The cultivation and inhibition of creativity from the perspective of individuals with multiple patents

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Educational Leadership


Department of Educational Leadership


Advisor: Michele M. Welkener


This research utilized a constructivist, phenomenological methodology, a qualitative, semi-structured interview method, and a theoretical framework informed by organizational theory as well as creativity theory to explore (1) sources of supports and inspiration for creativity cultivation, (2) experiences that had a positive impact on creativity cultivation, and (3) experiences that had a negative impact on creativity cultivation. The research focused on the process of creativity cultivation, as opposed to the focus of most existing work on the established creative individual and/or the creative product. The overwhelming majority of interviewees reported that early childhood provided important sources of support and inspiration for creative behaviors and influenced their life-long creative processes. This finding was not widely reported in the previous literature. The concentration of this study on the process of creativity cultivation may have allowed this new insight. Further, the interviewees also identified two types of experiences that had positive impacts on their cultivation of creativity: (1) varied experiences and (2) organizational factors. Finally, the interviewees identified organizational factors as also being the most significant experiences that negatively impacted their creativity cultivation. A majority of interviewees noted that they left organizations that were exerting negative influences on their creativity cultivation. Many of the interviewees also indicated that they had established, or had plans to establish, their own organizations to foster future creative endeavors. This paper includes the nascent outline of an analytical and integrative template to link creativity and organizational research to allow deeper and fuller future analysis. Finally, this paper concludes with analysis and recommendations for future investigations into creativity cultivation supports and inhibiters.


Adult children of divorced parents, Creative ability Research, Parental influences Research, Encouragement Research, Educational Leadership, Business Administration, Business Education, Organization Theory, Organizational Behavior, Pedagogy, creativity, creativity cultivation, creativity inhibition, organizational impacts on creativity, organizational theory and creativity theory, patent holders and creativity, early influences on creativity development

Rights Statement

Copyright 2015, author