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Title: Creativity and contextual factors in a sample of accounting offices in Saudi Arabia
Author: Al_Beraidi, Abdullah A.
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2003
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Creativity has mostly been studied within environments that are supportive of creative performance. However, there is a growing awareness that professions which conventional wisdom presumes have little capability for creative thinking, increasingly require creativity to address challenges arising from ever-more complex and ambiguous work challenges. This research selected the audit and consulting sub-cultures within the Saudi Arabian accounting services sector, to further our knowledge about creativity and to develop a model for creative performance in environments offering different levels of encouragement for creative behaviours. The model, integrating earlier work on creativity, leadership, intrinsic motivation and team factors, was supported by a preliminary study, and operationalised in a design which offered scope for testing prevailing conceptual assumptions (quantitative self-reports) and for developing emerging, contextual ones (semi-structured interviews). The study confirmed the broad predictions derived from the literature, while revealing contextual nuances. The professionals within the consulting sub-culture showed selfreports of intrinsically motivated creative behaviours, transformational leadership, and a range of supportive team factors. In contrast, professionals with similar educational backgrounds in the accounting sub-culture largely denied the need for creativity, and indicated that regulatory constraints. minimised the opportunities for the generation and implementation for novel work-related ideas. Within this culture, an emergent theme, centred around the concept of 'sense a/work', . helps provide an understanding of how professionals who deny creativity explain their effective functioning in increasingly complex and turbulent environments. We suggest that 'sense of work' is primarily focussed within the task, and deals with knowledge management, and that a sense of creativity could b~ of complementary value, particularly if it focussed outside the regulated dimensions of the professional work, and dealt with knowledge generation. In addition, this study highlights the potential benefits of training and development for raising creativity, even within strictly regulated professional functions. The concept of adaptive or incremental creativity is introduced, offering prospects for reconciling the. prevailing cultural beliefs with acknowledgement of the need for a sense of creativity. The study also provided evidence that self-reports of leadership in these environments may be particularly biased by a tendency for professionals to avoid criticising their direct managers, and instead substituting reports oft~eir perceived ideal leaders.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available