Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Varun Grover, Committee Chair
Be productive. Since the industrial revolution, managers have had an almost singular focus on equipping employees with productivity tools in productivity-supportive environments. Information technologies—systems designed to increase productivity—entered the marketplace in the 1980's and were initially credited with the subsequent boom. Eventually, innovation was shown to be the primary spark, and the managerial focus shifted. Increasingly, the imperative is: be creative. This dissertation investigates how a technology environment designed to be fast and mechanistic influences the slow and organic act of creativity. Creativity—the production of novel and useful solutions—can be an elusive subject and has a varied history within Information Systems (IS) research so the first essay is devoted to conducting an historical analysis of creativity research across several domains and developing a holistic, technologically-aware framework for researching creativity in modern organizations. IS literature published in the Senior Scholar's journals is then mapped to the proposed framework as a means of identifying unexplored regions of the creativity phenomenon. This essay concludes with a discussion of future directions for creativity research within IS. The second essay integrates task-technology fit and conservation of resources theory and employs an experimental design to explore the task of being creative with an IS. Borrowing from fine arts research, the concept of IS Mastery is introduced as a resource which, when deployed efficiently, acts to conserve resources and enhance performance on cognitively demanding creative tasks. The third essay investigates an expectedly strong but unexpectedly negative relationship between technology fit and creative performance. This finding launches an exploration into alternate study designs, theoretical models and performance measures as we search for the true nature of the relationship between creativity and technology fit. The essay concludes with an updated map of the technology-to-performance chain. These essays contribute to IS research by creating a technology-aware creativity framework for motivating and positioning future research, by showing that the IS is neither a neutral nor frictionless collaborator in creative tasks and by exposing the inhibiting effects of a well-fitting technology for creative performance.
London, Jackie Patrick, "Creativity and Information Systems: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation of Creativity in IS" (2019). All Dissertations. 2443.