Innovative Research Cognitive Problem Solving Cognitive Processes 2005 – 2011


Over the years, we have published a number of papers.  In the following papers we address cognitive problem solving and processes in organizations.

abstracts 20

Modeling applied creativity as a cognitive process: Theoretical foundations.

Published: 2005   Authors: Min Basadur, Gary Gelade

This paper presents a model of applied creativity which identifies the cognitive processes involved, and shows how they are related.  Previous concepts of cognition, intelligence and learning are integrated with a number of significant themes in creativity research, and their relationships to the proposed model are discussed.  Knowledge apprehension and knowledge utilization are identified as two bi-polar dimensions of cognitive activity involved in creative thinking.  These two dimensions form the basis for a dynamic model of applied creativity, which identifies four distinct and successive stages of the creative process called generation, conceptualization, optimization, and implementation.  Examples of how the model has been applied in organizational settings are provided, explaining how and why the theory works.  Implications are discussed.

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abstracts 19

Management: Synchronizing different kinds of creativity.

Published: 2005   Authors: Min Bsadur

How do people think, work and act creatively in diverse domains?  Is creativity a general attribute or do different kinds of creativity apply in different domains? These are the main themes of this book. This chapter suggests that not only are there different kinds of creativity, but also that there are different kinds of creativity within the domain of management. This is because there is a need for different kinds of creativity within various kinds of work and jobs in organizations. “Applied creativity” may be viewed as a process with multiple stages or phases. Different kinds of creativity are associated with the various phases or stages of the process. Within organizations, different kinds of work favor specific kinds of creativity, which must be synchronized to achieve innovative results for profitability and competitive edge. What does this process of applied creativity involve?

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abstracts 18
The role of knowledge management in the innovation process.

Published: 2006 Authors: Min Basadur, Garry Gelade

We argue that current concepts of knowledge management and organizational learning are, by themselves, limited in their ability to improve organizational effectiveness. We show how these concepts may be usefully integrated with organizational creativity and innovation within a single framework that combines the apprehension of knowledge with the creative utilization of such knowledge.  Field research and experience are described showing how this framework has been applied to achieve measurable improvements in effectiveness in a wide range of organizations.

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The impact of training on formulation of ill-structured problems.

Published: 2007   Authors: Susan J. Ellspermann, Gerald W. Evans, Min Basadur

Problem structuring heuristics and creative thinking techniques have been advanced as useful approaches for solving ill-structured problems.  Unfortunately, little controlled experimentation has been done to test the effectiveness of these techniques.  This paper describes an experiment in which the effects of training in the use of a problem-structuring heuristic and creative thinking on the quality and quantity of problem statements are investigated.  The experiment illustrates that such training does have a positive impact on problem formulation quality and quantity.

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abstract 16
Cognitive problem solving style as related to person-vocation fit and person-organizational hierarchy level of fit.

Published: 2008   Authors: Tim Basadur, Min Basadur, Garry Gelade

This paper reports an empirical study of person-vocation fit and person-organizational hierarchy level fit based on the construct, cognitive fit. Cognitive fit refers to the degree of match between an individual’s cognitive style of problem solving and the style demanded by the work context. Based on the analysis of 3,942 completed Creative Problem Solving Profile inventories over a broad cross section of organizations, the results support the argument that certain occupations, or vocations, do tend to favor specific cognitive problem solving styles. Additionally, the results offer evidence that the cognitive styles favored or demanded by organizations change as one’s career advances into higher levels of the organizational hierarchy. In particular the results showed that the ratio of Conceptualization cognitive style to Implementation cognitive style of organizational members increases at increasingly higher organizational hierarchical levels. These findings also lend support to research proposing that individuals can utilize adaptation to increase their fit with their work environment (Wheeler et al., 2005; Sternberg, 1997). The paper concludes with suggestions for future research.

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abstract 15

Creative problem solving style and cognitive work demands.

Published: 2009   Authors: Min Basadur, Garry Gelade

Senior level managers have a stronger preference for conceptualization than lower level employees who have a stronger preference for implementation.  Differences in creative problem solving style were also discovered among occupations, reflecting different cognitive demands of the work environment.

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abstract 14

How creativity relevant attitudes triggers behaviors, skills, and performance.

Published: 2010    Authors: Min Basadur, Tim Basadur

Creativity is a critical organizational success factor requiring skilled creative behaviors. Specific measurable creative attitudes trigger such behaviors and contribute directly to creative performance. Organizations truly desiring to incorporate creativity permanently into their culture can follow empirically supported mechanisms by which these attitudes can be deliberately developed.

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abstract 13
Regulatory fit: How individuals progress through the stages of the creative process.

Published: 2010   Authors: Tim Basadur, Frederik Beuk, Javier Monllor

The motivation and drive underlying creative behaviors has been identified as an important research topic in an attempt to understand what leads individuals along what are often very different paths towards action.  This paper approaches creativity and creative problem solving from a self-regulatory theory perspective. Self-regulation is a motivated cognitive action process that determines how and when individuals determine what they want or need, how they choose to do it, and then actually do it. As the creative process is also an action process, the questions of what motivates individuals to (dis)engage in the various activities in the different stages of the creative process may be answered by examining the mental activities in creative problem solving in terms of how individuals regulate and balance the dual self-regulatory dimensions of assessment, the desire to ensure appropriate actions are taken, and locomotion, the desire to move, and act.

We apply regulatory fit theory to explain how the degree of fit between one’s regulatory mode orientation and the task requirements of each stage determines how one progresses through the multi-stage creative process. We propose that, from a multi-stage process perspective and based on self-determination theory the relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and creativity is not “either-or”, but rather a blend of both if individuals are to optimally perform all of the process stages.

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abstract 12
The role of creative problem solving style in advice network formation and subsequent creative performance.

Published:  2011   Authors: Multiple Contributors

To increase understanding of the relationship between creativity and social networks in organizations,   creativity is discussed as a sequential four stage cognitive process and an argument is made that an individual’s degree of preference for each stage, that is, his or her creative process style, is an important antecedent to that person’s formation of an advice partner network.  How creative process style impacts both the number of weak ties in one’s advice network and the selections of strong tie network advice partners and how both contribute to one’s creative performance are modeled. Social network ties are conceptualized as providing two important resources for creative performance: content information and process expertise. Testable propositions, possible avenues for future research, and implications for leaders and managers are provided.

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Where are the generators?

Published: 2011   Authors: Min Basadur, Time Basadur

Organizational creativity is presented as four distinctly different sequential stages of a dynamic cognitive problem solving process: generation, conceptualization, optimization, and implementation.   The generation stage is the activity that initiates the creative process.  It is disruptive, because it entails proactively and deliberately seeking and discovering brand new problems and opportunities. Often called opportunity finding, generation results from restless discontent with the status quo.  This activity is different from the second stage, conceptualization, which other researchers have previously described as problem construction, identification, or formulation.  Such second stage activity gives definition to a newly discovered problem freshly emerging from the first stage or to a presented or otherwise already existing problem.  We provide research showing that the people who prefer the generation stage activity (generators) are under-represented in industrial and business organizations and are likely to be found in occupations normally found outside such organizations, for example, artists, writers, designers, teachers, and academic institutions. We argue that organizations seeking increased creativity and innovation could do so by understanding and recognizing the contributions made by people preferring the generator style, and by making generator activity more attractive for all members of the organization.

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