Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Cultivating not gatekeeping: a key leadership role in the creative process
  1. Joshua H Katz1,
  2. Geoffrey L Herman2,
  3. Mark A Johnson3,
  4. Jeffrey Loewenstein1
  1. 1 Gies College of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois, USA
  2. 2 Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
  3. 3 Carle Illinois College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jeffrey Loewenstein, Gies College of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois, USA; jloew{at}


Background Creativity and innovation are frequent features in healthcare discussions and proposals. A burgeoning area of research shows that evaluating proposals is a crucial juncture in the creative process. Leadership can make a substantial difference in how well the evaluation process does.

Result Organisational leaders want creativity, yet often inadvertently act as gatekeepers and disproportionately reject creative proposals. We review research to provide guidance for leaders on how to cultivate creativity through improvements in the process of evaluating proposals.

  • organisational effectiveness
  • engagement
  • behaviour

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors JHK and JL outlined the overall content of the work. JHK and JL then wrote the initial draft. GLH and MAJ provided feedback on the draft and worked to revise it accordingly.

  • Funding This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant DUE 1347722. We also acknowledge support from the Gies College of Business and the Carle-Illinois College of Medicine, both at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

  • Disclaimer Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

  • Competing interests The authors are not aware of any competing interests that would affect the content of this work

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.