Climate for Creativity and Innovaation: Ekvall’s Studies in 70’s & 80’s

Climate for creativity and Innovation
Ekval took a representative sample of 27 different organisations and divided them into Innovative(8), Stagnated(4) and Average(15) industries.

Innovative refers to the ability to develop new products and services quickly, get to market more efficiently and have products with high commercial success. stagnated refers to an inability to effectively handle newness and have products which were not as successful.

Each organisation was independently scored for organisational climate using a 50 item questionnaire named the Creative Climate Questionnaire (CCQ) which looked at the ten dimensions above.

Respondents were addressed as an observer of the life of an organisation. There is no ‘I’ so the respondent should report on common behaviour not opinions. Since different observers will rate the same things differently a mean score was used to cancel this out.

There was no leadership dimension. Ekvall was able to correlate a relationship between the questionnaire and the ability of an organisation to innovate as shown below.

10 Dimensions for the climate for innovation:

1. Challenge (How challenged, emotionally involved, and committed are employees to the work )
2. Freedom (How free is the staff to decide how to do their job?)
3. Idea time (Do employees have time to think things through before having to act?)
4. Dynamism (the eventfulness of life in the organisation)
5. Idea support (Are there resources to give new ideas a try?)
6. Trust and openness (Do people feel safe speaking their minds and offering different points of view?)
7. Playfulness and humor (How relaxed is the workplace-is it okay to have fun. )
8. Conflicts (To what degree do people engage in interpersonal conflict or ‘warfare?”)
9. Debates (To what degree do people engage in lively debates about the issues’)
10. Risk-taking (Is it okay to fail?)

This is a great representation of why you must not forget the particular setting that you put yourself in. I feel that these can work for any organization and is helpful for managers and employees alike.


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