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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Fostering creativity in product/service development: Validation in the domain of information technology
by Zeng, Liang, Ph.D., Purdue University, 2011, 221; 3480938
Abstract (Summary)

Creativity is gaining increased emphasis in academia and industry. Despite the importance of creativity to product/service development, a core area in HF/E, there is scarcely any comprehensive research dedicated to investigating the complex construct of creativity, the underlying cognitive processes, or the value of creativity in product/service development. This dissertation is intended to address those gaps by first reviewing relevant literature regarding creativity, creative cognition, and the engineering design process. Based on the review, a framework of Ergodesign creativity is advanced to appraise the central role of creativity in addressing the four dimensions of ergonomic design: functionality, safety, usability, and affectivity. A conceptual model of creative product/service development is then constructed, which captures the general creative design process, facilitating metacognitive strategies, and the influencing mechanism of design creativity on consumer behavior.

Five laboratory studies were conducted to examine the validity and value of the conceptual model. Those cognitive phases and associated metacognitive strategies were tested by deliberate intervention in the form of explicit instruction. Real-world IT design problems were used in creativity assessment to bolster ecological validity. Key empirical findings include six facets: (1) Design creativity was enhanced by explicit problem analysis where one formulates problems from different perspectives and at hierarchical levels of abstraction. (2) Conceptual combination by way of remote association spawned higher level design creativity than near association. (3) Abstraction led to greater creativity in conducting conceptual expansion than did specificity, which induced mental fixation. (4) Ergodesign creativity added integrated value to the product/service and positively influenced customer behavior. (5) Domain-specific expertise enhanced design creativity, indicating that design is of domain-specific nature. (6) Creative personalization features augmented the creativity of the web interface as a whole by way of the meta-design approach that harnessed the mental power of the customer. Hence, the proposed conceptual model is validated by empirical evidence. The conceptual framework of Ergodesign creativity and the general model of creative product/service development can serve as a foundation for future theory development. Propositions advanced in this research should provide insights and approaches to facilitate organizations pursuing product/service creativity to gain competitive advantage.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Salvendy, Gavriel, Proctor, Robert W.
Commitee: Duffy, Vincent G., Zhang, Min
School: Purdue University
Department: Industrial Engineering
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-B 73/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Industrial engineering, Cognitive psychology
Keywords: Creative process, Customer behavior, Ergonomic design, Metacognitive strategy, Product development
Publication Number: 3480938
ISBN: 978-1-124-97950-2
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