An Interplay of Age, Contextual Factors, Team Process and Organizational Creativity in Hong Kong Professionals

Project: Research

View graph of relations


Creativity has been described as a key factor in adaptation to aging in individuals (Fisher & Specht, 1999; Wikstron, 2002), and a successful factor to innovation in organizations and industries (West, 1990; Woodman, Sawyer & Griffin, 1993). The former type of creativity is theorized as everyday creativity or personal creativity (Richards, 2007; Runco, 2004) and can be nurtured through learning (Craft, Cremin & Burnard, 2008; Starko, 2001), and leisure (Hegarty, 2009). The latter creativity is theorized as professional expertise or “Pro-c creativity” by Kaufmann and Beghetto (2009) or eminent creativity (Simonton, 2000) and can be encouraged in employees and professionals (Gilson & Shalley, 2004; Oldham & Cummings, 1996).This research is concerned with creativity and aging, and intended to expand the study of creativity to a broader age group and to examine the effect of an intergenerational workforce on team creativity. Our proposed paradigm intends to argue that to promote an aged-integrated workforce is an advantage to facilitate creativity in organizations and creative industries, particularly in an aging society. Two studies will be carried out. Study 1 aims at collecting real-life data from the workplace and examining the influence of age diversity, specialization diversity and task complexity in groups on team creativity. Study 2 serves to validate the findings of Study 1 in a larger sample with teams comprising of individuals at various age groups in the creative industries.Study 1 will be a prospective study to examine the work experience of professionals in 3 businesses including the creative industries. The experience sampling method will be used to investigate the creative process and in data collection. This will be the first study ever to examine cross-age issues in creative production. The collection of real-time data via the experiences sampling method will enhance the scientific value of the study substantially.Study 2 will examine how team diversity (age, specialization, job function) and contextual factors (climate for creativity and barriers to creativity) interact to affect team process (perception of support from group, creative strategy), and organizational creativity. It serves to validate the cross-age, cross-specialization, cross-job function effects in teams with various levels of creativity.If successful, this present project will show that progressive change in people’s beliefs on creativity and aging. These findings have important implications on promoting organizational creativity in an aging workforce.


Project number9041592
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/1118/03/14