Image_1_A Network Model of Goals Boosts Convergent Creativity Performance.pdf (473.51 kB)

Image_1_A Network Model of Goals Boosts Convergent Creativity Performance.pdf

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posted on 29.10.2018 by Franki Y. H. Kung, Abigail A. Scholer

To increase employee creativity is critical for organizational success, and yet we still know very little about what organizational contexts promote creative performance. Our research proposes that goal regulation in the workplace may have consequences for creativity. While there is an increasing trend for organizations and workers to visualize the structure of their goals (e.g., management hierarchy, concept-map, flowchart), prior research suggests the visualization approaches differ as one of the three types: hierarchical, network, and sequential models. Because a network model (vs. hierarchical and sequential models) highlights multiple connections between goals and reveals unobvious connections between them, we hypothesized that the use of a network goal model might increase people’s ability to integrate seemingly unrelated ideas, even on subsequent unrelated tasks, leading to higher (convergent) creative performance. To test the hypothesis, we conducted an experiment in 2017 manipulating participants’ goal models (hierarchical, network, sequential; N = 191, median age = 19) and measured their creativity. Results suggest that those in the network model condition performed better in the kind of creativity task that requires meaningful integration of unrelated ideas (i.e., convergent creativity); in contrast, there was no difference between goal model conditions on divergent creative performance. These findings thus illuminate how goal models may influence creativity, providing new insights into situational inductions that can boost creative performance. Theoretical and practical implications, limitations, and future directions of the work are discussed.

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