Fostering Creativity in Product and Service Development: Validation in the Domain of Information Technology
AbstractObjective: This research is intended to empirically validate a general model of creative product and service development proposed in the literature. Background: A current research gap inspired construction of a conceptual model to capture fundamental phases and pertinent facilitating metacognitive strategies in the creative design process. The model also depicts the mechanism by which design creativity affects consumer behavior. The validity and assets of this model have not yet been investigated. Method: Four laboratory studies were conducted to demonstrate the value of the proposed cognitive phases and associated metacognitive strategies in the conceptual model. Realistic product and service design problems were used in creativity assessment to ensure ecological validity. Results: Design creativity was enhanced by explicit problem analysis, whereby one formulates problems from different perspectives and at different levels of abstraction. Remote association in conceptual combination spawned more design creativity than did near association. Abstraction led to greater creativity in conducting conceptual expansion than did specificity, which induced mental fixation. Domain-specific knowledge and experience enhanced design creativity, indicating that design can be of a domain-specific nature. Design creativity added integrated value to products and services and positively influenced customer behavior. Conclusion: The validity and value of the proposed conceptual model is supported by empirical findings. Application: The conceptual model of creative design could underpin future theory development. Propositions advanced in this article should provide insights and approaches to facilitate organizations pursuing product and service creativity to gain competitive advantage.