The Role of Creativity in JDM

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Industrial and Organizational Psychology





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The article by Dalal et al. (2010) provides a summary of ways in which the frameworks and research in judgment and decision making (JDM) can inform general industrial– organizational (I–O) and vice versa. Although the authors review important topics in which JDM can benefit I–O work and I–O research can benefit the JDM community, one significant component has been ignored: issues relating to creativity and innovation.

Creativity has been defined as an idea, solution, or product that is both useful and novel (Mumford & Gustafson, 1988). Looking at this definition, some overlap with JDM is apparent. Creativity from this perspective can be viewed as a specific outcome or a property of a decision. Research in JDM has not focused on this outcome but rather the accuracy of the decision. Much of the research in JDM tends to focus on problems in which there is one correct or preferred answer. Creativity research, on the other hand, cannot be conducted on well-defined problems. Similar to naturalistic decision making (NDM), creativity researchers focus on problems that have multiple goals, include uncertainty, and are ill defined. Although the NDM framework uses problems similar to those used in creativity research, research in NDM typically is not concerned with the creativity Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Roni Reiter-Palmon. E-mail: rreiter-palmon@unomaha.edu Address: Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE 68182 Roni Reiter-Palmon and Brad Hullsiek, Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska. of the solution generated or the decision made. However, creativity and innovation are viewed as important factors in managerial problem solving and decision making, particularly dealing with complex organizational problems. Further, current work on planning, an important aspect of managerial decision making, suggests that creativity is a key component of successful plans (Mumford, Schultz, & Osburn, 2002).