Creative problem‐solving styles in the USA and Japan

Paul Herbig (Texas A&M International University, Laredo, Texas, USA, and)
Laurence Jacobs (University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Publication date: 1 April 1996


Explores the cultural differences between Japan and the USA as they influence in the practice of creativity. Western logic reflects its Cartesian heritage of a clear, linear path of reasoning or the “scientific method”. The western approach to creativity is innovation through sponteneous originality. The Japanese approach, by contrast, is through the adaptive process. Implementing the innovation for effective production and marketing is their greatest strength. Japanese value the consensual more than differences. Proposes that US‐Japanese partnerships would be the merging of opposites, the perfect complement of two diameterically opposite ways of creative thinking. If these partnerships are properly conceived and implemented, a highly efficient combine would result.



Herbig, P. and Jacobs, L. (1996), "Creative problem‐solving styles in the USA and Japan", International Marketing Review, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 63-71.

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Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited

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