Purpose – Martins and Terblanche developed a theoretical framework of the organisational factors that support creativity and innovation, and the current study aims to provide an empirical test of this framework. Design/methodology/approach – Based on a review of existing literature on national culture and previous research into Polish organisations, we developed hypotheses as to the likely position of Polish organisations on these four dimensions. These predictions were tested via a survey of Polish managers from a diverse range of companies. Findings – The key findings related to ownership – partly or fully foreign‐owned companies operating in Poland appeared to be much more enabling of creativity and innovation than their wholly Polish‐owned counterparts. Research limitations/implications – Nicholson suggested that Polish businesses would benefit greatly from the adoption of at least some western methods, but that there would be significant constraints to their adoption. This research strongly supports this, but being based solely on a Polish sample, requires further research in order to be able to make direct comparison between firms in Poland and firms elsewhere. Practical implications – One conclusion of this study is that Polish organisations can draw significant benefits from further effective assimilation of western management philosophy and methods. Originality/value – This paper contributes to the growing literature on organisational determinants of innovation, and on the transfer of western methods to the transition economies of Central and Eastern Europe. It offers insights of interest to managers in Polish businesses and to potential investors in Poland.