Date of Award


Document Type



Literacy, Leadership, and Development

First Advisor

Russell Wartalski, Ph.D.


Creativity is a required element for training and development (T&D) professionals to create successful learning initiatives. While research has noted how T&D professionals engage in creative practices, little research has been conducted regarding how their creative processes were developed. This study uncovered how T&D professionals first developed their creative processes through 1) their perception of creativity; 2) development of their creative processes when they first started as a T&D professional; 3) application of creativity in developing successful T&D interventions; and 4) use of the creative process to get back on track when facing a difficult project. Focusing on how HRD professionals develop their creative processes can result in tremendous success among T&D professionals while further enhancing organizational creativity and effectiveness. This can produce more knowledgeable and skilled HRD professionals who could then create interventions that promote success to an organization’s human resources. This study followed a qualitative research case study approach for participants to provide a description of their experiences. Furthermore, this study followed a descriptive case study approach allowing participants to offer a thick rich analysis of their creative process. Participants were selected using the snowball sampling method where the researcher first reached out to former colleagues. These initial participants referred the researcher to other T&D professionals who qualified as participants. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and individual artifacts. Each participant engaged in a 30–60-minute interview via videoconference or telephone and were asked to provide an artifact that relates to their creativity. While this study is on-going, several themes have started to emerge. Preliminary findings display that T&D professionals require obtaining collaborative feedback to create successful interventions, which is often done by eliciting feedback from managers, co-workers and friends/family. They also require design autonomy, or the freedom to determine content, in developing the learning initiatives. Furthermore, T&D professional often utilize previous experience by applying successes and failures to new projects. While this study is still on-going, future research, such as a quantitative survey that elicits instructional designers’ perception of creativity more in-depth, can provide for a more comprehensive analysis of the T&D professionals’ creative process.