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had the capacity to be innovative and to see problems differently. The following research indicates that creativity is a much more complicated concept.
Creativity as a Multidimensional Concept Certainly creativity involves innovation or breaking molds, but modern personality theorists
argue that creativity may also be reﬂected in adaptive behavior as well. This theory, known
as “requisite diversity,” argues that maladaptive species fail because there are too few members using various creative models in order to adapt to rapid changes in their environment.
Bobic, Davis, and Cunningham (1999) provided a review of the relevant works developing
the concept of requisite diversity.
Social scientists have adapted the concept of requisite diversity to argue that organizations dominated by a single type of personality or work style are inferior to ones that are
balanced or contain a diversity of work styles (Kirton 1989b). The principle holds that the
latter generally produce a superior product or service.7 Michael Kirton has done substantial
work in the ﬁeld of requisite diversity and creativity, and his work contradicts much of
Maslow indicated that different kinds of management may be necessary in different circumstances. “Theory Y
principles hold primarily for good conditions, rather than for stormy weather” (Maslow 1998, xxiii). McGregor’s
research indicates that personality, not circumstance, determines style. 7 251 252 Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory Maslow’s (and McGregor’s) work, as do Bobic, Davis, and Cunningham (1999). What follows is a brief overview of Kirton’s research.
Adapters and Innovators Kirton believed that when people confronted problems or were asked to resolve a conﬂict
or task, they had certain habitual characteristic modes of behavior (Kirton 1989b, 5). People either reacted by adapting to changed circumstances or by innovating, ﬁnding different
or unorthodox solutions to these new circumstances. “Every individual can be located on a
continuum on which the habitual Adapter and the habitual Innovator are at...
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