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Barriers to organizational creativity: The marketing executives' perspective in Saudi Arabia

Muhammad Asad Sadi (College of Industrial Management, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)
Ali H. Al‐Dubaisi (Electrical Maintenance Division, Saudi Electricity Company, Dammam, Saudi Arabia)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 13 June 2008




The purpose of this paper is to examine the significance of some barriers in Saudi organizations from the perspectives of marketing executives.


A range of contemporary literature is presented to help define the term “organizational creativity,” and describe “barriers to creativity” from the marketing executives' perspective within the organizational culture of Saudi Arabia.


Self‐confidence and task achievement are the most significant barriers to the creativity of marketing executives in Saudi Arabia.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is primarily based on a survey questionnaire, the contents of which were derived from previous studies on this subject or related themes. The barriers to creativity surveyed in this study were identified by Osborn. They were grouped into six constructs: self‐confidence; need for conformity and risk taking; use of the abstract; use of systematic analysis; task achievement and physic1al environment.

Practical implications

Throughout this paper the concept of “barriers to creativity” was explored. The results indicated that self‐confidence is considered a slightly higher barrier to creativity among Saudi executives compared to non‐Saudis who rate task achievement higher. To improve self‐confidence among executives, both Saudi and non‐Saudi organizations must improve positive behavioral elements such as optimism, passion, and self‐image and minimize negative behavior elements such as sarcasms, destructive criticism, status consciousness and fear of evaluation.


The celebrated Osborn model is used to identify the creativity barriers among organizations from the perspective of marketing executives. This paper concludes that creativity is an important issue for any organization to survive and excel, and knowing the barriers that diminish creativity is an essential step towards the objective of creating a culture of creativity within an organization in the Saudi Arabian context.



Asad Sadi, M. and Al‐Dubaisi, A.H. (2008), "Barriers to organizational creativity: The marketing executives' perspective in Saudi Arabia", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 27 No. 6, pp. 574-599.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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