innovation, and change in the organizational setup.

Theories of Creativity, Innovation, and Change

With globalization, many scholars believe that organizations have significant changes and challenges from within, and outside the entities. Indeed, the changes have profound impacts on the productivity and other managerial affairs of the organization, thereby necessitating the creative and innovative minds, which could steer them to greater heights of development. Despite the varying extents, the scholars note that many of the workers, perhaps all have some levels of creative potential that the organization may be unable to harness so that they could maximize efficiency (Noe, 2009).

Also, how the organization might react to the employee’s creativity and innovation could demoralize them, and deter them from achieving the objectives, or encourage them to go the extra mile with such innovative ideas. There are several theories, which the scholars have used to explain the concepts of creativity, innovation and change include, including the Jenga theory of creativity, systems theory, the functionalist theory, the interpretive theory, the radical humanist theory, and the radical structuralism theory (Noe, 2009).

The Jenga Theory of Creativity

The theory suggests that creativity and innovation involve the addition and subtraction of issues and objects to make a completely new, and complex one that overcomes the limitations of the previous aspects (Almekinders, Beukema & Tromp, 2008). Besides the subtraction of elements is more pronounced than the ones added. The theory is most concerned with the outcome other than the input because some of the contributions could be removed for a better product. Indeed, while constructing a new idea or product, one needs to include numerous opinions and elements respectively as possible, provided that the focus remains on the intended outcome that the innovator is working on.

Each person has a way of creating unique objects using, with some applying the experimental means of overcoming the failures during the process. Through creativity, the person can learn the simpler ways of doing things. The intended results are achievable after persistence trials and mistakes, which make the inventor learn the most appropriate ways of nurturing the elements to achieve desirable and great objects.

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In another argument, the proponents of Jenga‘s theory agree with the issue that great things are constructed using smaller bits. Moreover, the innovator must have a basic understanding of the intended outcome, though it might supersede the intention (Almekinders, Beukema & Tromp, 2008). Notably, when one is armed with the knowledge of the item he/she would like to make, it would be easier for the person to develop other ideas during the implementation and produce an exceptional object. It is also important to note that some innovators develop ideas from the available literature, meaning that the original idea might not be from him/her.

Systems Theory

On innovation and creativity, the systems theory is classified under the Domain Individual Field Interaction (DIFI). Notably, the theory acknowledges that creativity and innovativeness are reliant on products, processes, places, and persons. In the social context, creativity is a construction that explains the actions embedded within certain contexts, to create meaningful change in the workplace.

Concerning the systems theory, the individuals, cultural and social factors have a significant influence on creativity and the innovative product. The DIFI, therefore, brings three interrelated aspects, including the person, the domain and the field that supports creativity. Overall, they bring change to the organization and how the management executes change. Notably, the elements are of the great importance of evaluating the success of organizational objectives (Buckley & Caple, 2009).

In this scenario, the person is the individual whose original ideas create new phenomena and products. It is important to realize that innovation cannot occur on its own, thus recognizing the contributions of the initiators. Therefore, people are integral to the process of creativity and innovation for meaningful success to be realized.

The domain, in this case, means the systematic knowledge that the person ought to access; if possible have adequate expertise on the aspect as this will enable the person to alter the current rules of the organization or domain so that he/she may create new ones. The concept is mostly applicable to the experts within the domain, who are conversant with the system, its culture and the values (Noe, 2009). In essence, the new products and ideas might not be seen as creative, unless they pass through a vetted creative process. Also, the ideas and products have to address the limitations that characterize the previous ones in a manner that depicts a creative ideology.

The supportive field, in this case, is the company. No significant innovation can take place in isolation without the medium that seeks adjustments on its legal frameworks and the processes of operation (Northouse, 2010). Therefore, the company under investigation also should play an active role to facilitate innovation in the production process. The companies ought to realize that such changes might increase efficiency and increase the volume of production and sales, thereby being able to make a profit.

The Functionalists Theory

The proponents of the theory assume that to create significant changes in the organizational system, one has to interact with the system to familiarize him/her with the structure (Buckley & Caple, 2009). The core issues in the theory are the fact that empirical research, data collection, and analysis could lead to creative ideas, which seek to correct the fundamental mistakes of the current research and ways of carrying out the operations.

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The Interpretive Theory

Under the theory, the proponents argue that creativity and innovation are subjective depending on personal interpretation and judgment (Phills & Denend, 2005). The new ideas that one person might introduce to the operations in the organization could be perceived differently by the colleagues and the management team. The latter might presume that the ideas are intended to derail the smooth operations in the company, therefore may not be willing to support the proposal (Northouse, 2010). Significantly, the various forms of interpretation of ideas become the reasons for considering creativity is subjective.

Also, the interpretive theorists may argue and support their claim that the organization does not in theory, but only in practice and that it is subjective for one to consider an entity like an organization. They further state that the organizations are just like other concepts with varied meanings and significance, thus do not have a generalized meaning.

Moreover, the proponents of the theory point that the persons’ long term knowledge with issues dealing with creativity, inside the organization than the organizational initiative to promote creativity and reward creative employees. This makes the whole issue to be subjective and takes the perception of the individual innovator (Burke, 2010).

In such subjective approaches, scholars view creativity as a process of sense-making, in which an aspect that does not convince the third party is altered to make it meaningful. The concept is ambiguous to understand, thus justifying the subjectivity of a creative idea and action (Northouse, 2010). One may perceive the theory as complex, but in reality, the whole concept is a combined influence of motivation, ability, sense-making and personal knowledge of creativity and innovation.

The Radical Humanist Theory

Here, the theory relates to creativity and innovation with the process of achieving self-actualization. Precisely, they believe that personal consciousness is dependent on organizational concepts and deliverables, thereby increasing or decreasing the ability of the person to come up with new and useful ideas.

Alternatively, the organizational and mind structures could enhance or hinder creativity, thus indicating the need for the interplay between the concerned personalities and the organizational affiliation (Northouse, 2010). Notably, the domination of anyone’s structure could affect the outcome of innovation. Therefore, for the person’s creativity to be fulfilling there has to be liberation from all forms of domination, either from the mind or organizational structures, which interplay to give an outcome.

The Radical Structuralism Theory

Here, the theory suggests that conflict is a societal phenomenon that necessitates a social change. The proponents of the theory acknowledge, are concerned and explains that there are certain structures, arrangements, and processes whose impacts create significant interference with the people’s creativity and ability to bring important changes in the system. The theorists also believe that through adhering to certain procedures, each person has equal chances of contributing to change creatively. This stresses the assumption that creativity does not only arise from a section of individuals, but all have equal chances (Burke, 2010).

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Theoretical Models of Creativity, Innovation, and Change

About the role of the team and organizational leadership, the theoretical models of creativity, innovation, and creativity, relates to the contextual aspects including team climate, individual workers, organizational climate, work resources, leadership, team climate, the organizational customs, and the workload in the organization. Notably, there is a close relationship between the variables and their impacts on the organization (Burtis, Esptein & Parker, 2006). Furthermore, technological development has played a role in enhancing the individual and group creativity as a change in the people’s attitude towards whatever they do, could work well with creativity and innovativeness.

When the workers are appreciated for their creativity and innovativeness, it increases their morale to put mere effort and increase their concentration on the initiatives as they seek to perfect the skills. Many scholars have also viewed organizational innovation and creativity as fundamental to the employees and could result in their psychological well-being (Burtis, Esptein & Parker, 2006).

In reality, the increased market complexity and competitiveness are among the driving force for the organizations to promote creativity in the production of goods. In doing so, the organization would benefit from the competitive advantage that it secures for its products, thereby making them relevant to the consumers. Also, since many consumers are hooked with unique products in the market, the creative and innovative workforce could make the most out of their customers. Therefore, creating an enabling environment that facilitates the workers, the ability to maximize their knowledge is the major role of the organization (Catherine, 1998).

Perhaps, the potential growth that the company could achieve relies on the creativity of the workers, realizing that not only does creativity and the workforce’s ability to innovate makes it gain an advantage over the others, but it could create change, opportunities, dynamics, and life to the organization.

In line with the argument, the workers who are creative and perhaps innovative are happier than those who apply the invented products. Also, innovators are happier, committed and would strive to attain the best in life, thereby leaving a legacy in the company after realizing their self-actualization (Phills & Denend, 2005).

Theoretically, the concept of creativity and innovativeness are triggered by a series of problems, dissatisfactions, and incongruities, which the person might come across during life and work. The possible psychological stressors that the people go through in life constitute the problems, which need adequate creativity in offering their solution.

In this view, the problems aggravate the search for an amicable solution by increasing the workers’ morale (Catherine, 1998). Also, coping with psychological stressors would help the worker renew their cognition, behavior, abilities, and expectancies towards solving the problem. It is this determination that makes the people do extremely well, in their initiatives and creative mindset, thus promoting their integrity and efforts.

Other scholars also believe that the negative perceptions on issues relating to the workplace, which the people have to endure during work, evoke their creativity as an intervention mechanism (Phills & Denend, 2005). This is an automatic and reactive response to the problems and has helped many people to overcome such circumstances and achieve the psychological wellness of the workers and other stakeholders.

In other theoretical aspects, the impacts of the creative mind determine its success of the initiative and the need to further the innovation for better results, and the well-being of the innovators (Gops, 1995). The innovation that results in the intended results and even surpasses the postulated impact would attract more attention than the one that does not meet the intended outcome. However, this does not indicate that the innovator has failed since he/she should make a lot of attempts towards success. Certainly, success might not be achieved on the first attempt, and if so, it could still be improved into a different and more advanced product (Gops, 1995).

Often, scientific theorists and innovators have paid limited attention to the impacts of innovation and creative ideas to the level that the inventions are considered parse as if they have little influence on the people’s thoughts. However, more objective research on the matter has revealed that the impacts of creativity and innovation have shaped the peoples’ believes, judgment and attitude towards them (Poole & Van de Ven, 2004).

In a different opinion, the researchers have found out that the happiness dimensions and the heroic feelings are some of the positive impacts, which creativity and innovation have brought to individual persons and the group, or company at large (Poole & Van de Ven, 2004). Therefore, psychological well-being and creativity are interrelated and consequently cause happiness. The person whose ideas have created the intended impact on the society has some legend to the product, thus would proudly identify with it, in the market, or at the organizational level.

The other theoretical aspect of the issue has been the need to reward creativity and innovation (Gops, 1995). Notably, rewarding the people involved either using financial terns or non-financial terms, such as recognition and promotion to the next rank in employment could boost the morale of the person. This could make him/her put more effort into the initiative and further the ideas into a complex and more desirable outcome than anticipated. Those are some of the justifications for rewarding creative people in society (Price, 2009). Also, rewarding the creative and innovative minds could serve as a motivation for young people to put their ideas into useful and unique work that could boost organizational operations.

There are other theoretical models used in explaining the relationship between innovation and creativity and the perceived change that the organization intends to achieve in the long run. For instance, the issue of cost is very integral to the success of a person’s creativity (Hayes, 2010). Therefore the researchers believe that creativity ad innovation comes with great cost, sometimes beyond the scope of many of them.

This indicates that, for the company to harness the young and creative minds that they have, the management should be able and ready to meet the cost of making such initiatives a reality. Notably, the cost is undetermined and could either below, or high depending on the initiative and the time it takes to make it a reality (Robbins & Judge, 2010). Furthermore, for the initiative to be acceptable or serve its purpose, it should be noted that the time it takes, does not correlate to the outcome. In the end, the time taken would only depend on the complexity of the initiative and the availability of funds to meet the cost of its articulation.

However, the limitation to creativity and innovation is the uncertainty of the outcome. Indeed, this is the reason making many organizations skeptical in financing creativity and innovation, fearing loss of the money, if the intended outcome is not achieved (Hayes, 2010). Therefore, many companies consider the business risks that could culminate in huge losses for the company. Since no company would like to make a loss in its operations, they keep off the business, leaving the whole process of creativity and innovation to the individual persons involved in the process. This practice might decrease the participation of young employees in the organization.

Alternatively, creative people in the workplace usually question the norms, frameworks, and procedures, which apply to the rules and regulations that the workplace implement, on grounds of validity, applicability, and reliability. This also poses another challenge to the survival of creative people in many companies (Hayes, 2010). The innovators suffer in the hands of fellow employees and officials who are conservative and would not let meaningful changes to occur in the company.

Mostly, the workers argue that the creative and innovative persons create unnecessary disorder and tension at the workstation, and might eventually destabilize the normal operations of the company (Summers, 2008). Also, they are a bother and therefore cannot contribute to the development of the company more effectively, not realizing the importance of their contribution.

Own Performance as a Leader

Critically reviewing my performance as a leader, my strengths and areas of development include the following; first, since the inventions have a tendency to replace normal structures at the workplace, many of them have suffered because their incomes have been greatly reduced (Jordan, 2007). As a leader, the moral thing to do is to incorporate the new ideas and assist those already working so that they do not lose their jobs, upon the alterations of normal structures. Also important to do is to attempt to restructure the new and creative ideas so that their introduction would help create more jobs (Jordan, 2007).

Moreover, such new initiatives lead to heavy financial expenditure on the organization’s budget, especially on reforming the structures. This cost is in turn, pushed to the workers who are already constrained and feel the pinch in his or her income. Currently, many of them cannot acquire certain basic needs because of the increased burden resulting from implementing the new ideas in the organization.

The initiatives, despite the cost, have since continued to grow as our dependence on the continuous. The most worrying of them all is what has come to be the common modern popular fiction that at one point machines would take control of the world. In the movie ‘Matrix” it is well castrated therefore moral remains the binding aspect if a man is to continue enjoying services of the creative personnel (Jordan, 2007).

The ethical question on how we should treat the innovated things as many researchers ask whether it is moral to invent materials contrary to the societal norms. The concern is since when has a machine graduated from a mere device to an entity worthy of moral protection (Jordan, 2007). Therefore, it means that society fails to consider this as a poor treatment of the new machines and production system. For example, when a machine version of an animal is misused, what should remain in the minds of many is the significance of moral to both the innovator and the company.

Thus, one can put three cafeterias to judge if at all inventions deserve a moral status. First, we must think about how human beings act ethically with their leadership instincts or not since human beings are the ethical agent (Kanes, 2010). The design of the organization, whether or not it is ethical lastly is to consider if the new ideas can be created to become agents of morality if they are accepted.

The greatest implications of creativity on human on the subject matter are that people can be able to learn about leadership qualities from these innovations. This can also help us to end the blame game that occurs whenever there is an accident caused by newly invented machines. Notably, these faults are a result of human negligence, and not of their leader or at times, they are the ones who create these machines to kill, for example, guns (Summers, 2008). Therefore, the moral implication is the core of the interaction between man and machines.

The Key Aspects of Innovation and Change

About the role of the team and organizational leadership, and understanding of the key aspects of innovation and change consider the following workplace scenario, depicting the innovation of Robots. Noting that the scientific and industrial revolutions have yielded what man never thought would be in five or six centuries ago, ‘The Robot’, one machine that has undergone tremendous advancement to the extent that by the year 2000 Robots started to resemble human beings (Kanes, 2010).

The main concern is not that it resembles a man in physical appearance, but also the way we walk, talk, think and feel. This has earned them the name ‘ Humanoid Robot’. A good example of the said above is the Honada’s As/Mo, a machine that not only resembles a man in its looks but also enjoy virtual humanoid properties such as behavior, visual interpretation, and response to human species and gestures in a human manner.

Notably, the aspects of robots interacting with humans have made man to start considering robots as ‘companions’, rather than tools or appliances. Those who possess these machines do not seem to settle for a simple solution, but rather continue to invent and improve these machines to resemble human beings (Thompson et al., 2009). Concerning innovation, the biggest and demanding questions at this point, probably, is for how long would or should the human race continue to take this? Does it mean that eventually, the robots may end up taking the world away from us? Does it mean that every human problem would eventually start getting a robotic solution as time goes by? These are very crucial sentiments that must be addressed sooner, than later.

Impressively is how the founder of the artificial intelligence John McCarthy attempts to respond to the above question. He puts his opinion about innovation on the existence of these robots that resemble human beings as a problem waiting to explode (Kanes, 2010). Mc Cathy argues that those who invent these robots should confine themselves to creating appliances and tools such as vacuum cleaners and cake pans rather than hose keepers, in short, he argues that the designs of the robots are better designed to resemble appliances rather than human beings. “We don’t want Robots that people would hate or fall in love with or anything like that” He cited this in the Harbon’s article. McCarthy’s view is considered by scholars as preventive rather than curative (Kanes, 2010). He does not give us the ultimate solution to the already created human resembling robots.

Marvin’s Minsky, another Artificial intelligence pioneer echoes McCarthy’s point of view by arguing that in case an individual gets used to order a household robot to do certain things probably he/she may go ahead to command fellow human beings to do such boring, disgusting and unspeakable things that they are used to order the robots to do. Therefore, to him, Morality must be instilled in these robots and it must begin with the owners of these machines.

A close look at many industrial countries and in particular South Korea, then one would be interested to see how the introduction of this human like a robot would impact the human race (Kanes, 2010). What concerns us is that we do want to see the introduction of these robots making the lives of human beings better and easy; the question is what would be the side effects.

For example, the South Korean government is embarking on mass production of these robots with an aim that by 2020, every household should own one (Kanes, 2010). Today, these robots in South Korea work as tourist guides in museums and English teachers in schools, elevating creativity to a higher level in society. Therefore, from a personal point of view, moral and professional ethics, which include code of conduct, should be introduced to these machines.

Following a study carried out by Peter. H. Kahn Jr. in the laboratory, the results are that there is a clear relationship between how we reason and behave about continuous interaction with robots (Thompson et al., 2009). What is true is that there many robots in the market and they are easily available. The robots can cause a tremendous change in behavior with those who interact with them (Kanes, 2010). Therefore, there should be moral values accompanied by their production and marketing.

A real scenario indicates that the robots have greatly sunk into our societies to the extent that people have started to develop emotions towards them. For example, during a televised program, an A1BO was thrown to the garbage. This solicited mixed reactions among those who were watching this particular program. One shouted in disbelief, “I can’t believe they have done such as a thing I mean that poor puppy” (Winek, 2009). This indicates that robots have acquired a certain status into human society and with that, it means these robots should be developed with moral standings.

With the continued development and advancement in robots among human societies; it remains important that unless these advancements are confined within the borders of morality; the human species are in great danger. For instance, today, robots are being used for military adventures and expeditions. These robots do not have any feelings and can be used to commit massive crimes against humanity and other terrorist activities (Kirk, 2010). In case there is a fault since some of these robots are not one hundred percent fit, a lot of damages and loss can be counted. Thus, there is a need for accountability and transparency so that the manufacturers of these machines do not put the whole world in danger after our generation.

One of the greatest problems that have emerged as a result of lack of moral limits for robots is the fact that robots in televisions, particularly those which resemble human beings can be used to spread social evils such as drug abuse. Most audiences of these robot programs are the children who are intending to resemble and imitate what they see on the television (Kirk, 2010).

For instance, where a robot is smoking a cigarette or taking alcohol makes the children try the same to be as cool as the robots or to do some of the extraordinary things, which are done by the robots. Therefore, it is personal pleas that since these robots have become semi – role models they should live up to the societal standards, which are expected of a role model.

Due to their supposed unbiased reasoning, robots must be guided with morals. This is because in case they are put in positions of leadership they can be used to disrupt the political scene worldwide. As if that is not enough, if robots can think to do things themselves they would end up being both skilled and unskilled labor leaving millions of people jobless worldwide in themselves, robots would always cause a serious quandary, therefore, morality should be injected to them (Kirk, 2010).

From a biblical point of view, there is only one giver of life, God. Therefore, it would be blasphemy for a man to be innovative enough to attempt creation. It is known how jealous God can become especially during the creation of the tower of Babel when God crushed it down. Religious beliefs may foresee doom; if a man attempts to equate him/herself with God by giving life (Winek, 2009). People never know these robots might be used to be the downfall of the human race. Therefore, people must remain cautious and robots must be produced with guided morality.

In case robots are adopted into human society then they should be guided with the very same ethics that guide man and other species have on earth. The main reason for this particular judgment being that since the robots have acquired so many attributes like those of human beings, there is no alternative than to ensure that robots also maintain the morals required among human beings (Kirk, 2010).

Though we all agree that robots do make life easier to man, we should agree that their very presence created by these robots can be more disastrous than the actual danger, these robots are created to shield a man from. Therefore proper moral regulations should be enforced just as instructions are put through to the robot on what they should do, they should be made in such a way that they understand what should not be done (Woodside, 2011).

Certain people due to their economic status may not be able to acquire the services of robots and therefore may decide to engage in socially unaccepted activities such as crime and sexual immoralities to be able to acquire these goods hence undermining the moral status of the society (Woodside, 2011). Therefore the services of these robots should be affordable for even low-income earners thus help them not engage in these evils.

Conclusion

In conclusion, ethics and morality are intrinsic within human creativity, innovation to bring desirable change. This is because technology is not an addition to man but is one of how man disguises himself from animals; so that as humanoid robots are symbolic devices, designed by humanity to increase its capacity it should act with charity and good.

References

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