Article | Academy of Management Journal | October 1996

Assessing the Work Environment for Creativity

by T. M. Amabile, R. Conti, H. Coon, J. Lazenby and M. Herron


We describe the development and validation of a new instrument, KEYS: Assessing the Climate for Creativity, designed to assess perceived stimulants and obstacles to creativity in organizational work environments. The KEYS scales have acceptable factor structures, internal consistencies, test-retest reliabilities, and preliminary convergent and discriminant validity. A construct validity study shows that perceived work environments, as assessed by the KEYS scales, discriminate between high-creativity projects and low-creativity projects; certain scales discriminate more strongly and consistently than others. We discuss the utility of this tool for research and practice.

Keywords: Creativity; Motivation and Incentives; Organizational Culture; Innovation and Invention; Groups and Teams; Performance; Research; Theory;


Amabile, T. M., R. Conti, H. Coon, J. Lazenby, and M. Herron. "Assessing the Work Environment for Creativity." Academy of Management Journal 39, no. 5 (October 1996): 1154–1184.