The role of creativity in entrepreneurial ideation

Pret, Tobias and Shaw, Eleanor and Carter, Sara (2016) The role of creativity in entrepreneurial ideation. In: 2016 Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange (ACERE) Conference, 2016-01-25 - 2016-01-29.

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Creativity is a necessity for generating ideas that can be turned into business opportunities. However, little is known about how entrepreneurs employ creativity to develop ideas over time. We address this research gap by exploring strategies that entrepreneurs pursue to engage in ideation processes. Set within the context of the UK craft industry, this study investigates the lived experiences of 10 creative entrepreneurs over 18 months. Our findings highlight the continuous and cumulative nature of ideation processes. We uncover the creative entrepreneurs rarely experience eureka moments, but rather refine emerging concepts over time. The conceptual framework we develop explains the relationship between creativity, ideas, personal style and market trends. Particularly, we propose that entrepreneurs employ creation strategies, which facilitate spotting trends in the market in order to advance personal style and, by extension, creativity. Our study highlights the over lapping and intertwined nature of these processes. Thus, our findings contradict prevailing views, which juxtapose creation and discovery theories of entrepreneurial action.