Economics of Creativity

  • Åke E. AnderssonEmail author
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)


Most of us have got an education adapted to the demands for specialized labor emanating in industry or public administration. Most of the jobs have been decided according to the basic principle of division of labour, generating productivity of the work. According to this principle the worker should be specialized to perform certain highly specialized tasks without any greater space for improvisation or change of work routines. Adam Smith (1776, 1904) argued strongly in favour of a far-going division of labor (or specialization of the workforce) as a way of achieving growth of productivity. However, Adam Smith clearly saw the potential conflict between creativity and productivity by division of labor and specialization of the work force: In the progress of the division of labor, the employment of the far greater part of those who live by labor, that is, of the great body of the people, comes to be confined to a few very simple operations; frequently to one or two. But the understandings of the greater part of man are necessarily formed by their ordinary employments. The man whose whole life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects to are, perhaps, always the same, or very nearly the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding, or to exercise his invention in finding out expedience for removing difficulties which never occur. He naturally loses, therefore, the habit of such exertion and generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become. (Wealth of Nations, II)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jönköping International Business SchoolJönköping UniversityJönköpingSweden

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