Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 4
  • Print publication year: 2017
  • Online publication date: September 2017

15 - Creativity in the Engineering Domain

from Part III - Creativity in the Sciences



Engineering can claim an important association with the birth of the modern creativity era. The Sputnik Shock of 1957 led to the identification of creativity not only as a valuable quality in general, but also as a vital element of practical, successful problem solving. The engineering domain epitomizes the interdependence of the Four Ps of creativity – Person, Product, Process, and Press – highlighting the necessity of each as a component of generating effective and novel solutions to problems.

In this chapter, we discuss both what makes engineering unique as a domain of creativity, and also how important the core, psychological constructs of creativity are to this domain. We discuss, in particular, two facets of creativity – the characteristics of creative products, and the measurement of divergent thinking – where insights from the domain of engineering add value to the understanding of creativity as a systems phenomenon.

Agogué, M., Le Masson, P., Dalmasso, C., Houdé, O., & Cassotti, M. (2015). Resisting classical solutions: The creative mind of industrial designers and engineers. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 9(3), 313318.
Amabile, T. M. (1982). Social psychology of creativity: A consensual assessment technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 43, 9971013.
Amabile, T. M., & Tighe, E. (1993). Questions of creativity. In Brockman, J. (Ed.), Creativity. The Reality Club (Vol. 4, pp. 727). New York: Simon and Schuster.
Badran, I. (2007). Enhancing creativity and innovation in engineering education. European Journal of Engineering Education, 32(5), 573585.
Baer, J. M. (2010). Is creativity domain specific? In Kaufman, J. C. & Sternberg, R. J. (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of creativity (pp. 321341). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Berger, K., Surovek, A., Jensen, D., & Cropley, D. (2014). Individual creativity and team engineering design: A taxonomy for team composition. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference, Madrid, Spain.
Besemer, S. P., & O’Quin, K. (1987). Creative product analysis: Testing a model by developing a judging instrument. In Isaksen, S. G. (Ed.), Frontiers of creativity research: Beyond the basics (pp. 367389). Buffalo: Brady.
Blanchard, B. S., & Fabrycky, W. J. (2006). Systems engineering and analysis (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Buhl, H. R. (1960). Creative engineering design. Iowa State University Press.
Cattell, R. B., & Butcher, H. J. (1968). The prediction of achievement and creativity. New York: Bobbs-Merrill.
Charyton, C., Jagacinski, R. J., & Merrill, J. A. (2008). CEDA: A research instrument for creative engineering design assessment. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 2(3), 147154.
Costa, P. T. Jr, & McCrae, R. R. (1992). Four ways five factors are basic. Personality and Individual Differences, 13(6), 653665.
Cropley, A. J. (2006). In praise of convergent thinking. Creativity Research Journal, 18(3), 391404.
Cropley, D. H. (2014). Engineering, ethics and creativity: N’er the twain shall meet? In Moran, S., Cropley, D. H., & Kaufman, J. C. (Eds.), The ethics of creativity (pp. 152169). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave MacMillan Ltd.
Cropley, D. H. (2015). Creativity in engineering: Novel solutions to complex problems. San Diego: Academic Press.
Cropley, D. H., & Cropley, A. J. (2000). Fostering creativity in engineering undergraduates. High Ability Studies, 11(2), 207219.
Cropley, D. H., & Cropley, A. J. (2005). Engineering creativity: A systems concept of functional creativity. In Kaufman, J. C. & Baer, J. (Eds.), Faces of the muse: How people think, work and act creatively in diverse domains (pp. 169185). Hillsdale: NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Cropley, D. H., & Kaufman, J. C. (2012). Measuring functional creativity: Non-expert raters and the creative solution diagnosis scale. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 46(2), 119137.
Cropley, D. H., Kaufman, J. C., & Cropley, A. J. (2011). Measuring creativity for innovation management. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, 6(3), 1330.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1988). Society, culture, and person: A systems view of creativity. In Sternberg, R. J. (Ed.), The nature of creativity (pp. 325339). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1999). Implications of a systems perspective for the study of creativity. In Sternberg, R. J. (Ed.), Handbook of creativity (pp. 313335). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Dieter, G. E., & Schmidt, L. C. (2012). Engineering design (5th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
Duncker, K. (1945). On problem-solving (Dashiell, J. F., Ed., Vol. 58). Washington DC: The American Psychological Association Inc.
Goclowska, M. A., Baas, M., Crisp, R. J., & De Dreu, C. K. W. (2014). Whether social schema violations help or hurt creativity depends on need for structure. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40(8), 959971.
Goldenberg, J., Mazursky, D., & Solmon, S. (1999). Toward identifying the inventive templates of new products: A channeled ideation approach. Journal of Marketing Research, 36, 200210.
Gruber, H. E., & Wallace, D. B. (1999). The case study method and evolving systems approach for understanding unique creative people at work. In Sternberg, R. (Ed.), Handbook of creativity (pp. 93115). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Haught, C., & Johnson-Laird, P. N. (2003). Creativity and constraints: The production of novel sentences. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 25th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.
Heinelt, G. (1974). Kreative Lehrer/kreative Schüler [Creative Teachers/Creative Students]. Freiburg: Herder.
Horenstein, M. N. (2002). Design concepts for engineers (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Ihsen, S., & Brandt, D. (1998). Editorial: Creativity: How to educate and train innovative engineers. European Journal of Engineering Education, 23(1), 34.
Kozbelt, A., Beghetto, R. A., & Runco, M. A. (2010). Theories of creativity. In Kaufman, J. C. & Sternberg, R. J. (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of creativity (pp. 2047). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Mednick, S. A. (1962). The associative basis of creativity. Psychological Review, 69, 220232.
Miller, A. I. (1992). Scientific creativity: A comparative study of Henri Poincare and Albert Einstein. Creativity Research Journal, 5(4), 385414.
Mishra, P., & Henriksen, D. (2013). A NEW approach to defining and measuring creativity: Rethinking technology & creativity in the 21st century. TechTrends, 57(5), 1013.
Mokyr, J. (1990). The lever of riches: Technological creativity and economic progress. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Moreau, P., & Dahl, D. W. (2005). The impact of constraints on consumers’ creativity. Journal of Consumer Research, 32(1), 1322.
Onarheim, B. (2012). Creativity from constraints in engineering design: Lessons learned at Coloplast. Journal of Engineering Design, 23(4), 323336.
Paulhus, D. L., & Williams, K. M. (2002). The dark triad of personality: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Journal of Research in Personality, 36(6), 556563.
Plucker, J. A., Beghetto, R. A., & Dow, G. T. (2004). Why isn’t creativity more important to educational psychologists? Potentials, pitfalls, and future directions in creativity research. Educational Psychologist, 39(2), 8396.
Plucker, J. A., & Makel, M. C. (2010). Assessment of creativity. In Kaufman, J. C. & Sternberg, R. J. (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of creativity (pp. 4873). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Rhodes, M. (1961). An analysis of creativity. The Phi Delta Kappan, 42(7), 305310.
Sagiv, L., Arieli, S., Goldenberg, J., & Goldschmidt, A. (2010). Structure and freedom in creativity: The interplay between externally imposed structure and personal cognitive style. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 31(8), 10861110.
Sandwith, B. L. (2015). The influence of structure and personality on creativity in a military context. University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.
Stokes, P. D. (2008). Creativity from constraints: What can we learn from Motherwell? From Modrian? From Klee? The Journal of Creative Behavior, 42(4), 223236.
Taylor, I. A. (1975). An emerging view of creative actions. In Taylor, I. A. & Getzels, J. W. (Eds.), Perspectives in creativity (pp. 297325). Chicago: Aldine.
Torrance, E. P. (1966). Torrance tests of creative thinking: Technical norms manual. Lexington, MA: Personnel Press.
Urban, K. K., & Jellen, H. G. (1996). Test for Creative Thinking – Drawing Production (TCT-DP). Lisse, Netherlands: Swets and Zeitlinger.