chapter  5
18 Pages

Historical Approaches to Creativity and Innovation: Simon Ville


Historians have been interested in innovation per se but especially for its contribution to economic growth. This contribution has been widely interpreted through new processes and products but also new ways of organising economic and business activity. Historians have had less to say, however, about creativity than innovation. Interest has largely focused upon the end result of creativity, that is, innovation. This is in large part because of the greater interest in the economic and social consequences of innovation than its origins. In addition, creativity is not easily substantiated through historical evidence since it is not so obviously outcome-based, or as easily documented, as innovation. Nor has much been written about the reverse causality, that is, of innovation upon subsequent creativity. However, increased interest in recent years on the role of human capital in economic progress and the development of knowledge sectors has motivated closer historical consideration of the creative origins of innovation.