Business Creativity and Literature Review

Problem and Proposition

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One of the most misunderstood ideas is human intelligence, when it comes to success in the business world. Part of the reason for this, is because most people will assume that they can go to college and receive a good education. At which point, they should have those skills that will keep them in demand for the rest of their lives. As they can use this, to help them to have a marketable trade that is addressing the needs of the general public. On the surface, this appears to be true, as those with higher levels of formal education have lower unemployment rates. Evidence of this can be seen by looking no further than the below table from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (which is highlighting the unemployment rates for each group).

Unemployment Rate for the Civilian Population over 25 Years Old



Less than High School

High School

Associate Degree

Bachelor’s Degree


(“,” 2011)

These figures are significant, because they are showing that the levels of education will have an impact on the unemployment rate for a particular demographic.

However, globalization and the lingering recession have made it more difficult for everyone to find consistent employment. The reason why, is because these factors have been placing pressure on wages by forcing them lower. A good example of this can be seen with a study that was conducted by John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. They found that that between 2009 and 2010 the average salary for a recent college graduate declined to $27,000.00 per year. This is down from the $30,000.00 that was reported previously with a decline of 10% before taking inflation into account. These numbers are significant, because they are showing that large amounts of college graduates are having trouble finding work inside their career fields. As a result, this is an indication that most people’s minds are not functioning at an empowering level that will allow them to take advantage of new opportunities. (Rampell, 2009)

Problem: Creativity and Business

In order for corporations to be able to compete in the future, they need to have everyone using their formalized education. While at the same time, they must be able to: think on their feet, have creativity and flexibility. However, the problem is that most firms do not utilize their talent as effectively as they should. Over the course of time, this gives an organization a considerable disadvantage when competing against other companies. This is when there is the realistic possibility that they could be slow to respond to the needs of customer (which will lead to a loss in market share).

A good example of this occurred with General Motors and the Chevy Volt. What happened was that the company has been in the 1990’s called the EV1. At the time, oil prices were so low that management did not see the value in producing these kinds of cars. The reason why, is because executives did not have any kind of creativity or forward thinking. Instead, they were focused on building those products to meet current demand. The problem is that this approach, made the company unable to adjust to shifts in the marketplace. Once this occurred, it meant that the Volt would be introduced in 2007 after companies such as: Toyota and Nissan had been selling their own vehicles for years. This is important, because it shows how management was unable to use their minds to help the firm adapt with these transformations. If executives had been focusing differently, this could have saved the company from going into bankruptcy. (Voelcker, 2007)

Proposition A: Creativity is Important and Business Success relies on Employee Creativity.

To effectively help a business to be able to compete in the future, the firm must use employee creativity to deal with the challenges they are facing. Evidence of this can be seen in an article that was written by Pfeiffer (1999). He found that in order for any corporation to be successful they must embrace a number of different principals as a part of their strategy. To include: , having flexibility and working well with employees. As Pfeiffer determined, that these practices are being embraced by the most successful companies around the world. This means that all firms must begin to listen to and understand the ideas of their employees. The reason why is, they can provide everyone with specific ideas that will help a business respond to the needs of customers. This is when they will be able to maintain their market share and effectively adjust to changes that are occurring. (Pfeiffer, 1999, pp. 37 — 48) The information from this source is useful, because it is illustrating how employees are playing a central role in determining the success of a business in the future. As a result, executives must listen to everyone’s ideas to: see what changes are taking place and how they can evolve with them.

Proposition B: Some Businesses do not maximize Employee Creativity.

There are some firms that do not encourage employee creativity. This is because they follow the standard authoritarian model. This is when the management will tell staff members: what their roles are and their expectations in completing these specifications. If there is any kind of deviating from the process, it will mean that the individual will face greater amounts of scrutiny from executives. This is because they are deviating from the standard procedures that are used to produce a particular product or service. Over the course of time, this can lead to a reduction in market share and earnings. As, this focus will mean that the business will embrace strategies that worked in the past. (“Leadership Styles,” 2011)

Proposition C: Although Business Creativity relies on Employee Creativity some do not maximize Employee Creativity.

The problem with most firms is that they do not use employee creativity or they are embracing it on a limited basis. This is troubling, because it means that a particular company will not be able to adapt to changes in the markets. Once this occurs, is when the odds increase that they will slowly lose customers and sales. This is due to the fact that they are not addressing their basic needs. As a result, all firms must listen to the ideas of their employees and apply them to situations that will help the corporation to remain competitive. This is what the most successful businesses are using to achieve their goals and dominate their industry. (Pfeiffer, 1999, pp. 37 — 48)

Clearly, those organizations that value their employees and have a different mindset are most successful. As this, allows them to improve their competitive position. Over the course of time, this helps a firm to provide customers with those products and services they are demanding. This is the point that they are able use common sense thinking to give them an advantage over their competitors.


To determine what approaches and ideas are most effective requires understanding specific techniques that have been used successfully in the past. The way that this will be accomplished is through conducting a survey of business executives about the most effective techniques that are being utilized. This will take place by having managers serve as the control group. While a sample of ordinary people will be collected to see the differences in thought patterns. As a result, we will be asking respondents are series of questions to include:

Demographic Questions

What is the highest level of education you have completed?

What ethnic group do you belong to?

Are you a male or female?

Open Ended Question

Do you agree with the statement that common sense will determine the success of a business over the long-term? Please explain your answer.

Multiple Choice

Do you think that businesses are currently using common sense ideas to adjust to the needs of customers? Please select one response: disagree, neutral or agree.

Do you think formal education will determine how successful a business will be in the future? Please select one response: disagree, neutral or agree.

Are firms more competitive today than they were in the past? Please select one response: disagree, neutral or agree.

Do you believe that the formal education of executives will determine how successful they will be? Please select one response: disagree, neutral or agree.

Should firms practice common sense thinking as part of their business model to improve their competitiveness? Please select one response: disagree, neutral or agree.

Research Proposal

What is the research topic?

The research topic that we will be examining is what kind of mind set helped to make people successful. This will be accomplished through conducting a survey (in the form of a questionnaire) that will analyze the views of business executives (who are more successful) in comparison with the general public. This will help us to directly correlate how: the levels of formal education and common sense determine the quality of life for the most people.

What is the issue or problem that your research will investigate?

The issue that our research will investigate is how the thoughts and ideas of an individual will have an impact on their levels of achievement. This will allow us to determine the impact that formal education will have on success. At the same time, we can see how: common sense, ability to work well with people and other attributes will decide the kind of future for these individuals. The reason why we are examining this problem, is because there have been many instances where formal education was not a factor in determining how successful someone will be over the long-term.

Why is the study you are proposing important or worthy of research and what contributions will it make to what’s already know, if anything, about the subject matter?

This study is important, because it will help us to see the impact that formal education is having on the business world. Once this occurs, is when we can begin creating a list of attributes that will decide the levels of individual achievement. This will allow educators to create course and curriculum that will take these views into account. In the future this will help students to effectively adapt to a variety of situations.

What are the research question(s) will you investigate? Max 2 questions

The research questions that we will be studying include:

What is the impact of formal education on the levels of achievement over the course of a person’s lifetime?

Are there other factors and attributes that can negate any kind of educational advantage that someone may have?

What has already been published (review existing literature) about the topic you wish to research?

In the piece of literature that was written by Robbins (1991), he found that individual success is based upon our ability to: adapt, change and evolve. As, our mindset and what we are telling ourselves will alter how everyone is looking at the world around them. While, Hill (2007) found similar kinds of issues in those people who have the highest levels of achievement in society. As the most accomplished, have no formal education and they were able to use their common sense to give them an advantage that made up for this weakness. This is important, because it is showing how there are other factors that will play a role in deciding how successful a person will be in the future. (Robbins, 1991, pp. 1 — 48) (Hill, 2007, pp. 27 — 44)

What research methods will you use?

The research method that we are using is called the mixed approach. This is when we are using specific data that was gathered in a survey (through qualitative research) and from other sources (the quantitative methodology). Once this occurs, we will be able to identify and corroborate the underlying trends with each other. (“Mixed Method Research,” 2011)


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Pfeiffer, J. (1999). Putting People First. The Academy of Management Executives, 13 (2), 37 — 48.

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Robbins, A. (1991). Awaken the Giant Within. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.

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