Creativity from a systems perspective: bridging theory and practice

Hieronymi Andreas (University of St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Publication date: 11 November 2013



This paper aims to sketch the outline of a systems framework for creativity. It involves several levels of analysis and addresses researchers and practitioners. When improving creative climates in work settings, it is necessary to have a better understanding of the various mechanisms of creativity and what strengthens or diminishes them.


Creativity research is fragmented and involves multiple aspects, levels and disciplines, ranging from biology to psychology and sociology. Concepts from systems science have particular value in understanding creativity, as they provide a transdisciplinary language of how systems work and adapt. This conceptual paper makes use of the language and concepts from the systems field to connect often disparate perspectives and clarify key mechanisms of creativity.


The core of this paper is a newly developed multilevel model of the creative mind. The proposed concepts provide a starting point for integrating further theoretical findings.

Practical implications

Improved understanding of creativity could help leaders more effectively use their creativity while facilitating the creativity of others for successful cooperation and problem-solving.


The visual models introduced here help bridge theory and practice while creating a stronger link between creativity research and studies in systems, cybernetics and complexity.



Hieronymi, A. (2013), "Creativity from a systems perspective: bridging theory and practice", Kybernetes, Vol. 42 No. 9/10, pp. 1413-1423.

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