Management and the Creative Scientist

by William McLean



The creative scientist views management in a manner which author believes is different from that of the productive scientist. In this article, the author attempts to define some of the factors, which influence the creative scientist and describes how he views management. The number of people who start life with a high degree of creative ability and creative drive is unknown because the forces of society begin so rapidly to act to repress and restrain the curiosity and experimental operations of the young child. The creative person is work-oriented, rather than company or organization oriented. He is therefore hard to manage. In the face of competition, there is always the danger that the continual searching, the everlasting trying of new things, will result in something better. Therefore, it is not safe to leave innovation entirely to the competition because it has been shown that, once in a great while, the breakthroughs made possible by continual search may completely revolutionize our methods and procedures. The factors which help a creative scientist produce are hard to define because they seem to reduce so quickly to the statement he makes so often, "just leave me alone." However, he will produce best if he feels he has an important job, that he has a chance for major gain and if he has the proper tools to do the job.

California Management Review

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Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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