Mind stretching : a grounded theory for enhancing organisational creativity
This doctoral thesis establishes an initial understanding, by providing an insight, on the way employees' creativity can be enhanced. Specifically, the primary focus of this study is to explain the different ways through which creative organisations mobilise creativity within the workplace environment. The findings of this research revealed the emergent substantive process of mind stretching. The process of mind stretching is about developing the conditions where creative individuals can extend their creative potential within project based environments. This substantive theory has emerged through the study of organisational behaviour of creative professionals within three organisations, namely a corporate identity consultancy, a multidisciplinary design consultancy and an architectural firm. Mind stretching has two sub-core variables, "perpetual challenging" and "confidence building". Perpetual challenging encompasses the processes that creative organisations use in order to enhance employees' internal drive to perceive every project as a new creative challenge. Confidence building refers to the ways through which creative organisations assist their employees to build a belief in themselves. Each of the aforementioned sub-core variables has categories which explain the way the theory works within its context. The emergence of the theory of "Mind Stretching" was made possible by using the orthodox grounded theory method. The researcher followed specific stages of analysis and synthesis of data. After having identified the basic social process of mind stretching, it was then compared with the existing bodies of literature. The mind stretching theory provides an original perspective into the behaviour of the people under investigation. It provides an integrated conceptual explanation of the different ways adopted by creative organisations to mobilise creativity within their workplace environment. Furthermore, as with all grounded theory studies conducted in organisational settings,the mind stretching theory can be considered as methodologically original since it provides a holistic and in-depth insight into current business practices. Keywords: Creativity, Innovation, Grounded theory, Employees, Organisational culture.