Creativity is an essential pillar for individuals in higher education institutions (HEIs). The promotion of a research culture in universities necessitates an environment supporting new ideas and innovation by encouraging their staff to be more creative. The Saudi government is trying to improve its higher education system by encouraging creative environments to support socioeconomic development and achieve a transformation from an oil-based to a knowledge-based economy. The purpose of this study is to identify the factors that contribute to creativity and innovation among academic staff in Saudi Arabian HEIs. Therefore, this research-in-progress paper discusses how a specific set of organizational, individual and technological factors can support the achievement of a creative environment. Accordingly, a conceptual framework is proposed that lay the foundation for a creative environment in Saudi Arabian HEIs, with the ultimate aim of building an innovative environment in Saudi Arabian HEIs.