Article | Academy of Management Journal | December 1999

Changes in the Work Environment for Creativity during Downsizing

by T. M. Amabile and Regina Conti


This study examined the work environment for creativity at a large high-technology firm before, during, and after a major downsizing. Creativity and most creativity-supporting aspects of the perceived work environment declined significantly during the downsizing but increased modestly later; the opposite pattern was observed for creativity-undermining aspects. Stimulants and obstacles to creativity in the work environment mediated the effects of downsizing. These results suggest ways in which theories of organizational creativity can be expanded and ways in which the negative effects of downsizing might be avoided or alleviated.

Keywords: Organizational Culture; Situation or Environment; Creativity; Resignation and Termination; Employees; Business or Company Management; Motivation and Incentives; Management Practices and Processes; Crisis Management; Groups and Teams; Communication; Announcements; Interpersonal Communication;


Amabile, T. M., and Regina Conti. "Changes in the Work Environment for Creativity during Downsizing." Academy of Management Journal 42, no. 6 (December 1999): 630–640.