Creativity in the entrepreneurship classroom.INTRODUCTION
A recent study identified the consistent decline since 1990 in creativity scores of U.S. students on the Torrance test of creativity (Bronson & Merryman, 2010). At the same time, a 2010 American Management Association study identified creativity and innovation as one of the four critical skills needed for business success today and in the future. A study of CEOs identified creativity as the number one leadership competency of the future (Bronson & Merryman, 2010).
Is this decline in creativity a problem for the entrepreneurship classroom? Is it important to include creativity exercises in an already full entrepreneurship curriculum? In this study the authors review the relationship between creativity and entrepreneurship, and study the effectiveness of including divergent thinking Noun 1. divergent thinking - thinking that moves away in diverging directions so as to involve a variety of aspects and which sometimes lead to novel ideas and solutions; associated with creativity
out-of-the-box thinking exercises in the entrepreneurship classroom.
The Relationship Between Creativity and Entrepreneurship
Creativity has been identified by several researchers as related to entrepreneurship. Yar Hamidi, Wennberg and Berglund (2008) found that high scores on creativity tests and prior entrepreneurial experiences were both positively associated with entrepreneurial intentions, and contended that creativity should be considered in models of entrepreneurial intentions. Golshekoh, Gholamreza, Mirsaladin, Askary, and Alireza (2010) also found a positive relationship between scores on creativity tests and entrepreneurship. Fillis and Rentschler (2010) found a link between creativity and motivation, actualization actualization Psychiatry The realization of one's full potential and innovation. Several other studies have identified motivational traits and creativity as important factors in entrepreneurial activity and success (Baum, Locke, & Smith, 2000; Stewart & Roth, 2001).
Sternberg and Lubart (1999) defined creativity as the ability to produce work that is both novel (original, unexpected) and appropriate (useful, adaptive concerning task constraints CONSTRAINTS - A language for solving constraints using value inference.
["CONSTRAINTS: A Language for Expressing Almost-Hierarchical Descriptions", G.J. Sussman et al, Artif Intell 14(1):1-39 (Aug 1980)]. ). Using this definition Youl-Lee, Florida, and Acs (2004) contended that "entrepreneurship is a form of creativity and can be labeled as business or entrepreneurial creativity because new businesses are original and useful (p.882)."
Sternberg and Lubart's definition includes the elements generally associated with creativity: the development of divergent thinking (generating lots of unique ideas) followed by convergent thinking Noun 1. convergent thinking - thinking that brings together information focussed on solving a problem (especially solving problems that have a single correct solution) (combining these ideas into the best result). Divergent thinking (problem finding) is often associated with the arts and humanities and tested by creativity tests, while convergent thinking (problem solving problem solving
Process involved in finding a solution to a problem. Many animals routinely solve problems of locomotion, food finding, and shelter through trial and error. ) is often tested in intelligence tests and identified as more associated with science and technology (Atherton, 2010). Creativity tests, unlike IQ tests, require a multitude of responses rather than a single response (Hocevar, 1981).
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In 1994, Timmons argued that creativity should be central to entrepreneurship education. Morrison and Johnston (2003) argued that creativity was so important it should be introduced into the entrepreneurship curriculum widely and not confined con·fine
v. con·fined, con·fin·ing, con·fines
1. To keep within bounds; restrict: Please confine your remarks to the issues at hand. See Synonyms at limit. to a specific course. In a survey of the chairs/directors of the top twenty-five U.S. undergraduate programs in entrepreneurship as identified by Entrepreneur magazine Entrepreneur Magazine is a publication that carries news stories about entrepreneurialism, small business management, and business opportunities.
This magazine is published monthly, with a total of 12 issues annually. (No special extra issues are published. for the years 2009 and 2010, 79% of chairs agreed that courses in creativity/innovation were very important in an entrepreneurship program (Schmidt, Soper & Bernaciak, 2011). Enhancing creativity and innovation was listed as one of the five skills by entrepreneurs in Malaysia in which more training was needed (Josoh, Ziyae, Asimiran, Kadir, 2011), indicating that the U.S. is not alone in its creativity deficit.
Most of the assessment of creativity in the entrepreneurship classroom has been to assess the convergent creativity of a project produced by an individual or group through scales or ratings of peers, instructors, or judges. This data can be collected through cases, simulations or real life presentations such as business contests and presentations. In the study of the Top 25 Undergraduate Entrepreneurial Programs, all programs used this approach in teaching creativity (Schmidt, et. al. 2011).
Less focus has been on the assessment of the divergent di·ver·gent
1. Drawing apart from a common point; diverging.
2. Departing from convention.
3. Differing from another: a divergent opinion.
4. creativity in the entrepreneurship classroom or in expanding the creative approaches used by students. This data can be collected through creativity tests. Although the most common test of divergent thinking is the Torrance test of creativity (Coren, 1995), other divergent thinking tests are: picture-word tests in which subjects are asked to write as many reactions to the picture as they can in one minute, and the alternative-uses tests in which subjects are asked to think of alternate uses for a variety of common objects such as a shoe, pencil, etc.. The range of divergent thinking responses can be measured in several ways: fluency flu·ent
a. Able to express oneself readily and effortlessly: a fluent speaker; fluent in three languages.
b. (number of ideas generated); flexibility (variety of ideas, categories or perceptions); elaboration (the ability to add to or build off of the idea); originality o·rig·i·nal·i·ty
n. pl. o·rig·i·nal·i·ties
1. The quality of being original.
2. The capacity to act or think independently.
3. Something original.
Noun 1. (the ability to create fresh, new ideas); complexity (the ability to conceptualize con·cep·tu·al·ize
v. con·cep·tu·al·ized, con·cep·tu·al·iz·ing, con·cep·tu·al·iz·es
To form a concept or concepts of, and especially to interpret in a conceptual way: many layers or difficult concepts); imagination (inventing new categories); curiosity (the use of probing questions about the idea); risk taking (to be courageous, willing to stand apart) (Wilson, 2004).
Why is divergent thinking critical?
The 2010 AMA study stressed that the increased importance of creativity in the future comes from changes in the nature of work, global competition, pace of change and organizational structure. As different cultures (based on different values) approach problem solving and problem finding differently (Choi, Koo, & Choi, 2007); the need to think in new ways will be critical in the global economy. This difference in approaching creativity and problem finding has already been recognized between fields. Berglund and Wennberg (2006) found in comparing engineering students and business school students (both groups in entrepreneurship programs) that while they had similarities in creativity test scores, they did not differ in approaches to creative problem solving/finding when the fields (engineering, business) emphasized different creative issues and methods. Divergent thinking exercises help students develop multiple approaches to problem-finding/solving.
The current study examines whether students enrolled an entrepreneurship class perform better in the number of ideas generated (fluency) and the range/variety(flexibility) of ideas, are more confident of their creativity, and use more creative approaches then students not in entrepreneurship courses. The study also examines whether practice in divergent thinking exercises increases entrepreneurship students' abilities in generating the number of ideas, range of ideas, and range of creative approaches used. The following hypotheses are advanced.
Hypothesis One: Students in the entrepreneurship class will generate more ideas and a greater range of ideas than students not enrolled in the entrepreneurship class.
Hypothesis Two: Students in the entrepreneurship class will perceive themselves as more creative and will report engaging in more creative approaches than those not in the entrepreneurship class.
Hypothesis Three: Practice in divergent thinking activities will increase entrepreneurship students' abilities to generate ideas and to expand the range of ideas.
Eighty-nine students enrolled in the first course of an entrepreneurship minor and forty-two students enrolled in basic communication public speaking courses were given two picture-word tests and two creativity surveys. The entrepreneurship course is an elective course Noun 1. elective course - a course that the student can select from among alternatives
course, course of instruction, course of study, class - education imparted in a series of lessons or meetings; "he took a course in basket weaving"; "flirting is in an entrepreneurship minor and the public speaking course is a required university course for all students. While both courses value creativity; one in generating ideas for presentations, the other in generating ideas for projects; exercises in divergent thinking were done in the entrepreneurship class and not in the public speaking class.
Student populations in both courses were of freshman and sophomore rank and there were no substantial gender differences in class composition. All of the students attended a private Midwestern university The P.A. Program is a 2-year program that starts in the summer. The D.O.,Pharm D., and Psy.D are 4-year programs. The D.O. degree is the legal and professional equivalent of the M.D. in the U.S. and both classes were semester se·mes·ter
One of two divisions of 15 to 18 weeks each of an academic year.
[German, from Latin (cursus) s long courses running from January to May 2011. Students were given the divergent thinking exercise and the creativity survey during the first week of class in January and again during the last week of class in May.
The exercises to test divergent thinking were picture-word tests. The first picture-word test had a picture of a man in a building with the word "DO" on it. The second picture-word test had a picture of a bobsledder with the word "BE" (Stamp, 2010). The students were shown the picture and asked to generate and write down as many words and ideas they could associate with the picture in one minute. After the papers were collected, students completed a survey about how comfortable they were doing the assignment using a scale from 1 (not comfortable) to 10 (extremely comfortable); how much creativity they think they possessed using a scale from 1(not creative) to 10 (extremely creative); and to indicate from a list of several activities the frequency of the times (never, seldom, frequently, always) they use the activity when they encounter a problem or need to develop a new idea.
The picture-word tests were evaluated by counting the number of responses generated (fluency) and the range/variety (flexibility) of the responses. To assess range/variety, responses were coded and recorded in the following eight categories: simply repeating the images on the picture such as man, briefcase In Windows 95/98, a system folder used for synchronizing files between two computers, typically a desktop and laptop computer. Files to be worked on are placed into a Briefcase, which is then transferred to the second machine via floppy, cable or network. , sled, etc.; identifying action in the picture such as walking, running, etc.; creating a story as to what was happening in the picture such as going to meeting or interview, competing for gold, etc.; creating a broader meaning or metaphor for the picture such as work, IBM (International Business Machines Corporation, Armonk, NY, www.ibm.com) The world's largest computer company. IBM's product lines include the S/390 mainframes (zSeries), AS/400 midrange business systems (iSeries), RS/6000 workstations and servers (pSeries), Intel-based servers (xSeries) , Olympics, etc.; identifying a feeling such as sad, happy, fearful, etc.; identifying colors; identifying a time frame (past, night, etc.); expressing a sensory sensory /sen·so·ry/ (sen´sor-e) pertaining to sensation.
1. Of or relating to the senses or sensation.
2. experience such as see (blurry blur
v. blurred, blur·ring, blurs
1. To make indistinct and hazy in outline or appearance; obscure.
2. To smear or stain; smudge.
3. ), hear (loud), taste (sour) or touch (rough).
The responses to the surveys on comfort level, confidence in creativity, and activities were also tabulated. The number of approaches used to solve a problem was measured by counting the number of times a student selected "always" as a response.
T-tests were used to determine significant differences between the means of various groups (e.g., entrepreneurship students vs. non-entrepreneurship students). H1, which predicted that students in the entrepreneurship class would perform better at divergent thinking activities in generating ideas and in having a wider range of ideas than those not enrolled in entrepreneurship classes, was supported. Students in the entrepreneurship class did perform significantly better than non-entrepreneurship students in both rounds 1 and 2, both in the number of ideas generated and the range (variety) (Table 1).
H2, which predicted that students in entrepreneurship classes would perceive themselves more creative than those not in entrepreneurship classes, had mixed results. There were no significant differences in perceived creativity between the two groups of students in the round one. However, in the second round, entrepreneurship students perceived themselves as significantly more creative than non-entrepreneurship students perceived themselves to be (7.80 vs. 6.57 on the ten-point scale; t = 2.81,p = .007, df = 54).
The second part of H2 which predicted that students in the entrepreneurship class would engage in more creative approaches than those not in the class was not supported. There was no significant difference in the number of creative approaches used by entrepreneurship vs. non-entrepreneurship students in round 1. In comparing round 1 with round 2, entrepreneurship students evidenced no significant difference in the number of creative approaches used, but non-entrepreneurship students increased their average number of creative approaches significantly, from 2.64 to 4.91 (t = 2.09, p = .063, df = 10).
The most common creative approaches for entrepreneurship students in round one were talking, internet and brainstorming. In round two, internet was the most common approach, followed by talking and taking a break. (Table 2)
While not increasing the number of creative approaches used, entrepreneurship students reported significant increases in their use of the internet as an approach to creativity between rounds 1 and 2, from a mean of 3.32 to 3.66 (t = 3.72, df = 43, p =.001). Non-entrepreneurship students evidenced significant increases in the use of mind mapping and word association (Table 3).
H3, which predicted practice in divergent thinking exercises would increase entrepreneurship students' ability to generate ideas (fluency) and the range (flexibility) of ideas received mixed results. The first part that entrepreneur students would generate more ideas was supported. Entrepreneurship students evidenced a significant increase in the number of ideas generated between the two rounds (11.68 to 13.79), as shown in Table 4, whereas non-entrepreneurship students showed no significant difference between rounds.
The second part of the hypothesis that entrepreneurship students would increase the range (flexibility) of ideas was not supported. Although entrepreneurship students did not increase the range of their ideas, there was a significant increase in the number of entries within categories in their range. Among entrepreneurship students, in round 1, the most common types of ideas generated were metaphors, or what it is like, followed by ideas related to what one sees something is, what one feels, and then the actions one identifies in the picture. There were significant increases between rounds 1 and 2 on the number of ideas related to feelings, actions and metaphors (Table 5).
The study supports extant ex·tant
1. Still in existence; not destroyed, lost, or extinct: extant manuscripts.
2. Archaic Standing out; projecting. research on the relationship between creativity and entrepreneurship. The findings demonstrate that students who are in entrepreneurship classes do perform better at divergent thinking both in fluency (ideas generated) and in flexibility (range of expressed ideas) both at the beginning and the conclusion of the class compared to their non-entrepreneurship counterparts. The significant increase in the performance of these entrepreneurship students between rounds 1 and 2 also supports the claim that exercises in divergent thinking are important in the entrepreneurship classroom (Schmidt, et. al. 2011) and should be included in course work.
Besides including divergent thinking exercises in the entrepreneurship curriculum the findings suggest several other recommendations. First, the finding that entrepreneurship students had significant changes in their allocation The apportionment or designation of an item for a specific purpose or to a particular place.
In the law of trusts, the allocation of cash dividends earned by a stock that makes up the principal of a trust for a beneficiary usually means that the dividends will be treated as of ideas within categories of their range, but did not expand their range of options for expressing ideas, suggests that instructors should focus on exploring a variety of ways in which divergent thinking can be expressed (originality, elaboration, complexity, imagination) and directly practice these in the classroom to improve the student's range of ideas generated.
Second, while students in the entrepreneurship class did generate more ideas and a wider range, their approaches to creativity did not increase as they did for the non- entrepreneurship students. This finding suggests that the environment (classroom) could be an important factor in developing approaches to creativity. In further analyzing this type of data researchers should look closely at what approaches to creativity are taught and emphasized in the class. Are entrepreneurship classes focusing on very specific types of approaches (internet in this case) rather than exploring a wider variety of approaches? In the global economy, the capacity to recognize and adapt to a variety of creative styles and perspectives will be essential in the future (AMA, 2010). This could mean that classes in entrepreneurship need to incorporate and stress more variety in approaches to creativity to increase student understanding and use of various methods.
Third, while there were no differences in perceptions of creativity between students at the start of the course, at the end of the course entrepreneurship students increased their perception of their creativity potential. This finding suggests that practice in divergent thinking activities can affect perception of and confidence in creativity, and supports Morrison and Johnston's (2003) argument that creativity should be widespread throughout the entrepreneurship curriculum rather than in a single course.
Limitations and Future Research
The limitations of the study relate primarily to the methodology. First, the frequency scale used for creative approaches should be expanded from a four choices to a ten point scale. This would allow for more clarification of how often a student engages in different approaches. Because of the narrow scale, the study was limited to using "always" for assessment of choices. Second, the courses examined were both freshman/sophomore level courses and the entrepreneurship course was the beginning course in an entrepreneurship minor. Even though the entrepreneurship course was an elective elective
non-urgent; at an elected time, e.g. of surgery.
elective adjective Referring to that which is planned or undertaken by choice and without urgency, as in elective surgery, see there noun Graduate education noun , it is unclear whether students enrolled in it really considered themselves as entrepreneurs or were simply curious about the minor. Conducting the same study with students enrolled in the third or fourth course of the minor would be helpful in validating val·i·date
tr.v. val·i·dat·ed, val·i·dat·ing, val·i·dates
1. To declare or make legally valid.
2. To mark with an indication of official sanction.
3. this perception about entrepreneurship and creativity. Finally, the study should be expanded to have students complete 3 or 4 picture-word tests and surveys in each of the classrooms instead of only the two given. This would provide more information to assess whether the improvement in divergent thinking is due more to the effect of practice in divergent thinking exercises or to the classroom environment (structure) or both. Research has already shown that different fields (Berglund & Wennberg, 2006) approach problem finding and problem solving in different ways. Future researchers may implement the study with student populations from other countries and cultures. The results of the tests could be compared to identify differences or similarities in types of divergent thinking and approaches to creativity between cultures. This research could result in identifying and teaching different approaches to creativity in the classroom that could lead to better understanding and more effective interaction with other cultures.
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1. Of or relating to analysis or analytics.
2. Expert in or using analysis, especially one who thinks in a logical manner.
3. Psychoanalytic. versus holistic Holistic
A practice of medicine that focuses on the whole patient, and addresses the social, emotional, and spiritual needs of a patient as well as their physical treatment.
Mentioned in: Aromatherapy, Stress Reduction, Traditional Chinese Medicine thinking. Personality And Social Psychology Bulletin Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin is a scientific journal published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). It publishes original empirical papers on subjects like social cognition, attitudes, group processes, social influence, intergroup relations, , 33, 691-705.
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Showing initiative and willingness to undertake new projects: The enterprising children opened a lemonade stand. Culture, 18 (1), 49-81.
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New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of .
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Jacqueline J. Schmidt, John Carroll University
John C. Soper, John Carroll University
Tina M. Facca, John Carroll University
Table 1: Divergent Thinking Performance Mean Mean Non- t df p Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship Ideas 11.10 8.85 2.44 100 .016 Generated Round 1 Range of 4.62 3.97 2.02 74 .047 ideas Round 1 Ideas 13.79 9.24 3.89 60 .000 Generated Round 2 Range of 4.55 3.90 2.09 39 .043 ideas Round 2 Table 3: Significant Increases in Creative Approaches Used by Non-entrepreneurship Students Round 1 Mean Round 2 Mean Non- Non- entrepreneurship entrepreneurship Mind mapping 2.00 2.50 Word association 1.78 2.61 t df p Mind mapping 2.31 17 .035 Word association 3.59 17 .002 Table 4: Significant Increase in Ideas Generated Round 1 Round 2 t df p Ideas generated 11.68 13.79 2.33 55 .024 Table 5: Significant Increases in Types of Ideas Generated Idea Type Round 1 Round 2 t df p Feelings 1.73 3.50 4.03 29 .000 Actions 1.00 1.73 2.39 10 .038 Metaphors 3.54 4.56 2.15 47 .036