Background Note | HBS Case Collection | January 1996

Creativity and Innovation in Organizations

by Teresa M. Amabile


Creativity, the production of new and useful ideas by individuals or teams, can appear in many forms and many functions within firms of all kinds--from entrepreneurial start-ups to well-established enterprises. This note describes the varieties of creativity in organizations, and dispels common myths about what creativity is. Proposes a method for recognizing creativity, outlines the necessary components for individual creativity, and introduces a model of how organizational influences can affect creativity. Critiques some common methods for enhancing creativity, and discusses how creativity can result in innovation.

Keywords: Change Management; Entrepreneurship; Collaborative Innovation and Invention; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Organizational Design; Situation or Environment; Creativity;


Amabile, Teresa M. "Creativity and Innovation in Organizations." Harvard Business School Background Note 396-239, January 1996.