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Social influence and creativity in organizations: A multi-level lens for theory, research, and practice

Multi-Level Issues in Creativity and Innovation

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1476-8, eISBN: 978-1-84950-553-6

Publication date: 25 March 2008


Organizational creativity and innovation are inherently complex phenomena, and subject to a myriad of broad contextual and social influences. As the evidence grows for the link between innovation and organizational effectiveness and, ultimately, organizational survival, there is no doubting the need for theoretical and practical advances in our understanding. The complex nature of these constructs, however, requires that such efforts utilize a multi-level lens. This chapter discusses key aspects of creativity and innovation in organizations, including fundamental construct definition issues, which underscore the need for a multi-level perspective. It also reviews extant theoretical perspectives for their contributions to a multi-level understanding, and the research in two key areas of social influence – group factors and leadership – that have received substantial attention in the organizational literature. The review and discussion of these areas reveal not only numerous advances, but also substantial limitations that must be resolved through more complex and comprehensive (i.e., multi-level) approaches. The chapter concludes with several recommendations intended to guide and inform future work in the organizational creativity and innovation field.


Agars, M.D., Kaufman, J.C. and Locke, T.R. (2008), "Social influence and creativity in organizations: A multi-level lens for theory, research, and practice", Mumford, M.D., Hunter, S.T. and Bedell-Avers, K.E. (Ed.) Multi-Level Issues in Creativity and Innovation (Research in Multi-Level Issues, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 3-61.



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