The Climate towards Creativity in China: A Preliminary Assessment

Lizanna Engel

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of this study is to assess the prevailing conditions that enable creative thought in the People’s Republic of China. Creativity as a precondition for the innovation of products, services and processes is of vast importance for the Chinese economy today. This is because a transition from manufacturing to a more services and knowledge-dependent economy is underway in the pursuit to find new drivers of growth. This is illustrated by the fact that in 2015, the GDP growth of the country subsided to just above 6% after a 30 year long period of an average growth rate of 9%. The literature on creativity is presented in order to express the importance of the phenomenon and guarantee an understanding of the current debate regarding the differences across country borders. An exploratory approach is taken by means of a qualitative investigation of a carefully selected group of interviewees from different backgrounds united by their interest in the development of the Chinese economy. The KEYS framework is a theoretically grounded tool used to assess the climate for creativity within an organization. It scrutinizes the following dimensions: Organizational Encouragement, Organizational Impediments, Freedom/Autonomy, Sufficient Resources, Workgroup Support, Supervisory Encouragement, Challenging Work, Workload Pressure, Personal Creativity and Forthcoming Productivity. For the aim of this study an adaptation to the country level was undertaken. The analysis uncovers various supporting and inhibiting factors characterizing the climate towards creativity in China. The Pressure and the Supervisory Encouragement were found to be most inhibitive, while Freedom/Autonomy, Sufficient Resources, Workgroup Support, Supervisory Encouragement and Challenging Work were found to be ambiguous and could result in a more positive evaluation in the future. The analysis gives reason to conclude that the climate towards creativity today is in a constant state of change yet supportive with room for improvement

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages160
SupervisorsXin Li