The etymological meaning of word creativity is to create something of the anything.
The etymological root of the word in English and most other European languages comes from the Latin creatus, literally “to have grown.”
Perhaps the most widespread conception of creativity in the scholarly literature is that Creative (or creativeness) is a mental process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations between existing ideas or concepts. The products of creative thought usually have both originality and appropriateness. Among theorists there is a view that creativity is “something to do with” processes that produce new and valued ideas.
Despite, or perhaps because of, the ambiguity and multi-dimensional nature of creativity, many attempts have been made to produce a definition. This mysterious phenomenon, though undeniably important and constantly visible, does not seem even to be supported by logic, but by instinct. Creativity can ultimately stand apart from the motivation that triggered the phenomenon and from its creators.
Bertone considers creativity as: “the ability of thinking out of scheme, reaching new and functional conclusions, suited to solve a problem or to catch an opportunity” (Bertone, 1993). The definition of creativity includes another element, which is given by problem anticipation and by opportunity search.
Bertone introduces his definition of creativity step by step. A first element of creativity derives from the distinction between unspecific managerial skills (soft skill) and specific ones (hard skill). The former are creativity, leadership, communication and learning capability. The others are skills in production, finance, marketing and so on. Creativity, therefore, is an unspecific ability, to be added to the other traditional managerial skills. In addition, it is held by everyone, in different measures, and it can be improved. It is the ability of giving a suitable solution to a problem, being this solution new, useful, appropriate and correct. Moreover, this solution is a creative one, when it is searched and found outside those schemes that are already known and used by someone else.
Creativity does not in my view need to be appropriate or original. An artist may use his creativity for the fun of it and the results may not be appropriate. Originality is a subjective concept that depends on the current body of knowledge. Two isolated tribes may create a new hunting technique and think it is original and unique because they are not aware of its use somewhere else.
The eminent psychologist Torrance defines creativity as:
A process of being sensitive to problems, deficiencies, gaps in knowledge, missing elements, disharmonies, and so on; identifying the difficulty: searching for solutions, making guesses, or formulating hypotheses about the deficiencies: testing and retesting them; and finally communicating the results”.
Another eminent psychologist, MacKinnon describes creativity in terms of the conditions it fulfils. According to MacKinnon, creativity involves a response or an idea that is “novel” and “adaptive to reality”. He further adds:
“creativeness involves a sustaining of the original insight, an evaluation and elaboration of it, a developing of it to the full”.
Edwards defines creative contribution as “the degree to which an employee demonstrates new ideas or applications for activities and solutions at work”.
Woodman and Schoenfelt opine that “creativity is not a single, unitary characteristic, but instead can be thought of as an imprecise category of behaviour”.
Yet others have defined the term differently. Creativity is defined by Thompson (1991)as the shuffling of ideas into new combinations; the changing of existing linkages and forming new associations of words, meanings and events. Intuition, risk taking, spontaneity and innovation are all considered elements of the creative process.
Robert E. Franken in his book ‘Human Motivation, pg 396, 3rd ed’ defines creativity as:
“the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others”.
He further states that there are three reasons why people are motivated to be creative: need for novel, varied, and complex stimulation, to communicate ideas and values and the need to solve problems. The author brings a very interesting point to the debate which is recognising that creativity can be for entertaining ourselves and others, meaning that it is a form of individuals to print their individuality in the world, to express their personality and get reactions from others.
In order to be creative, one needs to be able to view things in new ways or from a different perspective. Among other things, to be able to generate new possibilities or new alternatives is linked to fundamental qualities of thinking, such as flexibility, tolerance of ambiguity or unpredictability, and the enjoyment of things heretofore unknown.
Robert W. Weisberg brings in a new perspective to the debate in this published book “Creativity – Beyond the Myth of Genius”. His view is that “creative” refers to novel products of value, as in “The airplane was a creative invention.” “Creative” also refers to the person who produces the work, as in, Picasso was creative.” “Creativity,” then refers both to the capacity to produce such works, as in “How can we foster our employees’ creativity?” and to the activity of generating such products, as in “Creativity requires hard work“. His point is that for something to be creative, it is not enough for it to be novel: it must have value, or be appropriate to the demands of the situation.”
Another interesting perspective is brought by the Systems Model of Creativity: the creative domain, which is nested in culture – the symbolic knowledge shared by a particular society or by humanity as a whole; the field, which includes all the gatekeepers of the domain; the individual person, who using the symbols of the given domain has a new idea or sees a new pattern, and when this novelty is selected by the appropriate field for inclusion into the relevant domain.
Creativity is seen as any act, idea, or product that changes an existing domain, or that transforms an existing domain into a new one. What counts is whether the novelty he or she produces is accepted for inclusion in the domain.
Again, in agreement with the previous authors, this view limits the understanding of creativity as a phenomenon that needs to be ‘appropriate’, have ‘value’ to a group or society in general, or be accepted within parameters ‘accepted’ in the field. It ignores the act of creation that is subject to its own geniality, will to express passion, to destroy indifference, to discover the very essence of creation, just for the sake of it. Not for it’s appropriateness for society, but as an expression of individuality.
Joly considers creativity from a similar angle as Weisberg by stating that “The art of setting problems and suggesting proper solutions to them” (Joly 1993).
Moreover he suggests two paths have to be paced simultaneously to apply creativity: the first path is a psychological one and requires the abolition of inhibitions, it is to say personal and natural hindrances; the second path is a logical one and implies: the adoption of a well identified action process; intuitions based on techniques and methods properly chosen and adapted to the specific problem to be solved.
Joly’s approach is particularly interesting to the organisational context as it refers to the need to conciliate both sides of the paradox that strategists face when making decisions: follow their own intuition or a logical reasoning path.
According to Jaoui  creativity is characterized by an attitude or a decision, explicit or implicit, to exercise a control on reality in order to modify it.
In addition, he says that the main instrument for a successful strategy is practical creativity, that is the methodology enabling to develop and to use effectively the own capability of inventing original and acceptable solutions. It aims to help to discover and increase individual resources, to clarify the objectives in order to take decisions and to elaborate a winning strategy.
Teresa Amabile states that fundamental “ingredients” of individual creativity are: the expertise in a specific field or expertise; the second ingredient is the ability to think in a creative way, in other words the ability to look at the events from a new perspective and to imagine a wider range of different possibilities; finally, the third and last ingredient is the intrinsic motivation, resulting from the pleasure of doing a specific thing.
 Creativity. (2006, June 11). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:48, June 11, 2006
 More than 60 different definitions of creativity can be found in the psychological literature (Taylor, 1988), and it is beyond the scope of this literature review to review them all.
Torrance, E.P. (1962) Guiding creative talent
USA: Prentice Hall – Englewood Cliffs
 MacKinnon, D. W. (1978) In search of human effectiveness: identifying and developing creativity
USA: Creative education Foundation
 Edwards, M.R. (1989), Measuring creativity at work: developing a reward-for-creativity policy,
Journal of Creative Behavior, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 26-36.
 Woodman, R.W. and Schoenfeldt, L.F., (1990) An interactionist model of creative behavior,
Journal of Creative Behavior, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 279-88
 Thompson, T.N. (1991) Dialectics, communication and exercises for creativity,
Journal of Creative Behavior, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 43-51
 Roweton, W.E. (1989) Enhancing individual creativity in American business and education, Journal of Creative Behavior, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 248-56
 Weisberg, R. W. (1986) Creativity – genius and other myths,
 Guilford J.P. (1977) Way Beyond the IQ,
Creative Education Foundation
 Jaoui H. (1991) Créatifs au quotidien. Outils et méthodes,
Paris, Editions «Hommes et Perspectives»,
 Amabile T.M. (1998) How to kill creativity,
Harvard Business Review, September/October, pp. 76-87