Designing for Innovation: A new perspective for Business Practice

Casper Laurent

Student thesis: Master thesis


In a globalized world developing at increasing speed, a focus on creativity and innovation has become of even greater importance as it is seen as a key to our future. Organizations therefore need to innovate to stay relevant, but our understanding of creativity and how we can optimize it for innovation is not fully understood. As a result, these topics have grown in popularity with researchers and educators in recent years. This thesis explores the emerging field of neurocreativity and brings it in to a dialogue with well-established theories of creativity in the context of business innovation, with the intent to further our understanding. This was done with an interpretivist approach and by method of comparative analysis. This research philosophy allows for multiple views of a phenomenon to be combined in to a more coherent understanding, rather than focusing on one specific perspective. The selected theories were initially visually mapped out to provide an overview of their components, and to clarify their research objects and fundamental beliefs as well as ensure validity. The findings indicate several limitations in current creativity literature when considered in relation to new insights emerging from neurocreativity research. Most fundamental is the critique of experts as appropriate observers in regards to creativity assessment. The findings suggest that experts are biased in favor of low levels of novelty, which narrows their ability to judge creative efforts. Furthermore, novelty is found an important factor for creating breakthroughs, which adds to the critique of experts as appropriate observers. This thesis suggests that neurocreativity is better suited for individual creativity assessment as it provides a framework for objective assessment without having to rely on an outcome, but that it does not extend to innovation. Additionally, the findings indicate that managers focusing on the social dynamics of creativity may benefit from extending their focus towards individual creativity as well, while also including employees as actors, as opposed to creativity being something managers foster and set the conditions for. This thesis concludes that neurocreativity contributes with a wealth of opportunities for further creativity research at the intersection of this new theory and prior creativity studies, as well as provide an insight that fosters change for business innovation in practice.

EducationsMSocSc in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages91