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Teamwork And The Creative Process: Promoting Creative Thinking Through Teams

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Teams

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1180.1 - 13.1180.12



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Paper Authors


Ralph Ocon Purdue University

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Professor of Organizational Leadership & Supervision

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Teamwork and the Creative Process: Promoting Creative Thinking Through Teams


In today’s complex and dynamic business environment, companies in every industry, including those in the manufacturing industry, cannot afford to become complacent in their operations, or the ways they provide products and services. As global competition and technological innovation continue to challenge the manufacturing industry, companies are being forced to become more creative in order to meet the needs of customers and compete on an international level. Therefore, as engineering and technology students assume leadership roles with their prospective employers, it is important for them to have an understanding of creative thinking and how to promote it with their employees.

Acknowledging the reality of the global economy and the need to develop creative thinking skills, some engineering and technology related programs are taking the initiative and integrating creative thinking into their curricula. Teaching creativity and encouraging innovative ideas can be done with individuals and teams. However, teamwork and team learning offer several advantages in comparison.

When using teams to initiate ideas, highly effective idea-generating teams don’t just occur naturally. Certain team components need to be developed to facilitate the production of innovative ideas and solutions. A progressive approach used by the author for teaching creative thinking involves the use of the team concept and teamwork activities.

This paper will describe how the team concept can be used to promote creative thinking among students. The paper will focus on the importance of promoting creative thinking for engineering and technology students and how to use teams to teach students about creative thinking. The paper will help to prepare students for their future leadership roles by providing an understanding of creative thinking and how to promote it with their employees. Also, much of the discussion in the paper will have application for developing individual creative problem solving.


To meet the global challenge, and the solve complex and dynamic problems confronting the manufacturing industry, leaders will have to rely on creative thinking and innovation1. The era of competitive complacency has been over for decades therefore, every organization must strive for continuous improvement in the ways goods and services are provided. Organizational survival requires that business leaders and employees develop creative thinking skills2.

It is paramount for engineering and technology programs to develop curricula and courses that emphasize the development and use of creative thinking skills for problem solving and decision making. For several years, the author has been using a team oriented learning approach to teach OLS 350, ”Creativity in Business and Industry,” for students in the engineering technologies and

Ocon, R. (2008, June), Teamwork And The Creative Process: Promoting Creative Thinking Through Teams Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3549

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