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Optimising Creativity in the Workplace


School of Applied Sciences

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Dr L Carruthers , Dr R MacLean No more applications being accepted

About the Project

The use of creativity in the workplace is imperative to many organisations worldwide and the correlation between employee creativity and both individual and organisational success is well documented (Anderson, Potocnik, & Zhou, 2014). As creativity is worth billions to the UK economy alone, methods of improving creativity in the workplace are increasingly sought after.

This project will investigate factors that may improve everyday creativity, defined as the production of original, appropriate, and useful ideas, products, or solutions. The three main factors to be considered will be the effects of mood, mind-set, and incubation, as each has been found to affect creativity differently. It is proposed here that these three factors be studied independently and interdependently, with the aim of highlighting techniques that can be used in the workplace to improve everyday creativity.

The PhD student will be required to conduct a thorough literature review, and will work towards identifying the most valid and reliable method for remotely measuring the effects of mood, mind-set, and incubation on creativity in a quantitative, scientific, and ecologically valid manner. This may include online experiments or questionnaires, for example. Data collection will be followed by thorough analysis to determine the next steps of the study, the ultimate goal being the production of a proposed workplace policy document based on empirical research that advises organisations on how best to foster everyday creativity in their employees.

Applications for full-time and part-time study will be accepted.

Academic qualifications
A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in psychology with a good fundamental knowledge of cognition and quantitative research methods.

English language requirement
IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.

Essential attributes:
• Experience of fundamental quantitative research processes
• Competent in research planning, execution, and reporting
• Knowledge of psychology research ethics and methods, and quantitative data analysis using appropriate software (e.g., SPSS, R)
• Good written and oral communication skills
• Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project
• Good time management

Desirable attributes:
An understanding of the field of creativity within psychology would be beneficial.

Funding Notes

This is an unfunded position.
Please quote project code SAS0066 in your enquiry and application.

APPLICATION CHECKLIST
• Completed application form
• CV
• 2 academic references, using the Postgraduate Educational Reference Form (Found on the application process page)
• A personal research statement (This should include (a) a brief description of your relevant experience and skills, (b) an indication of what you would uniquely bring to the project and (c) a statement of how this project fits with your future direction.)
• Evidence of proficiency in English (if appropriate)


References

Carruthers, L. (2016). Creativity and attention: A multi-method investigation. Available here: https://tinyurl.com/ybhuew83
Carruthers, L., MacLean, R. & Willis, A. (2018). The relationship between creativity and attention in adults. Creativity Research Journal, 30(4), 370-379. https://doi.org/10.1080/10400419.2018.1530910.
Gilhooly, K. J., Georgiou, G. & Devery, U. (2013). Incubation and creativity: Do something different. Thinking and Reasoning, 19(2),
137-149. Guegan, J., Buisine, S., Mantelet, F., Maranzana, N., & Segonds, F. (2016). Avatar-mediated creativity: When embodying inventors makes engineers more creative. Computers in Human Behavior, 61, 165-175. Kaufman, J. C., Plucker, J. A. & Baer, J. (2008). Essentials of Creativity Assessment. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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