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MBA Course Insight: Three Components of Creativity

Get a preview of what Walden University students are learning with this required reading excerpted from the Master of Business Administration degree course Fostering a Culture of Innovation.

When most of us think of creativity, we tend to think of geniuses like the great painters, inventors, or writers of the world. But creativity isn’t such a rationed resource. Each one of us has the ability to be creative—if we approach creativity in a productive way.

In the business world, being creative often means coming up with new or improved products and services or reimagining business operations. The more creative a business can be, the better chance of success it has. It has even been suggested that creativity is the most important skill for the future.1 Which is why businesses are increasingly working to foster creativity, and why creativity is an increasingly important subject in Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs.

MBA Course Insight: Three Components of Creativity

In Walden University’s MBA program, students can take courses such as Fostering a Culture of Innovation, which provides an in-depth examination of creativity and strategies on developing a business culture that supports every employee’s innate creativity. For example, students read Teresa M. Amabile’s Harvard Business Review paper, “How to Kill Creativity.”2 In it, Amabile lays out the three core components that must be present in order for a business team to be creative.

Those components are expertise, creative-thinking skills, and motivation. Amabile summarizes the three thusly:

Expertise is, in a word, knowledge—technical, procedural, and intellectual.

Creative-thinking skills determine how flexibly and imaginatively people approach problems. Do their solutions upend the status quo? Do they persevere through dry spells?

Not all motivation is created equal. An inner passion to solve the problem at hand leads to solutions far more creative than do external rewards, such as money. This component—called intrinsic motivation—is one that can be most immediately influenced by the work environment.

If a business can foster all three components, it can create a culture of creativity. Of course, the summary above is just the basics of Amabile’s argument. And just a tiny fraction of what you can learn in a top MBA program.

When you enroll in a master’s in business administration program, you can gain a range of advanced business skills, which can help you take your business or management career to the next level. Earning a business administration master’s degree used to mean taking time off work or driving across town to attend night classes, but online education can make earning your business degree more accessible. Online MBA programs don’t require you to reduce your workload or pause your career. They don’t even require you to attend class at the same time every day.

When you earn an MBA online, you’ll be able to attend class from anywhere you have internet access, including your kitchen table. And you’ll have the flexibility to attend class at whatever time of day works best for your schedule. With an online MBA, you can make earning an advanced business administration degree possible—and gain the skills you need to foster creativity within yourself and others.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Business Administration degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,