Ideation - definition and explanation

Ideation – definition and explanation


Ideation – the basis of creativity.

Ideation is the process of coming up with or creating new ideas or concepts.

Previous research has identified four factors that underpin ideation:

  1. Motivation or effort
  2. General human capital or knowledge
  3. Specific human capital or the ability to accurately evaluate ideas, and
  4. Imagination or the ability to innovate, be creative and generate new and novel ideas.


Isaksen, S. G., Dorval, K. B., & Treffinger, D. J. (2011). Creative approaches to problem solving. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

McMullen, J. S., & Kier, A. S. (2017). You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to be entrepreneurial: The unique role of imaginativeness in new venture ideation. Business Horizons, 60(4), 455-462.

Disclaimer: This is a research review, expert interpretation and briefing. As such it contains other studies, expert comment and practitioner advice. It is not a copy of the original study – which is referenced. The original study should be consulted and referenced in all cases. This research briefing is for informational and educational purposes only. We do not accept any liability for the use to which this review and briefing is put or for it or the research accuracy, reliability or validity. This briefing as an original work in its own right and is copyright © Oxford Review Enterprises Ltd 2016-2019. Any use made of this briefing is entirely at your own risk.

Be impressively well informed


Get the very latest research intelligence briefings, video research briefings, infographics and more sent direct to you as they are published

Be the most impressively well-informed and up-to-date person around...

Powered by ConvertKit
Like what you see? Help us spread the word