An Individual Psychology of Novelty-Seeking, Creativity and Innovation Defended on Friday, 10 December 2004

What does it take to generate something new? The desire to seek something new, the satisfaction of finding something, sharing these findings with others who also recognize them as new - these are key ingredients of generating a novelty. Part One of this book proposes a model of the novelty generation process based on an analysis of psychological theories, most importantly drawing from neuropsychology and social psychology. This Novelty Generation Model (NGM) clearly distinguishes three components: novelty-seeking, creativity and innovative performance. It is meant to provide a basis for better understanding the links between these particular components and identifying what interferes with and what facilitates each of them. Practical advice is also generated on this basis that is relevant not only for the novelty-seekers themselves, but also for their social environment that may want to support them. Highly creative professionals are often only loosely affiliated with organizations, while much of the current scientific literature on creativity and innovation focuses on individuals in tighter employee relationships and teams in organizations. This book presents an individual work psychology for those settings where creative professionals (be it artists, scientists or inventors) see organizations (e.g. publishers or universities) more as service-providers to their own work. In such comparatively free professional settings other support issues seem to become more relevant: For instance grants and awards conferred to individuals. These phenomena that have not yet been paid attention to in the psychological literature on creativity and innovation are given a place in this individual work psychology. Many questions may be asked about grants and awards, whether they actually support innovation is an important one. Part Two, the empirical part of this book, among others presents a large-scale longitudinal study that tests some more specific hypotheses on the relationship between the individuals innovative performance and winning awards and grants. The study includes 1348 writers and poets that have received grants and/or awards in the German-speaking publishing area.


novelty-seeking, innovative performance, creativity, psychology, innovation, novelty generation, personality, motivators, honorary awards, productivity, novelty-seeking professions

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