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KEYS® to Creativity and Innovation - Content

Assessing Organization Climate

What does KEYS to Creativity and Innovation measure?

The 78 items on KEYS are organized into 10 work environment dimensions. Of these, 4 describe management practices, 2 describe organizational motivation to creativity, and 2 describe resources. The remaining 2 dimensions describe perceptions of outcomes—the creativity and productivity of the work actually being done in the organization.

Management Practices

  • Freedom: Deciding what work to do or how to do it; a sense of control over one's work
  • Challenging Work: A sense of having to work hard on challenging tasks and important projects
  • Managerial Encouragement: A boss who serves as a good work model, sets goals appropriately, supports the work group, values individual contributions, and shows confidence in the work group
  • Work Group Supports: A diversely skilled work group in which people communicate well, are open to new ideas, constructively challenge each other's work, trust and help each other and feel committed to the work they are doing

Organizational Motivation

  • Organizational Encouragement: An organizational culture that encourages creativity through the fair, constructive judgment of ideas, reward and recognition for creative work, mechanisms for developing new ideas, an active flow of ideas and a shared vision
  • Lack of Organizational Impediments: An organizational culture that does not impede creativity through internal political problems, harsh criticism of new ideas, destructive internal competition, an avoidance of risk and an overemphasis on the status quo


  • Sufficient Resources: Access to appropriate resources, including funds, materials, facilities and information
  • Realistic Workload Pressures: Absence of extreme time pressures, unrealistic expectations for productivity and distractions from creative work


  • Creativity: A creative organization or unit, where a great deal of creativity is called for and where people believe they actually produce creative work
  • Productivity: An efficient, effective and productive organization or unit

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