A comaprison of methods of creativity in small and large european businesses

Sherry Robinson, Hans Anton Stubberud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Innovation is a key to success in today's competitive business environment. Firms that intend to survive and thrive need to constantly develop creative ideas that result in new products and processes. Creativity and innovation, along with risk-taking and proactiveness, are essential elements in an entrepreneurial orientation. The willingness to take risks is essential to divergent thinking that leads to new, creative ideas as not all new ideas are worthy of investment. The fear of looking foolish combined with a low propensity to take risks can stifle the communication of potentially good ideas so they are not shared with others. Brainstorming is one situation in which participants are encouraged to take the risk to enunciate what may seem like silly or nonsensical ideas. These ideas may then be adapted and improved by the group, leading to valuable creativity ideas. While brainstorming requires time and effort, it is relatively simple and inexpensive to perform in companies of all sizes. Groups that are composed of individuals from different backgrounds can develop especially valuable and unique ideas as creativity thrives on diversity. This study uses data from Eurostat’s seventh Community Innovation Survey (CIS), which collected data on innovation activities within companies for the reference period of 2008-2010. This survey collected data on the most popular methods used successfully by small, medium-sized and large businesses for stimulating new ideas or creativity. A comparison of small and large businesses shows that brainstorming is use by more small businesses than any other of techniques included in the study. While large businesses were even more likely to use brainstorming, the most popular method was the use of multidisciplinary or cross-function teams. These findings suggest that diversity is a key element in successful innovation. Although SMEs have fewer employees than large businesses, strategic hiring and sharing of ideas among people with different backgrounds could lead to improved innovation efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-151
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management


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