The Epistemology of Creativity
In this chapter, the notion of organizational creativity will be examined in terms of its epistemological underpinning. While the literature on organizational creativity in many cases simply assumes that there is something called organizational creativity, closely associated with the creation of new ideas or solutions to problems, the aim of this chapter is to critically engage with the assumptions on which the construct of organizational creativity are based. For instance, there is a rather pervasive belief in the literature that organizational creativity is dependent upon the cognitive and imaginary capabilities of individual human beings — the creative individual — serving as the smallest unit of analysis. But this image of the creative human is far from being value-neutral or self-evident; instead, it draws on a number of ideologies giving priority to the individual human subject at the expense of the collective and postulating a (philosophically) humanist explanation wherein objects such as technologies and nonhumans (to employ the actor-network theory vocabulary) are eliminated from the analysis. As a consequence, the dependence upon the individual human agent in the explanatory framework reduces a rather heterogeneous network of relations between humans, technology, laboratory equipment, information systems, and so forth, to the level of the individual — an anthropocentric view of organizational creativity.
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