Kirton Adaption Innovation Inventory

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Note: This test review was published by BPS on 4th July 2008

Description of the Test

The KAI, a 33-item self-completion inventory, measures cognitive style on a bipolar continuum: from Adaptive style creativity to Innovative style creativity. More commonly, the dimension is referred to as Adaptor-Innovator. Those scoring at the Adaptor pole of the continuum approach problems within the given terms of reference, theories, policies and precedents, and strive to provide solutions which improve on the past. Those at the other pole of this continuum, Innovators, are held to detach the problem from customary solutions and are more likely to produce different and innovative solutions. Each of these styles is presumed to result in distinctive and very different patterns of behaviour, each of which is valuable in organisations. This bipolar construct is composed of three factor traits: 1. Sufficiency vs. Proliferation of originality (SO). Adaptors prefer the production of fewer original ideas which are seen as sound, useful and relevant, whereas Innovators prefer to generate large numbers of ideas, including some that break moulds and consensually accepted notions. 2. Efficiency (E). Adaptor efficiency is concerned with a preference for precision, reliability and efficiency, and also thoroughness, attention to detail and in-depth searching. Innovator efficiency is more liable to break paradigms, dispensing with more structure, detail and consensually approved order. 3. Role/group conformity (R). Adaptors have a preference for operating within rules, structures and consensus. Innovators see success more often achieved through the bending and breaking of rules. Respondents are asked how easy or difficult they find it to present himself or herself consistently as a particular type of person (e.g. a person who conforms; a person who is stimulating). Responses are made by marking a cross on a line of 17 dots, arranged equidistantly under the labels ‘Very hard’, ‘Hard’, ‘Easy’ and ‘Very easy’ (the midpoint is not labelled). The scoring system translates this into a score from 1 to 5 on each item.

Authors: M.J. Kirton

Test Publisher: Occupational Research Centre