A Review of the Effectiveness of CPS Training: A Focus on Workplace Issues

A major focus within the field of creativity has been on the development of methodologies aimed at deliberately nurturing creative thinking. These methodologies have attempted to mirror the creative process in ways that allow individuals and groups to explicitly call on and employ their creative faculties. In an attempt to uplift employees’ creative capabilities many of these methodologies have been introduced into organizations through training programs, as well as through application to business challenges. Do these methods work? What is the empirical evidence that these deliberate creative process methods enhance employees’ creativity? Though there are a handful of creative process methods, few have married the concern for application with an interest in demonstrating the benefits of these applied efforts through systematic research. Creative Problem Solving (CPS), one of the more popular creative process models, has been one of the rare exceptions. The purpose of this paper is to synthesize the research literature that reports on the impact of CPS training carried out within organizational contexts, that is training programs that involved professionals or students working on real business challenges. Additionally, the positive benefits of CPS are further examined through reports that cite the outcomes of applying CPS to business challenges. In a field replete with methods that have been commercialized, it is imperative to strike a balance between research and practice as an imbalance towards practice may foster a field dominated by individuals who offer untested products and services.

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