Penn. Organizational Dynamics Prof. Steven F. Freeman
Creativity and Innovation in
Organization and Work

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Csikszentmihalyi (1996) Discussion Questions

1. The systems model of the Creative Process

How does Csikszentmihalyi understand the Creative Process?
How does this compare with common wisdom? Why the difference?

Fields and domains

  • What is/are the domain(s) in which you work? What is/are the field(s) in which you work?
  • How does your field stimulate creativity? How does your field inhibit it?

What’s the risk from too little or too much novelty? Give examples.

What is Csikszentmihalyi’s view of the contribution of persons to creativity? Do you agree?

What would you need to be (more) creative in your work?

2. The Creative Personality

What are the subjects’ explanations for their Creativity?

What are Csikszentmihalyi’s thoughts on The Creative Personality? Do you agree?

What is the relationship between the Complexity and Creativity?

  • How is complexity beneficial (or detrimental)? Give examples -- preferably from your own experience.
  • Can we do anything to increase or internalize complexity in workers/students/children ourselves?

3. The Work of Creativity

The Emergence of Problems

  • How is life a potential source of problems? Give examples of from your own life or of people’s that you know, of problems that could be solved or at least articulated through creativity or innovation.
  • How is past knowledge a potential source of problems?
  • What are some pressures in your organizational environment that could potentially benefit from creative approaches?

Presented and Discovered Problems

  • Give examples of presented problems you have received at work.
  • Give examples of discovered problems in work

4. The Flow of Creativity & Creative Surroundings

How can the flow of creativity be replicated in the workplace or in the classroom?
Which elements, if any, have been present in your work experiences? In your educational experiences? In your other experiences?

How can additional “flow” elements become a part of your work or studies?
Is your workplace a creative environment? Why or why not?
How are activities patterned at work? Do these patterns lend themselves to creativity?

Date Page Created: Jan 22, 2012 Last Page Update: Sep 15, 2013