Different Styles for Different Needs – The Effect of Cognitive Styles on Idea Generation

Carina Lomberg, Tobias Kollmann, Christoph Stockmann

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    Researchers are engaged in finding the precursors for innovation. Drawing on Kirton's Adaption-Innovation (KAI) Inventory, we explicitly test Kirton's central premise that cognitive styles differentiate between preferences for producing ideas in a certain way. We argue that the generation of either a magnitude or original ideas is governed by different underlying cognitive styles. In a study with 191 individuals, we find that the cognitive style originality associates with ideational fluency whereas the rule governance style associates with the generation of original ideas. By providing a cognitive explanation for how ideas are generated, we deepen the understanding of the idea generation process. This is particularly important for the future use of the KAI and for organizations that strive to be innovative.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalCreativity and Innovation Management
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)49–59
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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