Date of Award

8-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Jason Berman

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between an individual’s expressed creative problem style and divergent thinking attitudes. The problem-solving preferences were measured by the FourSight Breakthrough Thinking Profile and identified four preferences, Clarifier, Ideator, Developer, and Implementer. Divergent thinking attitudes, preference for ideation, and premature evaluation were measured by the 14 Item Ideation-Evaluation Preference Scale. The multidisciplinary sample was drawn from non-profit, business, education and higher education, specifically a Masters of Business Administration program. Significant relationships were found between the participants (N = 374) who identified with high Ideator and Implementer scores and preference for ideation. Significant relationships were also found with those who identified with high Ideator scores and the preference for evaluation. Those who identified as Ideators were the only preference that presented significant relationships to both divergent thinking attitudes. The results suggest implications for work in creative problem solving and innovation. If the two divergent thinking attitudes are a foundation to seeking creative solutions, not having individuals who identify as Ideators in the workplace or on a team can potentially hinder creative outcomes. Identifying individuals with preferences capable of divergent thinking or a tendency to not prematurely evaluate can support increased original insights and options. Recommendations for consideration and further research are discussed.

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