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The Cat Herder: The Role and Function of the Agency Creative Director
Unformatted Document Text:  THE  CAT  HERDER     6   & Pretz 2003). At its core, creative leadership is about engendering creativity in subordinates. There is a certain sad irony in the fact that very little of this research has been done in the advertising industry, a business in which creative leadership is a necessity rather than a best practice. What is creativity? A creative product occurs when a successful solution has been implemented to a novel, ill-defined problem (Ford & Gioia, 2000). Amabile’s definition of creativity includes the production of novel and appropriate ideas, (emphasis added) and that is closer to its application in advertising as well as other approaches that include components of divergence and relevance (Amabile 1997; Smith & Yang 2004). In advertising, creativity is “the practice of developing original, attention-getting and memorable ideas that meet strategic objectives that promote products and services as well as ideas. Effective advertising, in other words, is measured not only by originality but also by its strategic contributions” (Moriarty & Robbs 1999, p. 23). In theories of organizational creativity, such as the interactionist model by Woodman, Sawyer and Griffin (1993), many components influence the creative process, including the individual, the job, team or department, the organization, and the environment. Examples of individual factors that influence creativity include personality, cognitive style and ability, motivation, and domain knowledge (Woodman, Sawyer & Griffin 1993). Examples of job- level factors include group composition (e.g. diversity), group characteristics (e.g. size, cohesiveness), and group processes (e.g. problem solving strategies). Finally, organization- level factors include culture, resources, rewards, strategy, structure and technology (Woodman, Sawyer & Griffin 1993).

Authors: Mallia, Karen., Windels, Kasey. and Broyles, Sheri.
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& Pretz 2003).  At its core, creative leadership is about engendering creativity in 
subordinates. There is a certain sad irony in the fact that very little of this research has been 
done in the advertising industry, a business in which creative leadership is a necessity rather 
than a best practice.  
What is creativity? A creative product occurs when a successful solution has been 
implemented to a novel, ill-defined problem (Ford & Gioia, 2000). Amabile’s definition of 
creativity includes the production of novel and appropriate ideas, (emphasis added) and that 
is closer to its application in advertising as well as other approaches that include components 
of divergence and relevance (Amabile 1997; Smith & Yang 2004).   
In advertising, creativity is “the practice of developing original, attention-getting and 
memorable ideas that meet strategic objectives that promote products and services as well as 
ideas. Effective advertising, in other words, is measured not only by originality but also by its 
strategic contributions” (Moriarty & Robbs 1999, p. 23). 
In theories of organizational creativity, such as the interactionist model by Woodman, 
Sawyer and Griffin (1993), many components influence the creative process, including the 
individual, the job, team or department, the organization, and the environment. Examples of 
individual factors that influence creativity include personality, cognitive style and ability, 
motivation, and domain knowledge (Woodman, Sawyer & Griffin 1993). Examples of job-
level factors include group composition (e.g. diversity), group characteristics (e.g. size, 
cohesiveness), and group processes (e.g. problem solving strategies). Finally, organization-
level factors include culture, resources, rewards, strategy, structure and technology 
(Woodman, Sawyer & Griffin 1993). 

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