Assessing Environmental Dimensions for Creativity and
Knowledge Creation
What Features of Task, Group and Time do make an Impact on Creativity and
Knowledge Creation in a Creative Organization
Lina Girdauskiene and Asta Savaneviciene
Department of Management, Kaunas University of Technology, Laisves av.55, Kaunas, Lithuania
Keywords: Creativity, Knowledge Creation, Task, Group, Time, Creative Organization.
Abstract: During the recent decade creative organization as a research topic is being analysed actively, but still there
is a lack of knowledge how to manage creators trying to gain economic use and realize their creativity.
Thus, purpose of the research is to identify what features of environmental dimensions do influence
creativity in a creative organization? A qualitative research method, based on scientific analysis and
identification of key factors, allowed reveal what features of a task, group and time influence creativity and
knowledge creation in a creative organization. The research results show that different features of tasks,
group and time make an impact on different employee groups and knowledge type in a creative
Creativity is a key factor for each organization
seeking to maintain a competitive advantage and
successful development. A creative organization, as a
primer resource of the creativity for the research,
distinguishes for its unique projects with high staff
turnover, creative process, products and persons. At
the same time creative organization must to ensure as
well proper business processes as creative
environment. The creative duality leads to the natural
need of organization’s specific business management
to ensure the two parallel processes of the
organization, consistent with each other - individual
creativity and empowerment of the creativity
(Girdauskiene and Savaneviciene, 2013);
(Girdauskiene, 2013)
During the recent decade creative industry and
creative organization as a research topic are being
analyzed very actively. Scientists pay a lot of
attention to the genesis of creative industry,
identification of performances and various
management issues (Flew, 2002); (Florida, 2002);
(Cultural and Creative Industry Promotion Team,
Ministry of Economic Affairs in Taiwan, 2003);
(Wyszomirski, 2004); (Evans et al., 2006); (Holzl,
2006); (Markusen et al., 2006); (O‘Connor, 2007);
(Muller et al., 2008); (Miles and Green, 2008),
concept of creativity and formation of creative
environment (Guilford, 1967); (Snow, 1986)
(Torrance, 1989); (Rothenberg, 1990); (Ford, 1996);
(Hemlin, 1996); (Du Gay, 1996; 1997); (Kelly,
1998); (Amabile, 1999); (Sternberg, 1999);
(Csikszentmihalyi, 1999); (Hadamard, 1999); (Klahr
and Simon, 1999); (Carnero, 2000); (Simonton,
2003); (Boltanski and Chiapello, 2005); (Crosick,
2006); (Ensor et al., 2006); (Bilton, 2007); (Afolabi et
al., 2007).
Creative organization in the context of this topic
is still fragmented and lacks researches and
knowledge how do creative organizations remain
creative and innovative (Kanter, 1999); (Paulus and
Yang, 2000); (Sternberg, 1999); (Williams and
Young, 1999); (Shelley and Perry-Smoth, 2000),
what kind of environmental dimensions should be
institutionalized in order to be increase creativity and
knowledge creation.
Girdauskiene L. and Savaneviciene A..
Assessing Environmental Dimensions for Creativity and Knowledge Creation - What Features of Task, Group and Time do make an Impact on Creativity
and Knowledge Creation in a Creative Organization.
DOI: 10.5220/0004666705320538
In Proceedings of the International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Information Retrieval and the International Conference on Knowledge
Management and Information Sharing (KMIS-2013), pages 532-538
ISBN: 978-989-8565-75-4
2013 SCITEPRESS (Science and Technology Publications, Lda.)
2.2 The Concept of a Creative
A creative organization reflects the conceptual and
individual talent and large production convergence
by new media technologies (ICT) in knowledge-
based economy. This organization is unique,
because it attempts to strike the balance between
production and artistic creativity. The project based
organizational structure is identified as the most
common type in a creative organization (Grabher,
2002; 2004), which allows to justify creative
organization’s specificity: to experiment constantly
by creating new products and forming new groups.
Two employees’ types could be identified in the
creative organization-administrators and creators.
Administrators mostly belong to permanent
employees’ group, who are responsible for
managerial, administrative and economic issues.
Although creators produce artistic products or
services, thus adding value to the organization and
ensuring a competitive advantage, they often migrate
among groups, projects or even external
organizations. It could be argued that various
experience, rotation and movement from one to
other projects extend employees’ competence and
encourage their creativity (Girdauskiene and
Savaneviciene, 2013).
2.2 Creativity and Knowledge Creation
Creativity is a base for knowledge creation. Usually
creativity is defined as the production of novel,
useful ideas or problem solutions. Creativity and its
resulted knowledge creation keep the key position in
a creative organization theory. All components of
creative organizations are creative: creative process,
products and employees, as well as work
environment and work culture, even the first word of
the title is directly related to creativity (Guilford,
1967); (Snow, 1986); (Torrance, 1989);
(Rothenberg, 1990); (Hemlin, 1996); (DuGay, 1996;
1997); (Kelly, 1998); (Ford, 1996); (Klahr and
Simon, 1999); (Sternberg, 1999); (Csikszentmihalyi,
1999); (Amabile, 1998); (Carnero, 2000);
(Simonton, 2003); (Boltanski and Chiapello, 2005);
(Crosick, 2006); (Oliver and Kandadi, 2006); (Ensor
et al., 2006); (Afolabi et al., 2007); (Bilt, 2007).
Duality of creativity is expressed through creativity
in the creative content of organizations (arts and
culture in the traditional sense), and creativity as a
competitive economic base.
Competence of creative employees results the
successful performance of a creative organization. It
consists of knowledge, abilities, skills, talent and
other personal features. Seltzer and Bentley (1999)
state, that the balance among skills, abilities and
complexity of tasks directly affects creativity in
individual level. Amabile (1998) determines three
main components of creativity: expertise, motivation
and creative thinking skills. Other scientists
(Rhodes, 1961); (Woodman et al., 1993);
(Csikszentmihalyi, 1999); (Sternberg and Lubart,
1999); (Stoycheva and Lubart, 2001); (Florida,
2002) analyze interaction between individual and
organization. It is stated that special abilities of
creative employees can be developed by learning or
by setting proper environmental conditions.
Rahimi et al., (2011) state that creativity is a
result of the combination of existing knowledge and
new knowledge (citing Kogut and Zander, 1992).
Scientists (Jackson and Messick, 1967); (Snow,
1986); (Gentner, 1983); (Sternberg, 1999); (Florida,
2002) define three types of creativity:
Very often, during the creative process all types of
creativity are assimilated – already known ideas are
interconnected in a new context, as well as new
context is studied, in which the adaptation of new
ideas is applied, or existing system is changed.
Creation of knowledge is considered as the four
modes of knowledge conversion by this popular
model of knowledge creation by Nonaka and
Takeuchi (1995): socialization, externalization,
internalization and combination, where these modes
of knowledge converse from explicit to tacit. A
broad range of factors that can influence the success
of knowledge creation has been mentioned in the
scientific literature. Wong (2005) proposed
summarized key factors: management, leadership
and support, culture, IT, strategy and purpose,
measurement, organisational infrastructure,
processes and activities, motivational aids,
resources, training and education, HRM.
Organizational components as task, group and time
are one of the most effectively affecting creativity
(Amabile, 1998), so it is important to investigate
how do they influence creativity in a creative
2.3 Role of the Task, Group and Time
in a Creative Organization
Flexibility of the task has received considerable
research attention and empirical support as an
important situational factor that could influence
human creativity (Royyon and Sheenas, 2008).
The task is one of the key factors that directly
affects the potential of organization creativity
(Seltzer and Bentley, 1999), because it creates the
conditions for employee to satisfy their ambitions
and self-realize. Correct identification of task
specification and characteristics positively impacts
an organization and its performance. As creative
organizations are innovative and based on each time
a new assessment, and often - difficult tasks,
standardization becomes a relative concept.
However, some degree of standardization of tasks,
however, is possible. In this case, these tasks
become routine. They can be monitored, regulated
and controlled due to its predictable structure: their
goals are specific and experience is embedded in the
behaviour of employees. Managers of a mid-level
could control these tasks. Procedure of a task
execution can be transferred (repeated). In such a
way the evaluation of a result becomes possible.
Creators who perform standardized - routine tasks
are more suitable for centralized control, because in
this case it is necessary to evaluate the
implementation of the objectives and tasks requiring
less expertise through self-knowledge and ideas. In
addition, the right for decision’s making should be
controlled, and the application of knowledge and
ideas should be limited. The opposite situation is
with unique or the new tasks. Control of these tasks
must be carried out only by top-level managers,
because the process is unfamiliar, goals are abstract,
creativity is competence based, and there is no
experience of executing that task or, at best, not at
the organization.
Thus, the standartization of a task is hardly
possible in the creative environment. This causes
problems of management and coordination. The task
specification can directly affect both positively and
negatively the organization of creators. Task novelty
and complexity results two-fold result of the
administrators and creators aspect – it is more
complicated for the leaders and more interesting
creators to perform this type of task
Permanent change of tasks, groups, the nature of
the tasks (new and complex) leads to limited
resources for accomplishment of those tasks. Both
creators and administrators, are forced to perform at
the same time for a several tasks or they are given
too little time to complete the task. This time
limitation especially affects creativity. Time as a
factor of making creativity-friendly environment
becomes very significant and important in order to
create a favourable environment for ideas and
knowledge creation. Time can influence (positively
or negatively) creativity differently: too less time
results stress and decrease creativity, on the other
hand it concentrates and may increase creativity.
Unsworth, Wall and Carter (2005) detected that time
demands were positively related to creativity. It is
also a significant criterion is considered to be
characteristics of the working groups, as group size,
the degree of harmony and composition, its
members' expertise and skill distribution of suitable
conditions for the development of creativity and to
create and manage knowledge (Wagner, 2003),
especially the principles of teamwork improves the
microclimate in the organization. Goncalo and Staw
(2005) state that groups might be more creative than
individuals. George (2007) suggests that groups
composed of diverse members should be more
creative than more homogenous groups because they
presumably can call upon a greater diversity of
knowledge, skills, expertise, and perspectives to
generate new and useful ideas (citing Mannix and
Neale, 2005).
Analysing characteristics of task encouraging
creativity and creation of new knowledge, new and
complex tasks creates a potential breeding ground
for new ideas and the emergence of knowledge.
They become a challenge for creators (Seltzer and
Bentley, 2000). Based on the above analysis, the
main features of task, group and time are defined:
- Task characteristics: short/long, clear/uncertain,
routine/new, simple/complex.
- Group characteristics: size, integrated/free, group
harmony degree, heterogeneous/ homogeneous,
chemistry of a group, knowledge, skills and
composition, approval/objection existing
- Time characteristics: the number of different
tasks, time properties (a little/a lot of,
fragmented/concentrated), job autonomy (full
autonomy/narrowly defined objectives).
Hemlin et al., (2006) stated, that generally short
product lifecycle projects due to constantly changing
nature of the task (short/long-lasting, easy/difficult,
routine/new, modulated/in tegrated), the project
group composition (size, integrated/free, group
harmony degree, heterogeneous/homogenous
participants, persons, group harmony, the
knowledge, skills and abilities composition
consent/objection to existing assumptions),
subculture, leadership (transactional,
transformational) and the time allocated to the task
characteristics (different number of work tasks, time
characteristics (few/many, fragmented/concentrated)
and work autonomy (full autonomy/narrowly
defined objectives) enhace creativity.
The different composition of dimension changes
the nature of the task and thus requires different
provisions establishing the knowledge creation. The
most appropriate strategy for knowledge creation
could be implemented through the empowerment
and training in routine and non-specific, unrelated
tasks aspect. Tasks of administrators often are
related, but remain routine and non-specific, so the
periodic procedures are proposed. The most
appropriate strategy for knowledge creation of
creators working with routine, specific tasks, not
connected with each other, would be the balance
design of expertise and creativity, when tasks are
interrelated - the main provision of the
implementation of knowledge creation techniques -
through cooperation, informal meetings, practice
communities. Then the staff having extensive
networking relationships and contacts, use the whole
network of knowledge, faster solve organizational
problems and create new knowledge (Kogut and
Zander, 1992); (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995);
(Prusak and Fahey, 1998); (Nonaka and Konno,
1998), cited in (Cross et al., 2000).
2.4 Methodology
The qualitative research enabling to reveal the key
factors for creativity implementation and knowledge
creation was conducted in January of 2012. As a
proper source of information for the research TV
production organization was selected. 6 respondents,
satisfying settled criteria, were tested. The
characteristics of respondents are presented in Table
1 below.
Table 1: Characteristics of respondents.
Code Work position
1 Project manager 20 Administrator
2 Project manager 9 Administrator
3 Journalist 17 Creator
Post production
10 Creator
5 Director 30 Creator
6 CEO 22 Administrator
The depth interview as a method of a qualitative
research was selected due to organizational issues,
uncertainty of the research object and respondents
which subject is their responsibility.
Analysing the influence of different factors (task,
group and time) two questions were raised:
What types of factor do make an impact on
creativity and knowledge creation?
How do these factors affect creativity and
knowledge creation?
Table 2: Characteristics of depth interview.
Code Interview date
time, min
time, min
1. 2012 01 09 27 60
2. 2012 01 09 29 120
3. 2012 01 10 24 50
4. 2012 01 10 25 70
5. 2012 01 11 25 100
6. 2012 01 11 20 60
Evaluating the impact of the factors on creativity
and knowledge creation 3 types of affect were
detected: zero (0) - neither negative, nor positive
affect; minus (-) - negative affect and positive (+)
3.1 Influence of a Task on Creativity
and Knowledge Creation
The results of empirical research show the
distribution of factors in two groups of employee –
administrators and creators. The results were
grouped by the criteria of different knowledge types
– explicit and tacit, are presented below. It could be
stated that tasks are quite similar in two different
employee groups – they are routine, simple, clear
and additionally complex for creators. The main
difference is between creation of tacit and explicit
knowledge – tasks usually are new, complex,
uncertain and indefinite in a creative organization. It
confirms the theoretical insights that execution of
new uncertain tasks and usage their creativity results
creation of tacit knowledge.
Table 3: The key types of task for creativity
implementation and knowledge creation.
Administrator Creator
Routine, simple,
Routine, simple,
complex, clear
Tacit New, complex, uncertain, indefinite
Project based activity results new tasks, which
differ in their different durations, level of
complexity, clarity and content of tasks
simultaneously. The task is one of the strongest
accelerators of knowledge creation and creativity.
Exciting and challenging tasks leads opportunities to
self-realization, the creation of new ideas and
results, innovative products or services.
Table 4 presents the interaction of task and
creativity type in a creative organization. When the
task is simple, routine, clear and certain, employees
usually have to be even more creative and have to
find new solutions for the same products or services.
But on the other hand it is very convenient for
administrators and new explicit knowledge creation.
A little bit easier from creativity position is the
situation when the task is new, complex, uncertain
and indefinite – it is a positive area for creativity and
creators. Here tacit knowledge is as usual created.
Of course, uncertainty and unclearness results more
stress and tension, it can reduces the creativity or
require more time for the same result.
Table 4: Task influence on creativity and knowledge
Task type
Creativity type
Analyzing Combining Changing
+ + +
- + +
Summarizing it could be stated that influence of
different types of a task on creativity and knowledge
creation is dual – it affects differently two employee
groups and their knowledge and creativity in two
different ways.
3.2 Group Influence on Creativity and
Knowledge Creation
Characteristics of a group are significantly important
as to creativity, knowledge creation as to
microclimate, teamwork and all results of
organization performance. It can be stated that the
two groups of employees did not formulate different
requirements for tacit and explicit knowledge
creation. While creators and administrators
expressed the same preference level of the group
(small), other characteristics of the group disagreed:
administrators wanted to work in homogeneous,
with the consent and knowledge, skills and
composition, and administrators in heterogeneous
conflicts with existing provisions of the existing
Table 5: The key features of group for creativity
implementation and knowledge creation
Administrator Creator
Small, big,
approval, chemistry,
composition of
knowledge and skills
approval, conflicts,
Table 6 presents the affect of different type of a
group on creativity and knowledge creation.
Table 6: Group influence on creativity and knowledge
Group type
Creativity type
Analyzing Combining Changing
+ +
Homogenous - - -
Heterogeneous + + +
Chemistry + + +
Conflicts - - -
Composition of
knowledge, skill,
+ + +
Big groups and approval of existing ideas or
opinions affect creativity and knowledge creation in
two ways – it can increase creativity when there are
more ideas, experience, skills and knowledge and
everybody approve presented items, but on the other
hand it can be very difficult to communicate,
cooperate and work together. Also, when everybody
accepts all ideas, there is no balance of “a true
Conflicts affect creativity and knowledge
creation negatively, because usually it is destroying
process and does not result fruits. Summarizing it
could be stated that influence of different types of a
group on creativity and knowledge creation is dual
it affects differently two employee groups and their
knowledge and creativity in two different ways.
Summarizing it could be stated that influence of
different types of a group on creativity and
knowledge creation is dual – it affects differently
knowledge and creativity in two different ways.
3.3 Time Influence on Creativity and
Knowledge Creation
Time is one of the factors that can affect negatively
creativity and knowledge creation. If it is enough
time the creativity will be increased. But the lack of
a time, too many tasks at the same time will decrease
analyzing creativity and knowledge creation
Table 7: The key factors of time for creativity
implementation and knowledge creation.
Administrator Creator
Explicit /
Limited, enough, one task at the same
moment, special time for a task
On the other hand enough time is useful for a
analyzing creativity, because a lot of researches can
be implemented, but it is negatively connected with
combining and changing creativity. Too less as well
as not limited time make a negative impact.
Table 8: Time influence on creativity and knowledge
Time type
Creativity type
Analyzing Combining Changing
Limited + + +
Non limited - - -
Too less - - -
Enough + - -
One task at the
same time
+ + +
Several tasks at
the same time
Summarizing it could be stated that influence of
different types of a time on creativity and knowledge
creation is dual – it affects differently knowledge
and creativity in two different ways.
Environmental factors are essential for a creativity
and knowledge creation in a creative organization.
Task, group and time are one of the most important
ones. They do influence employees, their process of
knowledge creation and creativity.
Accomplished survey showed that different types
of these factors make a different impact on different
employee groups, knowledge and creativity types.
Also some limitations of the survey could be
- just the main types of factors (task, group and
time) were assessed. No detailed characteristics
of each factors were investigated.
- It was a qualitative research. A quantitative
research could present deeper insights, relations,
connections among different types of factors,
employees and creativity.
Directions of the future researches could be towards
deeper investigation identifying the impact of
combinations of various characteristics of
environmental factors in different groups. Such
researches could foster creativity and knowledge
creation in a creative organization.
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