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South African Journal of Industrial Engineering

versión On-line ISSN 2224-7890
versión impresa ISSN 1012-277X

S. Afr. J. Ind. Eng. vol.22 no.2 Pretoria  2011


Creativity and 'eureka' in science and engineering



J.L. Steyn; A.J. Buys

IGraduate School of Technology Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa,
IIGraduate School of Technology Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa,




Creativity theory started out on a scientific basis at the beginning of the 20th century; but then the scope broadened and inquiry became more multidisciplinary. In this article it is shown how the current demand for creativity in science and engineering grows faster than the understanding of it. As a result, the broad definition of 'creativity' is refocused on science and engineering by considering its evolutionary roots. Based on an overview of the work of scientists and engineers, a unified theoretical framework for creativity is proposed, and the systemic approach to awareness and creativity is affirmed. This approach - the theoretical framework and the core of current creativity knowledge - is then used to derive a fresh layer of theory that is anchored in the literature and industrial experience.


Die teorie van kreatiwiteit het by die aanvang van die vorige eeu op 'n wetenskaplike grondslag begin. Die bestek het toe uitgebrei en mettertyd meer multidissiplinêr geword. In hierdie artikel word getoon hoedat die hedendaagse vraag na die kreatiwiteit van wetenskaplikes en ingenieurs vinniger groei as die begrip daarvan. Die breë kreatiwiteits-definisie word, gevolglik, opnuut gefokus op wetenskap en ingenieurswese deur die evolusionêre wortels daarvan te beskou. Gebaseer op 'n oorsigtelike beskrywing van die werk van wetenskaplikes en ingenieurs, word 'n verenigde raamwerk vir kreatiwiteit voorgestel, en die sistemiese benadering tot bewussyn en kreatiwiteit word bevestig. Hierdie benadering - die teoretiese raamwerk en die kern van huidige kennis oor kreatiwiteit - word dan gebruik om 'n vars teoretiese laag af te lei wat in die literatuur sowel as in nywerheidservaring geanker is.



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1 The author was enrolled for a PhD in the Graduate School of Technology Management at the University of Pretoria.

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