Deckert: DOI 10.18536/bcce.2016.

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On the Originality-Effectiveness Duality of Creativity: Tensions Concerning the Components of Creativity

Carsten Deckert
Cologne Business School


The standard definition of individual creativity is based on a tension between originality on the one side and effectiveness (usefulness and appropriateness) on the other side. In this article this tension is called the originality-effectiveness duality of creativity. The article explores how this duality pervades the componential theories of creativity. To analyze the components of creativity with regard to their tensions, the so called value square (“Wertequadrat”) developed by Helwig (1967) and Schulz von Thun (1998) is used. The value square explains each component as a dynamic equilibrium and shows how a positive value is balanced with its positive countervalue. Tensions of mindfulness, precision and ambiguity, as well as immersion and detachment are identified permeating the components of creativity. This article explores the implications these tensions have for creativity research and for businesses in a creative economy.

Deckert, C. (2016). On the originality-effectiveness duality of creativity: Tensions concerning the components of creativity. Business Creativity and the Creative Economy, 2(1), 70-82. https://doi.org/10.18536/bcce.2016.