Teresa M. Amabile

Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration
Director of Research

Teresa Amabile is the Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at Harvard Business School. She is also a Director of Research at the School. Originally educated and employed as a chemist, Dr. Amabile received her Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University in 1977. Her research investigates how life inside organizations can influence people and their performance. Originally focusing on individual creativity, Dr. Amabile's research expanded to encompass individual productivity, team creativity, and organizational innovation. This 35-year program of research on how the work environment can influence creativity and motivation yielded a theory of creativity and innovation; methods for assessing creativity, motivation, and the work environment; and a set of prescriptions for maintaining and stimulating innovation. Dr. Amabile's current research program focuses on the psychology of everyday work life: how events in the work environment influence subjective experience ("inner work life") and performance (creativity, productivity, and commitment to the work).

Before joining HBS, Dr. Amabile held several research grants as a professor at Brandeis University, including "Creativity and Motivation," from the National Institute of Mental Health, and "Downsizing Industrial R&D," from the Center for Innovation Management Studies. She was awarded the E. Paul Torrance Award by the Creativity Division of the National Association for Gifted Children in 1998, and the Leadership Quarterly Best Paper Award by the Center for Creative Leadership in 2005. In 2011 and again in 2013, she was named to the international Thinkers50 list.

Dr. Amabile has presented her theories, research results, and practical implications to various groups in business, government, and education, including IDEO, Johnson & Johnson, Grunenthal Pharma, and the Society for Human Resource Management. In addition to participating in various executive programs at Harvard Business School, she created the MBA course, Managing for Creativity, and currently teaches the the new FIELD course to first-year MBA students. Dr. Amabile was the host/instructor of Against All Odds: Inside Statistics, a 26-part instructional series originally produced for broadcast on PBS. She is a director of Seaman Corporation and a trustee of Canisius College, and has served on the boards of other organizations.

Dr. Amabile is the author of The Progress PrincipleCreativity in Context, and Growing Up Creative, as well as over 150 scholarly papers, chapters, case studies, and presentations. She serves on the editorial boards of Creativity Research Journal, Creativity and Innovation Management, and Journal of Creative Behavior. Her papers include: Creativity (Annual Review of Psychology), Assessing the Work Environment for Creativity (Academy of Management Journal); Changes in the Work Environment for Creativity during Downsizing (Academy of Management Journal); Leader Behaviors and the Work Environment for Creativity: Perceived Leader Support (Leadership Quarterly); and Affect and Creativity at Work (Administrative Science Quarterly). She has also published several articles in Harvard Business Review.

Personal Website: www.teresaamabile.com

Books

  1. The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work

    The most effective managers have the ability to build a cadre of employees who have great inner work lives-consistently positive emotions; strong motivation; and favorable perceptions of the organization, their work, and their colleagues. The worst managers undermine inner work life, often unwittingly. As Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer explain in 'The Progress Principle,' seemingly mundane workday events can make or break employees' inner work lives. But it's forward momentum in meaningful work-progress that creates the best inner work lives. Through rigorous analysis of nearly 12,000 diary entries provided by 238 employees in seven companies, the authors explain how managers can foster progress and enhance inner work life every day. The book shows how to remove obstacles to progress, including meaningless tasks and toxic relationships. It also explains how to activate two forces that enable progress: 1) catalysts-events that directly facilitate project work, such as clear goals and autonomy and 2) nourishers-interpersonal events that uplift workers, including encouragement and demonstrations of respect and collegiality. Brimming with honest examples from the companies studied, 'The Progress Principle' equips aspiring and seasoned leaders alike with the insights they need to maximize their people's performance.

    Keywords: Creativity; Interpersonal Communication; Employee Relationship Management; Leadership; Performance Effectiveness; Emotions; Motivation and Incentives; Groups and Teams; Collaborative Innovation and Invention; Innovation Leadership; Working Conditions; Management Practices and Processes; Management Skills; Mission and Purpose; Organizational Culture; Performance Productivity; Attitudes; Behavior; Happiness; Perception; Trust; Time Management; Resource Allocation; Business or Company Management; Goals and Objectives; Managerial Roles;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Steve J. Kramer. The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work. Harvard Business Review Press, 2011. View Details

Journal Articles

  1. IDEO's Culture of Helping

    Leaders can do few things more important than encouraging helping behavior within their organizations. In the highest-performing companies, it is a norm that colleagues support one another's efforts to do the best work they can. That has always been true for efficiency reasons, but collaborative helping becomes even more vital in an era of knowledge work, when positive business outcomes depend on high creativity in often very complex projects. A help-friendly organization has to be actively nurtured, however, because helpfulness among colleagues does not arise automatically: competition, pride, or distrust may get in the way. The trickiness of this management challenge—to increase a discretionary behavior that by definition must be inspired—makes all the more impressive what the design firm IDEO has already achieved. Its help-seeking and help-giving culture is behind the firm's success. But how has IDEO managed to make helping the norm? To answer this question, the authors spent two years observing, interviewing people, and conducting surveys at one office of the firm. They discovered four keys to building a help-friendly organization that leaders of other organizations could learn and apply to similar effect.

    Keywords: Management Style; Behavior; Attitudes; Organizational Culture; Relationships; Social and Collaborative Networks;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa, Colin M. Fisher, and Julianna Pillemer. "IDEO's Culture of Helping." Harvard Business Review 92, nos. 1-2 (January–February 2014): 54–61. View Details
  2. J. Richard Hackman (1940–2013)

    When J. Richard Hackman died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on January 8, 2013, psychology lost a giant. Six and a half feet tall, with an outsize personality to match, Richard was the leading scholar in two distinct areas: work design and team effectiveness. In both domains, his work is foundational. Throughout his career, Richard applied rigorous methods to problems of great social importance, tirelessly championing multi-level analyses of problems that matter. His impact on our field has been immense.

    Keywords: Social Psychology; Organizational Design; Groups and Teams; Personal Development and Career; Education Industry; Cambridge;

    Citation:

    Wageman, Ruth, and Teresa M. Amabile. "J. Richard Hackman (1940–2013)." American Psychologist 69, no. 1 (January 2014): 80. View Details
  3. Creativity

    The psychological study of creativity is essential to human progress. If strides are to be made in the sciences, humanities, and arts, we must arrive at a far more detailed understanding of the creative process, its antecedents, and its inhibitors. This review, encompassing most subspecialties in the study of creativity and focusing on twenty-first-century literature, reveals both a growing interest in creativity among psychologists and a growing fragmentation in the field. To be sure, research into the psychology of creativity has grown theoretically and methodologically sophisticated, and researchers have made important contributions from an ever-expanding variety of disciplines. But this expansion has not come without a price. Investigators in one subfield often seem unaware of advances in another. Deeper understanding requires more interdisciplinary research, based on a systems view of creativity that recognizes a variety of interrelated forces operating at multiple levels.

    Keywords: Creative Ability; Creativity; Social Psychology; Research; Interdisciplinary Studies;

    Citation:

    Hennessey, Beth A., and Teresa M. Amabile. "Creativity." Annual Review of Psychology 61 (2010): 569–598. View Details
  4. What Really Motivates Workers

    This essay appears in "The HBR List: Breakthrough Ideas for 2010," which is compiled by this journal in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. The ten problems and the innovative solutions are discussed in each essay. This particular essay describes research demonstrating the importance of daily work progress, even incremental progress, for motivating workers. Additional research showed that managers underestimate the importance of facilitating progress as a motivational tool.

    Keywords: Problems and Challenges; Innovation and Invention; Research; Performance Improvement; Managerial Roles; Motivation and Incentives; Creativity;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Steve J. Kramer. "What Really Motivates Workers." Harvard Business Review 88, no. 1 (January–February 2010): 44–45. (#1 in Breakthrough Ideas for 2010.) View Details
  5. Perspectives on the Social Psychology of Creativity

    Scholars began serious study into the social psychology of creativity about 25 years after the field of creativity research had taken root. Over the past 35 years, examination of social and environmental influences on creativity has become increasingly vigorous, with broad implications for the psychology of human performance, and with applications to education, business, and beyond. In this article, we revisit the origins of the social psychology of creativity, trace its arc, and suggest directions for its future.

    Keywords: Social Psychology; Creativity; Performance;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Julianna Pillemer. "Perspectives on the Social Psychology of Creativity." Journal of Creative Behavior 46, no. 1 (March 2012): 3–15. View Details
  6. How Leaders Kill Meaning at Work

    Senior executives routinely undermine creativity, productivity, and commitment by damaging the inner work lives of their employees in four avoidable ways. This article is based on analysis of hundreds of work diaries from professionals describing everyday events that involved high-level managers in their companies. The analysis uncovered four major type of actions that reduce meaningfulness in the work and, as a result, lead to more negative emotions, lower intrinsic motivation, and less favorable perceptions of the organization--with negative consequences for performance. These actions include signaling low expectations for innovation, switching strategic direction too frequently, miscoordination of organizational systems, and vague, unrealistically grandiose goals. The research also revealed ways in which top managers can avoid these traps.

    Keywords: Leadership; Creativity; Performance Productivity; Motivation and Incentives; Innovation Strategy; Performance; Strategic Planning; Leading Change; Balanced Scorecard; Mission and Purpose;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa, and Steven J. Kramer. "How Leaders Kill Meaning at Work." McKinsey Quarterly, no. 1 (January 2012): 124–131. View Details
  7. The Power of Small Wins

    What is the best way to motivate employees to do creative work? Help them take a step forward every day. In an analysis of knowledge workers' diaries, the authors found that nothing contributed more to a positive inner work life (the mix of emotions, motivations, and perceptions that is critical to performance) than making progress in meaningful work. If a person is motivated and happy at the end of the workday, it's a good bet that he or she achieved something, however small. If the person drags out of the office disengaged and joyless, a setback is likely to blame. This progress principle suggests that managers have more influence than they may realize over employees' well-being, motivation, and creative output. The key is to learn which actions support progress-such as setting clear goals, providing sufficient time and resources, and offering recognition-and which have the opposite effect. Even small wins can boost inner work life tremendously. On the flip side, small losses or setbacks can have an extremely negative effect. And the work doesn't need to involve curing cancer in order to be meaningful. It simply must matter to the person doing it. The actions that set in motion the positive feedback loop between progress and inner work life may sound like Management 101, but it takes discipline to establish new habits. The authors provide a checklist that managers can use on a daily basis to monitor their progress-enhancing behaviors.

    Keywords: Creativity; Interpersonal Communication; Employee Relationship Management; Leadership; Performance Effectiveness; Emotions; Motivation and Incentives; Groups and Teams; Collaborative Innovation and Invention; Innovation Leadership; Working Conditions; Management Practices and Processes; Management Skills; Mission and Purpose; Organizational Culture; Performance Productivity; Attitudes; Behavior; Happiness; Perception; Trust; Time Management; Resource Allocation; Business or Company Management; Goals and Objectives; Managerial Roles;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Steven J. Kramer. "The Power of Small Wins." Harvard Business Review 89, no. 5 (May 2011). View Details
  8. Meeting the Challenges of a Person-Centric Work Psychology

    In this article, the authors discuss person-centric work psychology, a paradigm developed by H. M. Weiss and D. E. Rupp regarding daily work life psychology. They cited three challenges of the paradigm such as the collection, and analysis of data, the certainty of the quality of data sources, and the use of individual introspection to build a psychological science. They add that people's responses in daily life deals with emotions, perceptions and motivation.

    Keywords: Employees; Social Psychology; Emotions; Perception; Motivation and Incentives;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Steven J. Kramer. "Meeting the Challenges of a Person-Centric Work Psychology." Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice 4, no. 1 (March 2011): 116–121. View Details
  9. Multi-Rater Assessment of Creative Contributions to Team Projects in Organizations

    This study examined the convergent and construct validity of ratings of individual creative contributions in a team context. A sample of 201 employees and supervisors, working on 26 team projects, completed the NEO-Five Factor Inventory and rated themselves and their teammates monthly on a single item measuring creative contributions to the project. The convergent validity of the ratings was supported because there was consistency among other ratings of the same targets and among different types of ratings (peer, supervisor, and self ratings) of the same targets. The construct validity of the ratings was partly supported because there were positive associations between individuals' peer-rated creativity and their extraversion and between individuals' self-rated and supervisor-rated creativity and their openness to experience. From peers and the self, women had lower creativity ratings than men, but other ratings were not influenced by the gender of the judge or the difference in gender of the target-judge dyad. The implications of these findings are discussed.

    Keywords: Creativity; Groups and Teams; Research; Performance Evaluation; Gender Characteristics; Projects;

    Citation:

    Moneta, Giovanni B., Teresa M. Amabile, Elizabeth Schatzel, and Steve J. Kramer. "Multi-Rater Assessment of Creative Contributions to Team Projects in Organizations." European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 19, no. 2 (2010): 150–176. View Details
  10. Creativity, Improvisation, and Organizations

    'Improvisational creativity' involves simultaneously identifying new challenges and generating responses, with little or no time to prepare.

    Keywords: Innovation and Management; Organizational Culture; Creativity; Theory; Performance;

    Citation:

    Fisher, Colin M., and Teresa M. Amabile. "Creativity, Improvisation, and Organizations." Rotman (winter 2009), 40–45. View Details
  11. Creativity and the Role of the Leader

    In today's innovation-driven economy, understanding how to generate great ideas has become an urgent managerial priority. Suddenly, the spotlight has turned on the academics who've studied creativity for decades. How relevant is their research to the practical challenges leaders face? To connect theory and practice, Harvard Business School professors Amabile and Khaire convened a two-day colloquium of leading creativity scholars and executives from companies such as Google, IDEO, Novartis, Intuit, and E Ink. In this article, the authors present highlights of the research presented and the discussion of its implications. At the event, a new leadership agenda began to take shape, one rooted in the awareness that you can't manage creativity - you can only manage for creativity. A number of themes emerged: The leader's job is not to be the source of ideas but to encourage and champion ideas. Leaders must tap the imagination of employees at all ranks and ask inspiring questions. They also need to help their organizations incorporate diverse perspectives, which spur creative insights, and facilitate creative collaboration by, for instance, harnessing new technologies. The participants shared tactics for enabling discoveries, as well as thoughts on how to bring process to bear on creativity without straitjacketing it. They pointed out that process management isn't appropriate in all stages of creative work; leaders should apply it thoughtfully and manage the handoff from idea generators to commercializers deftly. The discussion also examined the need to clear paths through bureaucracy, weed out weak ideas, and maximize the organization's learning from failure. Though points of view varied, the theories and frameworks explored advance the understanding of creativity in business and offer executives a playbook for increasing innovation.

    Keywords: Leadership; Commercialization; Managerial Roles; Creativity; Innovation and Management; Social and Collaborative Networks; Diversity Characteristics;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Mukti Khaire. "Creativity and the Role of the Leader." Harvard Business Review 86, no. 10 (October 2008). View Details
  12. Inner Work Life: Understanding the Subtext of Business Performance

    Anyone in management knows that employees have their good days and their bad days and that, for the most part, the reasons for their ups and downs are unknown. Most managers simply shrug their shoulders at this fact of work life. But does it matter, in terms of performance, if people have more good days than bad days? Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer's new stream of research, based on more than 12,000 diary entries logged by knowledge workers over three years, reveals the dramatic impact of employees' inner work lives--their perceptions, emotions, and motivation levels--on several dimensions of performance. People perform better when their workday experiences include more positive emotions, stronger intrinsic motivation (passion for the work), and more favorable perceptions of their work, their team, their leaders, and their organization. What the authors also found was that managers' behavior dramatically affects the tenor of employees' inner work lives. So what makes a difference to inner work life? When the authors compared the study participants' best days to their worst days, they found that the single most important differentiator was their sense of being able to make progress in their work. The authors also observed interpersonal events working in tandem with progress events. Praise without real work progress, or at least solid efforts toward progress, had little positive impact on people's inner work lives and could even arouse cynicism. On the other hand, good work progress without any recognition or worse, with criticism about trivial issues could engender anger and sadness. Far and away, the best boosts to inner work life were episodes in which people knew they had done good work and their managers appropriately recognized that work.

    Keywords: Employees; Performance; Motivation and Incentives; Perception; Practice;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Steven J. Kramer. "Inner Work Life: Understanding the Subtext of Business Performance." Harvard Business Review 85, no. 5 (May 2007). View Details
  13. Affect and Creativity at Work

    This study explored how affect relates to creativity at work. Using both quantitative and qualitative longitudinal data from the daily diaries of 222 employees in seven companies, we examined the nature, form, and temporal dynamics of the affect-creativity relationship. The results indicate that positive affect relates positively to creativity in organizations and that the relationship is a simple linear one. Time-lagged analyses identify positive affect as an antecedent of creative thought, with incubation periods of up to two days. Qualitative analyses identify positive affect as a consequence of creative thought events, as well as a concomitant of the creative process. A preliminary theory of the affect-creativity cycle in organizations includes each of these links and proposes mechanisms by which they may operate.

    Keywords: Creativity; Attitudes; Employees; Theory;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., Sigal G. Barsade, Jennifer S. Mueller, and Barry M. Staw. "Affect and Creativity at Work." Administrative Science Quarterly 50, no. 3 (September 2005): 367–403. View Details
  14. Leader Behaviors and the Work Environment for Creativity: Perceived Leader Support

    This exploratory study investigated leader behaviors related to perceived leader support, encompassing both instrumental and socioemotional support. The study first established that leader support, proposed to be a key feature of the work environment for creativity, was positively related to the peer-rated creativity of subordinates working on creative projects in seven different companies. Then, to identify the specific leader behaviors that might give rise to perceived support, two qualitative analyses were conducted on daily diary narratives written by these subordinates. The first, which focused on specific leader behaviors that had significantly predicted leader support in a preliminary quantitative analysis, illuminated both effective and ineffective forms of leader behavior. In addition, it revealed not only subordinate perceptual reactions to this behavior (their perceptions of leader support), but affective reactions as well. The second qualitative analysis focused on the behavior of two extreme team leaders in context over time, revealing both positive and negative spirals of leader behavior, subordinate reactions, and subordinate creativity.

    Keywords: Creativity; Leadership; Behavior; Working Conditions; Perception; Performance;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., Elizabeth A. Schatzel, Giovanni B. Moneta, and Steven J. Kramer. "Leader Behaviors and the Work Environment for Creativity: Perceived Leader Support." Leadership Quarterly 15, no. 1 (February 2004): 5–32. View Details
  15. Creativity Under the Gun

    If you're like most managers, you've worked with people who swear they do their most creative work under tight deadlines. You may use pressure as a management technique, believing it will spur people on to great leaps of insight. You may even manage yourself this way. If so, are you right? Not necessarily, these researchers say. There are instances where ingenuity flourishes under extreme time pressure--for instance, a NASA team within hours comes up with a primitive but effective fix for the failing air filtration system aboard Apollo 13. But when creativity is under the gun, it usually ends up getting killed, the authors say. They recently took a close look at how people experience time pressure, collecting and analyzing more than 9,000 daily diary entries from individuals who were working on projects that required high levels of creativity and measuring their ability to innovate under varying levels of time pressure. The authors describe common characteristics of time pressure and outline four working environments under which creativity may or may not flourish. High-pressure days that still yield creativity are full of focus and meaningful urgency--people feel like they are on a mission. High-pressure days that yield no creativity lack such focus--people feel like they are on a treadmill, forced to switch gears often. On low-pressure days that yield creativity, people feel like they are on an expedition--exploring ideas rather than just identifying problems. And on low-pressure days that yield no creative thinking, people work on autopilot--doing their jobs without engaging too deeply. Managers should avoid extreme time pressure when possible; after all, complex cognitive processing takes time. For when they can't, the authors suggest ways to mollify its effects.

    Keywords: Creativity; Innovation and Invention; Time Management; Working Conditions; Performance Evaluation;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa, Constance N. Hadley, and Steven J. Kramer. "Creativity Under the Gun." Special Issue on The Innovative Enterprise: Turning Ideas into Profits Harvard Business Review 80, no. 8 (August 2002): 52–61. View Details
  16. Academic-Practitioner Collaboration in Management Research: A Case of Cross-Profession Collaboration

    We present a case of academic-practitioner research collaboration to illuminate three potential determinants of the success of such cross-profession collaborations: collaborative team characteristics, collaboration environment characteristics, and collaboration processes. The case study, drawing on both qualitative and quantitative data, illustrates the possible influences of these determinants on research progress, research team functioning, and benefits to individual team members. We identify directions for further work and implications for effective academic-practitioner collaborations in management research.

    Keywords: Research; Cases; Data and Data Sets; Theory;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M., C. Patterson, Jennifer Mueller, T. Wojcik, P. Odomirok, M. Marsh, and S. Kramer. "Academic-Practitioner Collaboration in Management Research: A Case of Cross-Profession Collaboration." Academy of Management Journal 44, no. 2 (April 2001): 418–431. View Details
  17. Beyond Talent: John Irving and the Passionate Craft of Creativity

    Although laypeople and creativity theorists often make the assumption that individual creativity depends primarily on talent, there is considerable evidence that hard work and intrinsic motivation-which can be supported or undermined by the social environment-also play central roles. In this article, the author uses the thoughts and work of the novelist John Irving to illustrate the prominence of nontalent components in the componential model of creativity.

    Keywords: Creativity; Performance; Performance Improvement; Motivation and Incentives; Personal Characteristics; Situation or Environment;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M. "Beyond Talent: John Irving and the Passionate Craft of Creativity." American Psychologist 56, no. 4 (April 2001): 333–336. View Details
  18. From Guilford to Creative Synergy: Opening the Black Box of Team Level Creativity

    Previous research, from Guilford's founding tradition to more modern research on individual creativity and general group processes, falls short of adequately describing team-level creativity. Alhough researchers have addressed brainstorming in groups with mixed findings, little is known about how creative minds interact in group processes. In this article, we examine the specific group processes and dynamics that may affect team-level creative production and present a description of the ways in which diversity and different types of conflict in groups may affect the creative process. Finally, we offer suggestions for future research on creativity as a dynamic, team-level process.

    Keywords: Creativity; Groups and Teams; Theory; Research; Organizational Culture;

    Citation:

    Kurtzberg, T. R., and T. M. Amabile. "From Guilford to Creative Synergy: Opening the Black Box of Team Level Creativity." Special Issue on Commemorating Guilford's 1950 Presidential Address Creativity Research Journal 13, nos. 3/4 (2001). View Details
  19. Changes in the Work Environment for Creativity during Downsizing

    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;

    Citation:

    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. View Details
  20. Effects of Instructional Style on Problem-Solving Creativity

    This study sought to determine the impact of 2 differing instructional approaches on creative problem-solving performance. Eighty-two college students completed a novel structure-building task after receiving algorithmic instruction (providing a rote, step-by-step algorithm for building a sample structure), heuristic instruction (demonstrating the same techniques in a more flexible form), or no instruction. All participants viewed the same sample structure before beginning the task. It was hypothesized that algorithmically instructed students would exhibit less exploratory behavior and lower levels of creativity than students receiving heuristic instruction. No specific hypotheses were made concerning the problem-solving creativity of students in the no-instruction condition. Results suggest that the type of instruction that students received influenced their perceptions of the task, their behaviors during the task, and their final solution to the structure problem. Students receiving algorithmic instruction exhibited greater confidence and speed when building their structures than did other students. However, they were significantly less likely to engage in exploratory behavior or to deviate from the sample structure than were students receiving heuristic instruction. Although there was no main effect of instruction condition on the judge-rated creativity of these structures, a significant interaction between instruction type and participants' attempts to replicate the sample structure was predictive of the structure's creativity. Theoretical and practical implications of these and other results are discussed.

    Keywords: Training; Creativity; Cognition and Thinking; Performance; Learning;

    Citation:

    Ruscio, A. M., and T. M. Amabile. "Effects of Instructional Style on Problem-Solving Creativity." Creativity Research Journal 12, no. 4 (1999): 251–266. View Details
  21. How to Kill Creativity

    The article addresses the topic of business creativity, its benefits, and how managers can inspire it. The author's research shows that it is possible to develop the best of both worlds: organizations in which business imperatives are attended to and creativity flourishes. The author observes that creativity is a function of three components: expertise, creative-thinking skills, and motivation. She believes managers can influence these components through workplace practices and conditions. The author sees managerial practices affecting creativity as falling into six general categories: challenge, freedom, resources, work-group features, supervisor encouragement, and organization support.

    Keywords: Creativity; Situation or Environment; Motivation and Incentives; Organizational Culture; Management Practices and Processes;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M. "How to Kill Creativity." Harvard Business Review 76, no. 5 (September–October 1998): 76–87. View Details
  22. Reward, Intrinsic Motivation, and Creativity

    Comments on R. Eisenberger and J. Cameron's (see record 1996-06440-007) discussion on the impact of reward on creativity. The authors argue that Eisenberger and Cameron overlooked or failed to adequately explain several demonstrations of lower creativity on rewarded activities as compared with nonrewarded activities. Moreover, the evidence they provided of increased creativity under reward is more informative about relatively simple human behaviors than about actual creative performance. The authors believe that it is erroneous and misleading to conclude, as do Eisenberger and Cameron, that the detrimental effects of reward occur under limited conditions that are easily avoided.

    Keywords: Creativity; Motivation and Incentives; Performance Evaluation;

    Citation:

    Hennessey, B. A., and T. M. Amabile. "Reward, Intrinsic Motivation, and Creativity." American Psychologist 53, no. 6 (June 1998): 674–675. View Details
  23. Looking Inside the Fishbowl of Creativity: Verbal and Behavioral Predictors of Creative Performance

    This study set out to identify specific task behaviors that predict observable product creativity in three domains and to identify which of those behaviors mediate the well-established link between intrinsic motivation and creativity. One-hundred fifty-one undergraduate students completed a motivational measure and were later videotaped while engaging in tasks in three different domains: problem solving (a structure-building activity), art (collage making), and a writing (an American Haiku poem). Behavioral coding and think-aloud protocol analysis yielded reliable measures that, when empirically combined form task process indicators, strongly predicted judge-rated product creativity in each domain. One of the indicators, involvement in the task, served as a mediator of intrinsic motivation's positive influence one creativity. Other indicators reflect domain-relevant skills and creativity-relevant processes, lending support to the componential model of creativity. Theoretical and methodological implications for future creativity research are discussed.

    Keywords: Creativity; Cognition and Thinking; Behavior;

    Citation:

    Ruscio, J., D. M. Whitney, and T. M. Amabile. "Looking Inside the Fishbowl of Creativity: Verbal and Behavioral Predictors of Creative Performance." Creativity Research Journal 11, no. 3 (1998): 243–263. View Details
  24. Motivating Creativity in Organizations: On Doing What You Love and Loving What You Do

    Creativity in all fields, including business, flourishes under intrinsic motivation- the drive to do something because it is interesting, involving, exciting, satisfying, or personally challenging. This article presents the Componential Theory of Organizational Creativity and Innovation, which defines the factors-including intrinsic motivation-that determine a person's creativity. This article also shows how the work environment can influence individual creativity.

    Keywords: Creativity; Motivation and Incentives; Situation or Environment; Organizational Culture;

  25. Entrepreneurial Creativity Through Motivational Synergy

    This paper defines and describes entrepreneurial creativity, which is the generation and implementation of novel, appropriate ideas to establish a new venture. Entrepreneurial creativity can be exhibited in established organizations as well as in start-up firms. The central thesis of this paper is that entrepreneurial creativity requires a combination of intrinsic motivation and certain kinds of extrinsic motivation — a motivational synergy that results when strong levels of personal interest and involvement are combined with the promise of rewards that confirm competence, support skill development, and enable future achievement.

    Keywords: Creativity; Motivation and Incentives; Organizational Culture; Entrepreneurship; Innovation and Invention;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M. "Entrepreneurial Creativity Through Motivational Synergy." Journal of Creative Behavior 31 (1997): 18–26. View Details
  26. Assessing the Work Environment for Creativity

    We describe the development and validation of a new instrument, KEYS: Assessing the Climate for Creativity, designed to assess perceived stimulants and obstacles to creativity in organizational work environments. The KEYS scales have acceptable factor structures, internal consistencies, test-retest reliabilities, and preliminary convergent and discriminant validity. A construct validity study shows that perceived work environments, as assessed by the KEYS scales, discriminate between high-creativity projects and low-creativity projects; certain scales discriminate more strongly and consistently than others. We discuss the utility of this tool for research and practice.

    Keywords: Creativity; Motivation and Incentives; Organizational Culture; Innovation and Invention; Groups and Teams; Performance; Research; Theory;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M., R. Conti, H. Coon, J. Lazenby, and M. Herron. "Assessing the Work Environment for Creativity." Academy of Management Journal 39, no. 5 (October 1996): 1154–1184. View Details
  27. Evidence to Support the Componential Model of Creativity: Secondary Analyses of Three Studies

    Amabile's (1983a, 1983b, 1988) componential model of creativity predicts that three major components contribute to creativity: skills specific to the task domain, general (cross-domain) creativity-relevant skills, and task motivation. If all three components actually do contribute to creative performance, multiple measures of creativity taken from the same persons should show positive correlations. These correlations should be relatively low across different performance domains, higher within a performance domain, and even higher within a performance domain in situations where task motivation is likely to remain constant (as when measures are taken within the same experimental session). Because three creativity studies with overlapping participant populations were carried out in our laboratory during the same semester, we had the opportunity to test these hypotheses. Short stories were used as dependent measures in two of these studies; a third study involved engaging in various art activities. Correlations among these measures of creativity follow the predicted pattern and thus provide support for Amabile's model.

    Keywords: Theory; Creativity; Research;

    Citation:

    Conti, R., H. Coon, and T. M. Amabile. "Evidence to Support the Componential Model of Creativity: Secondary Analyses of Three Studies." Creativity Research Journal 9, no. 4 (1996): 385–389. View Details
  28. The Positive Impact of Creative Activity: Effects of Creative Task Engagement and Motivational Focus on College Student's Learning

    This study assessed the effectiveness of engaging students in a creative activity on a topic as a means of encouraging an active cognitive set toward learning that topic area. This technique was examined in three motivational contexts. Before reading a short instructional passage, subjects completed either, a creative or a noncreative pretask and heard one of three sets of directions: task focused (emphasizing intrinsic involvement), test focused (emphasizing external evaluation), or task/test focused (previous two combined). After reading the passage, subjects answered questions assessing immediate retention, wrote a creative essay, and responded to a questionnaire assessing intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Long-term retention was assessed 5 days later with a phone quiz. Creative task engagement was found to be an effective means of enhancing creativity (in the absence of evaluation expectation), intrinsic motivation, and long-term retention.

    Keywords: Creativity; Cognition and Thinking; Behavior; Performance; Motivation and Incentives; Training;

    Citation:

    Conti, R., T. M. Amabile, and S. Pollack. "The Positive Impact of Creative Activity: Effects of Creative Task Engagement and Motivational Focus on College Student's Learning." Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin 21 (1995): 1107–1116. View Details
  29. The Work Preference Inventory: Assessing Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivational Orientations

    The Work Preference Inventory (WPI) is designed to assess individual differences in intrinsic and extrinsic motivational orientations. Both the college student and the working adult versions aim to capture the major elements of intrinsic motivation (self-determination, competence, task involvement, curiosity, enjoyment, and interest) and extrinsic motivation (concerns with competition, evaluation, recognition, money or other tangible incentives, and constraint by others). The instrument is scored on two primary scales, each subdivided into 2 secondary scales. The WPI has meaningful factor structures, adequate internal consistency, good short-term test-retest reliability, and good longer term stability. Moreover, WPI scores are related in meaningful ways to other questionnaire and behavioral measures of motivation, as well as personality characteristics, attitudes, and behaviors.

    Keywords: Creativity; Motivation and Incentives; Measurement and Metrics; Higher Education; Employees; Personal Characteristics;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M., K. G. Hill, B. A. Hennessey, and E. M. Tighe. "The Work Preference Inventory: Assessing Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivational Orientations." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 66, no. 5 (May 1994): 950–967. View Details
  30. The Delicate Balance in Managing for Creativity

    Organizational stimulants and obstacles to creativity are summarized. The management tasks of supporting creativity and encouraging innovation are described as a delicate balance between over-control and chaos. A technology used to assess the climate for creativity is presented.

    Keywords: Management; Creativity;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M. "The Delicate Balance in Managing for Creativity." R&D Innovator 3 (1994): 1–9. View Details
  31. Motivational Synergy: Toward New Conceptualizations of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation in the Workplace

    The foundation for a model of motivational synergy is presented. Building upon but going beyond previous conceptualizations, the model outlines the ways in which intrinsic motivation (which arises from the intrinsic value of the work for the individual) might interact with extrinsic motivation (which arises from the desire to obtain outcomes that are apart from the work itself). In a modification of the prevailing psychological view that extrinsic motivation undermines intrinsic motivation, this conceptualization proposes that certain types of extrinsic motivation can combine synergistically with intrinsic motivation, particularly when initial levels of intrinsic motivation are high. Such synergistic motivational combinations should lead to high levels of employee satisfaction and performance. Two mechanisms are proposed for these combinations: extrinsics in service of intrinsics, and the motivation-work cycle match. Personality and work-environment influences on motivation are discussed, and implications are outlined for management practice and management development.

    Keywords: Motivation and Incentives; Theory; Creativity; Situation or Environment; Organizational Culture;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M. "Motivational Synergy: Toward New Conceptualizations of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation in the Workplace." Human Resource Management Review 3, no. 3 (autumn 1993): 185–201. View Details
  32. What Does a Theory of Creativity Require?

    Comments on Hans J. Eysenck's claims about the close alliance between creativity and psychosis in an article published in the periodical 'Psychological Inquiry.' Distinct senses of Eysenck's use of the term creativity; Failure of Eysenck to present an actual theory of creativity.

    Keywords: Creativity; Social Psychology; Theory;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M. "What Does a Theory of Creativity Require?" Psychological Inquiry 4 (1993): 179–181. (Commentary, 'Creativity and Personality: Suggestions for a Theory' by H. J. Eysenck.) View Details
  33. Social Influences on Creativity: Evaluation, Coaction, and Surveillance

    Two experiments examined the effects of evaluation expectation and the presence of others on creativity. In both experiments, some subjects expected that their work would be evaluated by experts, and others expected no evaluation. Evaluation expectation was crossed, in each experiment, with the presence of others. In the first experiment, the presence of others was operationalized as coaction; half of the subjects worked individually in small groups, and the others worked alone. In the second experiment, the presence of others was operationalized as surveillance; half of the subjects believed they were being watched while working. In both studies, subsequent creativity ratings of subjects' products were made by expert judges. Effects of evaluation expectation were consistently strong. On a verbal task in Study 1 and an artistic task in Study 2, creativity was lower in the groups expecting evaluation than those not expecting evaluation. Evidence for the social facilitation or social inhibition of creativity was less clear. Coaction had no effect, and surveillance had a weak negative effect. Moreover, there was some evidence that the effect of surveillance was due to experienced evaluation. The results are discussed in terms of motivational and cognitive influences on creativity.

    Keywords: Creativity; Social Psychology; Situation or Environment; Motivation and Incentives; Performance Evaluation;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M., P. Goldfarb, and S. C. Brackfield. "Social Influences on Creativity: Evaluation, Coaction, and Surveillance." Creativity Research Journal 3 (1990): 6–21. View Details
  34. Immunizing Children Against the Negative Effects of Reward

    Two studies were conducted to examine the effect of intrinsic motivation training on children's subsequent motivational orientation and creativity in an expected reward situation. Past research has demonstrated the overjustification effect: Children who work on an interesting task in order to obtain a reward demonstrate lower subsequent intrinsic motivation than do children not working for a reward. Other studies have shown similar negative effects on creativity. The primary hypothesis of the present research was that the usual overjustification effect would be counteracted by directed discussion sessions focused on intrinsic reasons for working in school and explicitly dealing with ways to cognitively distance oneself from the reward contingency. Both studies provide partial support for this hypothesis. In fact, children receiving the intrinsic motivation training seemed to later treat reward as an actual augmentation of intrinsic motivation. Possible mechanisms for this phenomenon are discussed, including the role of individual difference variables such as self-esteem.

    Keywords: Creativity; Motivation and Incentives; Training; Early Childhood Education; Learning; Teaching;

    Citation:

    Hennessey, B. A., T. M. Amabile, and M. Martinage. "Immunizing Children Against the Negative Effects of Reward." Contemporary Educational Psychology 14, no. 3 (July 1989): 212–227. View Details
  35. The Creative Environment Scales: The Work Environment Inventory

    The Creative Environment Scales Work Environment Inventory (WEI) is a new paper-and-pencil instrument designed to assess stimulants and obstacles to creativity in the work environment. Unlike many instruments that are designed as comprehensive descriptions of the work environment, the WEI focuses on those factors in the work environment that are most likely to influence the expression and development of creative ideas. Designed to be used at any level within any function of an organization, the WEI is intended as an organizational development instrument to improve the climate for creativity. Conceptually grounded in previous empirical and theoretical work on creativity and innovation, the WEI has been administered to 645 respondents drawn from five different groups. Factor analyses, scale reliabilities (internal consistencies), and between/within scale correlations indicate a high degree of integrity in the WEI scales. Furthermore, test‐retest reliability is high. Preliminary validity analyses indicate that the WEI does discriminate between different work environments, and that some of the scales are significantly related to creativity within the organization.

    Keywords: Creativity; Innovation and Invention; Working Conditions; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M., and N. Gryskiewicz. "The Creative Environment Scales: The Work Environment Inventory." Creativity Research Journal 2 (1989): 231–254. View Details
  36. Social Influences on Creativity: The Effects of Contracted-For Reward

    Three studies, with 195 5–11 yr olds and 60 female undergraduates, tested the hypothesis that explicitly contracting to do an activity in order to receive a reward would have negative effects on creativity, but receiving no reward or only a noncontracted-for reward would have no such negative effects. Children performed story-telling and collage-making tasks and were rewarded with an activity, while undergraduates performed the collage-making task and were paid or not paid for their participation. All 3 studies supported the hypothesis. This support appeared to be strong and generalizable across different S populations, reward types, reward presentations, and creativity tasks. Possible mechanisms for the phenomenon are discussed in terms of choice, intrinsic motivation, and the labeling of the task.

    Keywords: Social Psychology; Creativity; Motivation and Incentives; Situation or Environment;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M., B. A. Hennessey, and B. S. Grossman. "Social Influences on Creativity: The Effects of Contracted-For Reward." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 50, no. 1 (January 1986): 14–23. View Details
  37. Motivation and Creativity: Effects of Motivational Orientation on Creative Writers

    72 members of the college community who identified themselves as actively involved in creative writing participated in individual laboratory sessions, in which they were asked to write 2 brief poems, to investigate the hypothesis that intrinsic motivation is conducive to creativity and extrinsic motivation is detrimental. In the present study, intrinsic motivation was defined as resulting from an S's interest in and enjoyment of writing for its own sake, while extrinsic motivation was defined as resulting from the external things obtained by writing (e.g., rewards, approval). Ss were divided into approximately equal groups that were designated as intrinsic-orientation, extrinsic-orientation, and control conditions. Before writing the 2nd poem, Ss in the intrinsic-orientation condition completed a questionnaire on intrinsic reasons for being involved in writing, and Ss in the extrinsic-orientation condition completed a questionnaire on extrinsic reasons. Ss in the control condition were not given a questionnaire on reasons for writing. Results indicate that, although there were no initial differences between conditions on prior involvement in writing or on creativity of the 1st poems written, there were significant differences in the creativity of the poems written after the experimental manipulations. Poems written under an extrinsic orientation were significantly less creative than those written in the other 2 conditions. Implications for social-psychological and individual-difference conceptions of creativity are discussed.

    Keywords: Social Psychology; Creativity; Motivation and Incentives; Performance; Personal Characteristics; Situation or Environment;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M. "Motivation and Creativity: Effects of Motivational Orientation on Creative Writers." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 48, no. 2 (February 1985): 393–399. View Details
  38. Children's Artistic Creativity: Effects of Choice in Task Materials

    Preschool boys and girls made collages using a subset of a large array of materials. Half of the children were allowed to choose those materials they would use. For the rest of the children, the choice was made by the experimenter. Children in the no-choice condition were yoked to those in the choice condition by the specific materials they were given. The collages made by children given a choice of materials were judged by a group of artists as significantly higher in creativity than those made by children given no choice. These results support the hypothesis that unconstrained choice in task approach can be conducive to creativity, whereas constrained choice can be detrimental.

    Keywords: Creativity; Early Childhood Education; Social Psychology; Decision Choices and Conditions;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M., and J. Gitomer. "Children's Artistic Creativity: Effects of Choice in Task Materials." Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin 10 (1984): 209–215. View Details
  39. Brilliant but Cruel: Perceptions of Negative Evaluators

    Using edited excerpts from actual negative and positive book reviews, this research examined the hypothesis that negative evaluators of intellectual products will be perceived as more intelligent than positive evaluators. The results strongly supported the hypothesis. Negative reviewers were perceived as more intelligent, competent, and expert than positive reviewers, even when the content of the positive review was independently judged as being of higher quality and greater forcefulness. At the same time, in accord with previous research, negative reviewers were perceived as significantly less likable than positive reviewers. The results on intelligence ratings are seen as bolstering the self-presentational explanation of the tendency shown by intellectually insecure individuals to be negatively critical. The present methodology is contrasted to that of previous research which obtained apparently contradictory results.

    Keywords: Social Psychology; Situation or Environment; Performance Evaluation; Perception; Status and Position; Attitudes; Prejudice and Bias; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M. "Brilliant but Cruel: Perceptions of Negative Evaluators." Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 19 (March 1983): 146–156. (Reprinted in: E. Aronson (Ed.) (1984), Readings about the social animal (3rd. ed.). San Francisco: Freeman.) View Details
  40. The Social Psychology of Creativity: A Componential Conceptualization

    Considers the definition and assessment of creativity and presents a componential framework for conceptualizing this faculty. Including domain-relevant skills, creativity-relevant skills, and task motivation as a set of necessary and sufficient components of creativity, the framework describes the way in which cognitive abilities, personality characteristics, and social factors might contribute to stages of the creative process. The discussion emphasizes the previously neglected social factors and highlights the contributions that a social psychology of creativity can make to a comprehensive view of creative performance.

    Keywords: Theory; Social Psychology; Creativity; Cognition and Thinking; Motivation and Incentives; Personal Characteristics;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M. "The Social Psychology of Creativity: A Componential Conceptualization." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 45, no. 2 (August 1983): 357–377. View Details
  41. A Negativity Bias in Interpersonal Evaluation

    Two studies were conducted to demonstrate a bias toward negativity in evaluations of persons or their work in particular social circumstances. In Study 1, subjects evaluated materials written by peers. Those working under conditions that placed them in low status relative to the audience for their evaluations, or conditions that made their intellectual position within a group insecure, showed a clear bias toward negativity in those evaluations. Only individuals who believed their audience to be of relatively low status and at the same time believed their intellectual position to be secure did not show this bias. In Study 2, subjects viewed a videotape of a stimulus person and rated him on several intellectual and social dimensions. Again, subjects believed their audience to be of either relatively high or relatively low status. As a cross dimension, they were given instructions to focus on either the intellectual or the social abilities of the stimulus person while viewing the videotape. A strong main effect of audience status was demonstrated, but only in ratings of intellectual traits; subjects who believed their audience to be of relatively high status rated the stimulus person's intellectual qualities significantly more negatively. Moreover, this effect was independent of the instructional focus subjects had been given. The negativity bias is discussed in the context of previous demonstrations of biases toward weighting negative information more heavily than positive information, as well as previous demonstrations of seemingly pervasive positivity biases in memory and judgment.

    Keywords: Social Psychology; Status and Position; Prejudice and Bias; Performance Evaluation; Situation or Environment; Perception; Attitudes;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M., and A. H. Glazebrook. "A Negativity Bias in Interpersonal Evaluation." Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 18 (January 1982): 1–22. View Details
  42. The Social Psychology of Creativity: A Consensual Assessment Technique

    States that both the popular creativity tests, such as the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, and the subjective assessment techniques used in some previous creativity studies are ill-suited to social psychological studies of creativity. A consensual definition of creativity is presented, and as a refinement of previous subjective methods, a reliable subjective assessment technique based on that definition is described. The results of 8 studies testing the methodology in elementary school and undergraduate populations in both artistic and verbal domains are presented, and the advantages and limitations of this technique are discussed. The present methodology can be useful for the development of a social psychology of creativity because of the nature of the tasks employed and the creativity assessments obtained. Creativity assessment is discussed in terms of the divergent aims and methods of personality psychology and social psychology.

    Keywords: Social Psychology; Creativity; Measurement and Metrics; Research; Perception; Theory;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M. "The Social Psychology of Creativity: A Consensual Assessment Technique." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 43, no. 5 (November 1982): 997–1013. View Details
  43. Children's Artistic Creativity: Detrimental Effects of Competition in a Field Setting

    Girls whose ages ranged from 7 to 11 years made paper collages during 1 of 2 residential parties. Those in the experimental group were competing for prizes, whereas those in the control group expected that the prizes would be raffled off. Artist-judges later rated each collage on several artistic dimensions, including creativity, technical goodness, and aesthetic appeal. A high level of interjudge reliability was found, and there was a clear separation between creativity judgments and judgments of technical goodness and aesthetic appeal. The control group was significantly higher than the experimental group on judged creativity of the collages and on several other dimensions of judgment that correlated with creativity. The control group was lower, however, on some dimensions related to technical aspects of the performance. In addition, there was significantly more variability in the control group on a number of objective features of the collages. The results are consistent with the proposition that intrinsic motivation is conducive to creativity, while extrinsic motivation is detrimental.

    Keywords: Creativity; Early Childhood Education; Motivation and Incentives; Situation or Environment; Competition; Teaching;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M. "Children's Artistic Creativity: Detrimental Effects of Competition in a Field Setting." Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin 8 (1982): 573–578. View Details
  44. When Self-Descriptions Contradict Behavior: Actions do Speak Louder than Words

    Subjects viewed two videotapes, one depicting a stimulus person's self-description and the other depicting that person's behavior in a conversation, according to a four-way factorial design personality descriptor used in the self-description ("introvert" or "extravert") × type of behavior displayed during the conversation (introverted or extraverted) × order of presentation (self-description seen first or conversation seen first) × stimulus person (one of two actresses). After viewing the stimuli, subjects rated the stimulus person on several personality dimensions related to introversion-extraversion and made attributions about the cause of her conversation behavior. Results showed a clear superiority of behavioral evidence over self-description in impact on the personality ratings. Although most of the personality dimensions showed significant effects of both the self-description and the behavior, the latter accounted for much more of the variance in these ratings. In contrast to previous findings, no order-of-presentation effects were found. Subjects tended to attribute the stimulus person's behavior to her personality except when she described herself as an extravert and behaved as an introvert; in that case, subjects tended to attribute more causality to situational factors. A subsequent study in which subjects read modified transcripts of the videotapes, within the same experimental design, yielded personality-rating results that were virtually identical to those of the initial study. Neither order effects nor attribution effects were found in this follow-up. Several differences between previous research and the current method of examining effects of inconsistent personality information are noted. The results are discussed in terms of strategies of information integration and errors in information processing.

    Keywords: Behavior; Perception; Cognition and Thinking; Judgments;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M., and L. Kabat. "When Self-Descriptions Contradict Behavior: Actions do Speak Louder than Words." Social Cognition 1 (1982): 311–335. View Details
  45. Effects of External Evaluation on Artistic Creativity

    Examined the conditions under which the imposition of an extrinsic constraint upon performance of an activity can lead to decrements in creativity. 95 female undergraduates worked on an art activity either with or without the expectation of external evaluation. In addition, Ss were asked to focus on either the creative or the technical aspects of the activity or they were given no specific focus. Finally, some Ss expecting evaluation were given explicit instructions on how to make their artworks. As predicted, Ss in the evaluation groups produced artworks significantly lower on judged creativity than did Ss in the nonevaluation control groups. The only evaluation group for which this pattern was reversed had received explicit instructions on how to make artworks that would be judged creative. A possible reconciliation of these 2 disparate results is proposed, and practical implications are discussed.

    Keywords: Creativity; Social Psychology; Performance Evaluation; Motivation and Incentives; Situation or Environment;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M. "Effects of External Evaluation on Artistic Creativity." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 37, no. 2 (February 1979): 221–233. View Details
  46. Social Roles, Social Control and Biases in Social Perception Processes

    To make accurate social judgments, an individual must both recognize and adequately correct for the self-presentation advantages or disadvantages conferred upon actors by their social roles. Two experiments using 120 undergraduates examined social perceptions formed during an encounter in which one participant composed difficult general knowledge questions and another participant attempted to answer those questions. As predicted, perceivers failed to make adequate allowance for the biasing effects of these "questioner" and "answerer" roles in judging the participants' general knowledge. Questioners, allowed to display their personal store of esoteric knowledge in composing questions, were consistently rated superior to their partners, who attempted to answer the questions. This bias was stronger for the answerers and the uninvolved observers than for the questioners. Implications for our understanding of the biased perceptions of the powerful and the powerless in society are noted. More general implications for an understanding of the shortcomings of the "intuitive psychologist" are also discussed.

    Keywords: Perception; Prejudice and Bias; Social Psychology; Judgments; Power and Influence; Status and Position; Situation or Environment;

    Citation:

    Ross, L. D., T. M. Amabile, and J. Steinmetz. "Social Roles, Social Control and Biases in Social Perception Processes." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 35, no. 7 (July 1977): 485–494. View Details
  47. Effects of Externally-Imposed Deadlines on Subsequent Intrinsic Motivation

    Studied the effects of externally imposed deadlines on individuals' task performance and their subsequent interest in the task. In 1 deadline condition, 20 male undergraduates were given an explicit time limit for solving a series of initially interesting word games. In 2 conditions, the importance of finishing was stated explicitly; in the 2nd condition, the deadline was left implicit. In 2 control conditions, 20 other Ss worked on the puzzles without any explicit time limit. In one condition, Ss were asked to work at their own pace; in the other, they were asked to solve the puzzles as fast as possible. Virtually all Ss finished in the allotted time. Unobtrusive measures of subsequent interest indicated that in the absence of external constraints, Ss in the deadline condition were less interested in the game than Ss in the nondeadline conditions. Implications for the overjustification hypothesis are discussed.

    Keywords: Motivation and Incentives; Time Management; Social Psychology; Situation or Environment;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M., W. DeJong, and M. R. Lepper. "Effects of Externally-Imposed Deadlines on Subsequent Intrinsic Motivation." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 34, no. 1 (July 1976): 92–98. View Details

Book Chapters

  1. Big C, Little C, Howard, and Me: Approaches to Understanding Creativity

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M. "Big C, Little C, Howard, and Me: Approaches to Understanding Creativity." In Mind, Work, and Life: A Festschrift on the Occasion of Howard Gardner’s 70th Birthday, Volume 1, edited by Howard E. Gardner, Mindy L. Kornhaber, and Ellen Winner, 5–25. Cambridge, MA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014. View Details
  2. Creativity, Improvisation, and Organizations

    Although the literatures on both organizational creativity and organizational improvisation have been expanding in recent years, the links between these literatures have not been deeply explored. This chapter explores those links to create a conceptualization of improvisational creativity in organizations. After reviewing existing theory on the creative process in organizations, and existing theory on organizational improvisation, we synthesize the two, fill in some conceptual gaps, and propose a preliminary model. The chapter ends with research questions suggested by our analysis.

    Keywords: Body of Literature; Innovation and Invention; Organizational Culture; Research; Creativity; Theory;

    Citation:

    Fisher, Colin M., and Teresa M. Amabile. "Creativity, Improvisation, and Organizations." In The Routledge Companion to Creativity, edited by Tudor Rickards, Mark A. Runco, and Susan Moger. Oxford, U.K.: Routledge, 2009. View Details
  3. Assessing Creativity and Its Antecedents: An Exploration of the Componential Theory of Creativity

    Keywords: Creativity; Mathematical Methods; Theory;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M., and Jennifer Mueller. "Assessing Creativity and Its Antecedents: An Exploration of the Componential Theory of Creativity." In Handbook of Organizational Creativity, edited by Jing Zhou and Christina E. Shalley. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2008. View Details
  4. Entrepreneurial Management: In Pursuit of Opportunity

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Management Style; Opportunities;

    Citation:

    Stevenson, H. H., and T. M. Amabile. "Entrepreneurial Management: In Pursuit of Opportunity." In The Intellectual Venture Capitalist: John H. McArthur and the Work of the Harvard Business School, 1980-1995, edited by T. K. McCraw and J. L. Cruikshank. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1999. View Details
  5. The Impact of Downsizing on Organizational Creativity and Innovation

    Keywords: Restructuring; Strategy; Innovation and Management; Creativity; Organizational Change and Adaptation;

    Citation:

    Conti, R., and T. M. Amabile. "The Impact of Downsizing on Organizational Creativity and Innovation." In Social Creativity. Vol. 2, edited by A. Montuori and R. E. Purser. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 1999. View Details
  6. Environmental Determinants of Work Motivation, Creativity, and Innovation: The Case of R&D Downsizing

    Keywords: Job Cuts and Outsourcing; Research and Development; Working Conditions; Motivation and Incentives; Creativity; Innovation and Invention;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M., and R. Conti. "Environmental Determinants of Work Motivation, Creativity, and Innovation: The Case of R&D Downsizing." In Technological Innovation: Oversights and Foresights, edited by Raghu Garud, Praveen Rattan Nayyar, and Zur Baruch Shapira. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997. View Details
  7. Frank Barron's Influence on Current and Future Generations of Creativity Researchers: Some Personal Reflections

    Keywords: Creativity; Research; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M., R. Conti, and M. A. Collins. "Frank Barron's Influence on Current and Future Generations of Creativity Researchers: Some Personal Reflections." In Unusual Associates: A Festschrift for Frank Barron, edited by Alfonso Montuori. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 1996. View Details
  8. Creativity

    Keywords: Creativity;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M., and M. A. Collins. "Creativity." In Blackwell Encyclopedic Dictionary of Organizational Behavior, edited by N. Nicholson. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1996. View Details
  9. Person and Environment in Talent Development: The Case of Creativity

    Keywords: Talent and Talent Management; Creativity; Personal Characteristics;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M., E. Phillips, and M. A. Collins. "Person and Environment in Talent Development: The Case of Creativity." In Talent Development: Proceedings of the 1993 Henry B. and Jocelyn Wallace National Research Symposium on Talent Development, edited by Nicholas Colangelo, Susan G. Assouline, and DeAnn L. Ambroson. Unionville, NY: Trillium Press, 1994. View Details
  10. A Social Psychological Perspective on Creativity: Intrinsic Motivation and Creativity in the Classroom and Workplace

    Keywords: Creativity; Motivation and Incentives; Working Conditions; Education;

    Citation:

    Hill, K. G., and T. M. Amabile. "A Social Psychological Perspective on Creativity: Intrinsic Motivation and Creativity in the Classroom and Workplace." In Understanding and Recognizing Creativity: The Emergence of a Discipline, edited by S. G. Isaksen, M.C. Murdock, R. L. Firestien, and D. J. Treffinger. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing, 1993. View Details
  11. The Motivation for Creativity in Children

    Keywords: Creativity; Motivation and Incentives; Age Characteristics;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M., and B. A. Hennessey. "The Motivation for Creativity in Children." In Achievement and Motivation: A Social-Developmental Perspective, edited by A. K. Boggiano and T. Pittman. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. View Details
  12. Assessing Organizational Climates for Creativity and Innovation: Methodological Review of Large Company Audits

    Keywords: Creativity; Organizational Culture; Accounting Audits; Innovation and Invention;

    Citation:

    Burnside, R. M., T. M. Amabile, and S. S. Gryskiewicz. "Assessing Organizational Climates for Creativity and Innovation: Methodological Review of Large Company Audits." Foreword to New Directions in Creative and Innovative Management, edited by Y. Ijiri and R. L. Kuhn. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger Publishing Company, 1988. View Details
  13. Creative Human Resources in the R&D Laboratory: How Environment and Personality Impact Innovation

    Keywords: Talent and Talent Management; Creativity; Factories, Labs, and Plants; Research and Development; Innovation and Invention; Personal Characteristics;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M., and S. S. Gryskiewicz. "Creative Human Resources in the R&D Laboratory: How Environment and Personality Impact Innovation." In Handbook for Creative and Innovative Managers, edited by R. L. Kuhn. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1988. View Details
  14. Informal Covariation Assessment: Data-based vs. Theory-based Judgements

    Keywords: Mathematical Methods;

    Citation:

    Jennings, D., T. M. Amabile, and L. D. Ross. "Informal Covariation Assessment: Data-based vs. Theory-based Judgements." In Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases, edited by D. Kahneman, P. Slovic, and A. Tversky. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982. View Details
  15. Research Methods and Data Analysis: The Challenge of Knowing How to Do What About Why

    Keywords: Mathematical Methods; Knowledge Acquisition; Knowledge Management; Knowledge Use and Leverage;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M., and W. DeJong. "Research Methods and Data Analysis: The Challenge of Knowing How to Do What About Why." In Psychology and Life. 10th ed. Edited by P. G. Zimbardo. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1979. View Details

Working Papers

  1. J. Richard Hackman (1940-2013)

    When J. Richard Hackman died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on January 8, 2013, psychology lost a giant. Six and a half feet tall, with an outsize personality to match, Richard was the leading scholar in two distinct areas: work design and team effectiveness. In both domains, his work is foundational. Throughout his career, Richard applied rigorous methods to problems of great social importance, tirelessly championing multi-level analyses of problems that matter. His impact on our field has been immense.

    Keywords: Social Psychology; Organizational Design; Groups and Teams; Personal Development and Career; Education Industry; Cambridge;

    Citation:

    Wageman, Ruth, and Teresa M. Amabile. "J. Richard Hackman (1940-2013)." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-009, July 2013. View Details
  2. Helping You Help Me: The Role of Diagnostic (In)congruence in the Helping Process within Organizations

    Through an inductive, multi-method field study at a major design firm, we investigated the helping process in project work and how that process affects the success of a helping episode, as perceived by help-givers and/or -receivers. We used daily diary entries and weekly interviews from four project teams, and a separate sample of critical incident interviews, to induce process models of successful and unsuccessful helping episodes. We found that, in unsuccessful episodes, help-givers and -receivers maintained incongruent expectations and project understandings throughout the episode, which we call diagnostic incongruence. In contrast, the parties in successful episodes engaged in aligning practices that fostered shared expectations and project understandings (i.e., diagnostic congruence). Importantly, aligning practices in successful episodes occurred before or at the beginning of episodes. We also found that people's assessments of unsuccessful episodes were often marked by intense emotionality, which sometimes led them to disregard whether the helping resulted in instrumental progress. We discuss the implications of our process model for theory and practice.

    Keywords: Groups and Teams; Knowledge Management; Performance; Cooperation;

    Citation:

    Fisher, Colin M., Julianna Pillemer, and Teresa M. Amabile. "Helping You Help Me: The Role of Diagnostic (In)congruence in the Helping Process within Organizations." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-003, July 2013. View Details
  3. Componential Theory of Creativity

    The componential theory of creativity is a comprehensive model of the social and psychological components necessary for an individual to produce creative work. The theory is grounded in a definition of creativity as the production of ideas or outcomes that are both novel and appropriate to some goal. In this theory, four components are necessary for any creative response: three components within the individual--domain-relevant skills, creativity-relevant processes, and intrinsic task motivation--and one component outside the individual--the social environment in which the individual is working. The current version of the theory encompasses organizational creativity and innovation, carrying implications for the work environments created by managers. This entry defines the components of creativity and how they influence the creative process, describing modifications to the theory over time. Then, after comparing the componential theory to other creativity theories, the article describes this theory's evolution and impact.

    Keywords: Creativity; Theory; Social Psychology; Organizational Culture;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M. "Componential Theory of Creativity." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 12-096, April 2012. View Details
  4. Big C, Little C, Howard, and Me: Approaches to Understanding Creativity

    This essay, which highlights some of the major contributions that Howard Gardner has made to creativity research, contrasts his approach to my own. While he analyzed cases of "Big C" (world-renowned creativity), I have focused on the more ordinary "Little c" (creativity manifested in the work of non-eminent individuals). This essay addresses several questions: Does it make sense to call both "creativity?" Is there a single underlying process? What sort of understanding can each approach provide, and can they ultimately yield similar—or at least complementary—answers? In addressing these questions, I aim to further our understanding of this most astonishing form of human performance.

    Keywords: Creativity; Research; Learning;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M. "Big C, Little C, Howard, and Me: Approaches to Understanding Creativity." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 12-085, September 2013. View Details
  5. Time Pressure and Creativity in Organizations: A Longitudinal Field Study

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., Jennifer S. Mueller, William B. Simpson, Constance N. Hadley, Steven J. Kramer, and Lee Fleming. "Time Pressure and Creativity in Organizations: A Longitudinal Field Study." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 02-073, April 2002. View Details
  6. Academic-Practitioner Collaboration in Management Research: A Model and a Case Study

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., Chelley Patterson, Jennifer Mueller, Tom Wojcik, Paul Odomirok, Mel Marsh, and Steven Kramer. "Academic-Practitioner Collaboration in Management Research: A Model and a Case Study." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 99-119, April 1999. View Details
  7. What Really Happens in Creative Projects: Event Sampling Through Electronic Data Collection

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., Dean Whitney, Jeremiah Weinstock, Lynn Miller, and Chelley Fallang. "What Really Happens in Creative Projects: Event Sampling Through Electronic Data Collection." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 98-036, November 1997. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Making Progress at IDEO

    This case focuses on different types of client relationships at IDEO, the value of these relationships for IDEO and clients, and the implications for IDEO designers' everyday experience of work. As new types of client work have shifted away from the more classic design projects, there may be accompanying shifts in designers' engagement and motivation. The case illustrates the importance of progress and meaning to IDEO designers, and it poses the questions: Which types of client work keep designers most motivated and engaged at work, and what are the implications for the client relationships IDEO should pursue?

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Motivation and Incentives; Employees; Customer Focus and Relationships; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Katrina Flanagan. "Making Progress at IDEO." Harvard Business School Case 814-123, June 2014. View Details
  2. Creativity under the Gun at Litmus Corporation

    Teaches students to diagnose the circumstances under which time pressure can facilitate or hinder creativity. A team's creative "genius", Miles Grady, who previously conceptualized a revolutionary material for an important new product, must now significantly change that material so that the team can create an entirely new business. This early new business development project, while supported by management, has a looming deadline for proof-of-concept. The deadline has already been extended, but the team does not seem close to the breakthrough it needs. The team's leader, Stanley Carmine, who has managed to get a few weeks' extension from management, needs to figure out how best to manage Grady under the looming deadline. He studies Grady's past "daily laboratory logs" to discover the connections, if any, between time pressure, other circumstances, and Grady's level of creativity.

    Keywords: Situation or Environment; Creativity; Innovation and Management; Problems and Challenges;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Yana Litovsky. "Creativity under the Gun at Litmus Corporation." Harvard Business School Case 808-075, November 2007. (Revised May 2008.) View Details
  3. Lumen and Absorb Teams at Crutchfield Chemical Engineering, The

    Large discrepancies have developed between two elite technology development teams at Crutchfield Chemical Engineering in terms of motivation and creativity. To investigate, Paul Burke, director of corporate technology development, commissioned a study of the day-by-day dynamics within these teams (the Lumen and Absorb teams). Using 10 days' worth of electronic daily diaries collected from all members of the two teams, the study reveals rich information about team leader behaviors, team member thoughts and behaviors, team dynamics, and project progress. By summarizing both the diary data and personality data on both teams' members, the study presents Burke with a clear dilemma about enhancing and maintaining motivation and creativity in teams of high-level professionals working on challenging projects under difficult organizational conditions.

    Keywords: Leadership; Managerial Roles; Projects; Groups and Teams; Behavior; Creativity; Motivation and Incentives;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Elizabeth Schatzel. "Lumen and Absorb Teams at Crutchfield Chemical Engineering, The." Harvard Business School Case 804-118, January 2004. (Revised July 2007.) View Details
  4. Nest Fresh Eggs (A)

    Cyd Szymanski's cage-free egg business was threatened by large caged-hen companies that saw new profit potential in the industry she had helped build. Szymanski had based her company, Nest Fresh Eggs, on a strong personal belief that people deserved healthier alternatives for food and that animals deserved to be treated well. Not only had Szymanski remained true to her convictions, but she also saw financial success with what had begun as a very small family operation. Over time, more consumers understood the health and ethical benefits associated with cage-free eggs and were willing to pay a premium price to purchase them. But, during Nest Fresh's 14 years in business, the egg industry had undergone a number of changes. Large caged egg producers started to enter the cage-free market. Szymanski believed that these producers were motivated solely by profit. They were developing small cage-free production facilities side by side with their caged operations. They also had the financial clout to offer lower prices, something the small independent cage-free operators like Nest Fresh were far less able to do. Szymanski had to come up with alternatives, some of which might require back-pedaling on her convictions.

    Keywords: Motivation and Incentives;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Victoria Winston. "Nest Fresh Eggs (A)." Harvard Business School Case 806-056, December 2005. (Revised October 2006.) View Details
  5. Lean Forward Media

    Jeff Norton and Michelle Crames, the co-founders of Lean Forward Media, face several options for producing the world's first interactive DVD film for children. Their vision is to build a company whose products simultaneously entertain children, engage them actively in the viewing process, and educate them. In the 18 months since they founded the company, the partners have secured the DVD rights to a popular children's book series, raised seed financing, closed their first round of venture financing, and produced a demo DVD that was well-received by investors, parents, and children. Having explored several options for producing their first full-length DVD, they must now decide between two basic approaches: creating a virtual studio and producing it themselves or partnering with an established studio that includes industry veterans who would manage the details of production. Crames and Norton know that using a full-service production company is an expensive option and fear that they might have to cut corners on the DVD project should they opt for that solution. Moreover, taking this route means that they would be less involved in much of the creative work that they both love, giving many of the creative tasks to others. Norton and Crames must make a decision quickly or they risk missing the significant opportunity of Christmas sales the following year. Which production option should they choose? If they use a full-service production company, which firm should they go with? Whichever option they choose, how should they manage the process?

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Early Childhood Education; Games, Gaming, and Gambling; Entrepreneurship; Venture Capital; Management Practices and Processes; Risk Management; Partners and Partnerships; Opportunities; Creativity;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Victoria Winston. "Lean Forward Media." Harvard Business School Case 805-063, January 2005. (Revised August 2006.) View Details
  6. Satera Team at Imatron Systems, Inc. (A), The

    Escalating conflict has erupted within the Satera product development team, resulting from the conflicting cognitive styles of the two senior mechanical engineers. The conflict has taken a toll on both project progress and team morale, endangering one of the most important initiatives at Imatron Systems, Inc. After discussing the situation with VP of R&D Rick Levinger, team leader Gary Pinto realizes he must take decisive action. This case presents a profile of the company, the team, the Satera project, and the team members, focusing on Pinto and the dueling engineers. Through a detailed description of their vastly different problem-solving preferences, and the interactions in which those differences become most apparent, the conflict presents a common problem that managers must face when working with creative people on creative projects.

    Keywords: Decision Making; Entrepreneurship; Human Resources; Management; Business or Company Management; Groups and Teams; Medical Devices and Supplies Industry;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Elizabeth Schatzel. "Satera Team at Imatron Systems, Inc. (A), The." Harvard Business School Case 803-141, January 2003. (Revised October 2003.) View Details
  7. Alison Brown of Compass Records

    Highly acclaimed recording artist, banjo player, and jazz/blue grass composer Alison Brown has used her artistic experience and MBA-based business savvy to found a successful independent record company with bassist/husband Garry West. Representing a stellar roster of musicians from an eclectic array of music genres, Compass Records has, in its five-year history, established a strong niche in a market crowded with both major record labels and other independents. Now, faced with a rapidly consolidating industry and with major technological advances, Brown and West consider new ways to maintain business success.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Technological Innovation; Growth and Development Strategy; Growth Management; Industry Structures; Service Delivery; Business Strategy; Expansion; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Music Industry;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Amy Blitz. "Alison Brown of Compass Records." Harvard Business School Case 801-089, August 2000. View Details
  8. AllHerb.com: Evolution of an E-tailer

    Serial entrepreneur Ken Hakuta, in the second year of his latest venture, reconsiders his original strategy of maintaining an independent, self-funded, self-led company. His Internet herbal remedy company, AllHerb.com, has already enjoyed considerable success with its unorthodox approach to funding, marketing, customer service, fulfillment, and internal organization. However, with the changing e-tailing climate and the many challenges of guiding an Internet company to success, Hakuta reexamines his options for the future.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Technological Innovation; Business or Company Management; Goals and Objectives; Strategic Planning; Strategy; Competitive Strategy; Medical Devices and Supplies Industry; Web Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Christina L. Darwall. "AllHerb.com: Evolution of an E-tailer." Harvard Business School Case 801-099, July 2000. (Revised August 2000.) View Details
  9. Beansprout Networks

    Beansprout Networks is a 3-year-old Internet company designed to foster effective communication between parents and the pediatricians and child-care providers who care for their children. With a significant headstart in the marketplace, it has attracted considerable attention from both venture capitalists and health care analysts. Founder James Chung must now examine his internal strategy, given his desire to maintain a strong, vital, entrepreneurial culture amid rapid increases in headcount, increasing need for structure, and the continuing challenges of combining both high-tech and high-touch skills.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Human Resources; Employees; Employee Relationship Management; Recruitment; Business or Company Management; Growth and Development Strategy; Management Practices and Processes; Organizational Culture; Strategy; Health Industry; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Rasheea Williams. "Beansprout Networks." Harvard Business School Case 801-079, August 2000. View Details
  10. E Ink

    E Ink is a high-technology start-up attempting to revolutionize print communication through electronic ink displays. The founders and top managers of this two-year-old firm are striving to translate a technological breakthrough into a working prototype, move from prototype to full-scale manufacturing, and maintain market excitement about the company. At the same time, they are dealing with a fundamental organizational concern: How to retain E Ink's creativity, drive, and sense of fun while focusing the company on growth and the demands of a first-product introduction.

    Keywords: Customer Focus and Relationships; Entrepreneurship; Technological Innovation; Business or Company Management; Growth and Development Strategy; Industry Structures; Organizational Structure; Commercialization; Technology; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Susan Archambault. "E Ink." Harvard Business School Case 800-143, August 1999. (Revised May 2000.) View Details
  11. Ken Hakuta: AllHerb.com

    Ken Hakuta had been an entrepreneur all his life. Having started a number of consumer-oriented ventures, he became well-known as "Dr. Fad," the initiator of the "Wacky Wallwalker" toy craze in the 1980s. Wishing to strike out in an exciting new direction in 1998, he capitalized on his long-standing interest in herbal medicine to found AllHerb.com, the first e-commerce company devoted solely to herbal remedy products and information.

    Keywords: Business Startups; Entrepreneurship; Health; Information Publishing; Leadership Style; Problems and Challenges; Web Sites;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Nicole Tempest. "Ken Hakuta: AllHerb.com." Harvard Business School Case 899-250, March 1999. (Revised February 2000.) View Details
  12. Trisha Wilson of Wilson & Associates

    Texan entrepreneur Trisha Wilson has founded an interior design firm and watched it grow into one of the most successful firms in the hospitality design services industry. After 20 years of building a company that is truly a reflection of her own personality, Wilson grapples with changes in the firm's work environment during growth, and what will happen to the firm when it comes time for her to retire. Does she have the proper systems in place to ensure that the "Wilson way" of doing business can be replicated and scaled?

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Employees; Innovation and Management; Management; Business or Company Management; Management Succession; Organizational Culture; Strategy; Service Industry; Texas;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Sarah S. Khetani. "Trisha Wilson of Wilson & Associates." Harvard Business School Case 800-001, September 1999. View Details
  13. Arnold Communications

    The new owner and CEO of Arnold Advertising, a relatively small regional agency, aims to build it into Arnold Communications--a much larger, stronger firm competing successfully for national accounts. As part of this growth strategy, the agency develops a process for identifying the "brand essence" of a client's product and using the essence to guide the development of all creative work on the client's campaign. In most cases, the approach appears to be successful at winning new business. Questions arise, however, about the effectiveness of the process for guiding the ongoing creative development and implementation of advertising campaigns.

    Keywords: Management Practices and Processes; Creativity; Entrepreneurship; Advertising; Business Processes; Brands and Branding; Growth and Development Strategy; Advertising Industry;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Jeremiah Weinstock. "Arnold Communications." Harvard Business School Case 899-083, September 1998. (Revised May 1999.) View Details
  14. Corporate New Ventures at Procter & Gamble

    Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble is faced with an urgent need to revitalize new-product innovation, given its recent focus on incremental product improvements and its aggressive growth goals. As part of this effort, the company's top executives form a small, autonomous, cross-functional Corporate New Ventures team led by a young former brand manager. Operating within a conducive work environment, the team invents a systematic approach to gathering information and producing creative ideas for radically new product categories.

    Keywords: Innovation Strategy; Creativity; Working Conditions; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Groups and Teams; Retail Industry; Ohio;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Dean Whitney. "Corporate New Ventures at Procter & Gamble." Harvard Business School Case 897-088, January 1997. (Revised June 1997.) View Details
  15. Business Teams at Rubbermaid, Inc.

    Rubbermaid, a consumer-products company widely praised for its innovation, has instituted a company-wide experiment to stimulate innovation even further. The experiment consists of creating small cross-functional business teams within each division, with each team being responsible for the creation, management, and profitability of a particular product line. The staffing, reporting structure, and management of the business teams vary across divisions; and clear differences emerge in the performance of four highlighted teams. Specific topics include: options for staffing, structuring, and managing cross-functional business teams; the difficulty of implementing cross-functional teams in a company with a strong functional structure; the difficulty of balancing accountability and empowerment in "entrepreneurial" teams within established firms; and the impact of different management approaches on the functioning of business teams.

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Innovation Strategy; Groups and Teams; Innovation and Management; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Consumer Products Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Dean Whitney. "Business Teams at Rubbermaid, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 897-165, March 1997. (Revised March 1997.) View Details
  16. Cambridge Technology Partners (A)

    Cambridge Technology Partners uses a highly innovative product strategy, supported by a human resources strategy, that has been very successful. However, high growth rates jeopardize product quality while tension about relative compensation levels between sales and operations threatens the firm's culture.

    Keywords: Growth Management; Compensation and Benefits; Organizational Culture; Quality; Human Resources; Relationships; Innovation and Invention; Consulting Industry; Massachusetts;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., George P. Baker III, and Michael Beer. "Cambridge Technology Partners (A)." Harvard Business School Case 496-005, July 1995. (Revised April 1996.) View Details
  17. Managing for Creativity

    Organizational stimulants and obstacles to creativity are summarized. The management tasks of supporting creativity and encouraging innovation are described as a delicate balance between over-control and chaos. A technology used to assess the climate for creativity is presented.

    Keywords: Innovation and Invention; Management Practices and Processes; Organizational Culture; Creativity; Motivation and Incentives; Technology;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M. "Managing for Creativity." Harvard Business School Background Note 396-271, February 1996. View Details
  18. The Motivation for Creativity in Organizations

    People will be most creative when they feel motivated primarily by the interest, enjoyment, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself--when they are driven by a deep involvement in their work and a passion for it. This note describes the ways in which creativity can be stimulated by this intrinsic motivation, and by certain forms of extrinsic motivation, such as rewards that signal competence or support future achievement. Managerial implications are discussed.

    Keywords: Compensation and Benefits; Managerial Roles; Organizations; Creativity; Motivation and Incentives; Satisfaction;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M. "The Motivation for Creativity in Organizations." Harvard Business School Background Note 396-240, January 1996. View Details
  19. Creativity and Innovation in Organizations

    Creativity, the production of new and useful ideas by individuals or teams, can appear in many forms and many functions within firms of all kinds--from entrepreneurial start-ups to well-established enterprises. This note describes the varieties of creativity in organizations, and dispels common myths about what creativity is. Proposes a method for recognizing creativity, outlines the necessary components for individual creativity, and introduces a model of how organizational influences can affect creativity. Critiques some common methods for enhancing creativity, and discusses how creativity can result in innovation.

    Keywords: Change Management; Entrepreneurship; Collaborative Innovation and Invention; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Organizational Design; Situation or Environment; Creativity;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M. "Creativity and Innovation in Organizations." Harvard Business School Background Note 396-239, January 1996. View Details

Presentations

  1. The Best (and Worst) Days in Creative Project Teams: Some Preliminary Results

    Keywords: Creativity; Groups and Teams; Outcome or Result;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and Steve J. Kramer. "The Best (and Worst) Days in Creative Project Teams: Some Preliminary Results." In Society for Experimental Social Psychology, Boston. Paper presented at the Society for Experimental Social Psychology Annual Conference, Society for Experimental Psychology, Boston, October 01, 2003. View Details
  2. The Influence of Time Pressure on Creative Thinking in Organizations

    Keywords: Creativity; Cognition and Thinking;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., J. S. Mueller, W. B. Simpson, L. Fleming, and C. N. Hadley. "The Influence of Time Pressure on Creative Thinking in Organizations." Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA, August 01–06, 2003. View Details
  3. Perceived Individual Creativity in Organizational Teamwork as a Function of Personality and Gender

    Keywords: Gender Characteristics; Organizations; Groups and Teams; Creativity; Identity; Perception;

    Citation:

    Moneta, Giovanni, Teresa M. Amabile, Elizabeth Schatzel, and Steven J. Kramer. "Perceived Individual Creativity in Organizational Teamwork as a Function of Personality and Gender." Paper presented at the American Psychological Society Annual Convention, New Orleans, June 06–09, 2002. View Details
  4. What Really Happens in Creative Projects: Event Sampling through Electronic Data Collection

    Keywords: Creativity; Projects; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques;

    Citation:

    Amabile, T. M., D. Whitney, J. Weinstock, L. Miller, and C. Fallang. "What Really Happens in Creative Projects: Event Sampling through Electronic Data Collection." Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Boston, August 01, 1997. View Details
  5. Problem Solving Among Computer Science Students: : The Effects of Skill, Evaluation Expectation, and Personality on Solution Quality

    Keywords: Education; Problems and Challenges; Outcome or Result; Social Psychology; Quality;

    Citation:

    Conti, R., and Teresa M. Amabile. "Problem Solving Among Computer Science Students: : The Effects of Skill, Evaluation Expectation, and Personality on Solution Quality." Boston, MA, April 1, 1995. View Details
  6. Work Environments Differ Between Projects High and Low in Creativity

    Keywords: Creativity;

    Citation:

    Conti, R., Teresa M. Amabile, H. Coon, M. A. Collins, J. Lazenby, and M. Herron. "Work Environments Differ Between Projects High and Low in Creativity." Paper presented at the American Psychological Society Annual Convention, Washington, DC, July 01, 1994. View Details
  7. Environmental Determinants of Work Motivation, Creativity, and Innovation: The Case of R&D Downsizing

    Keywords: Motivation and Incentives; Creativity; Innovation and Invention; Research and Development;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., and R. Conti. "Environmental Determinants of Work Motivation, Creativity, and Innovation: The Case of R&D Downsizing." Paper presented at the Conference on Technological Oversights and Foresights, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, March 01, 1994. View Details
  8. Work Environment Differences between High Creativity and Low Creativity Projects

    Keywords: Creativity; Projects;

    Citation:

    Amabile, Teresa M., R. Conti, H. Coon, M. A. Collins, J. Lazenby, and M. Herron. "Work Environment Differences between High Creativity and Low Creativity Projects." Paper presented at the International Creativity and Innovation Networking Conference, Greensboro, NC, September 01, 1992. View Details
  9. Intrinsic Motivation and Artistic Creativity: The Effects of Naturally-Occurring Interest, Affect, and Involvement

    Keywords: Motivation and Incentives; Creativity;

    Citation:

    Collins, M. A., and Teresa M. Amabile. "Intrinsic Motivation and Artistic Creativity: The Effects of Naturally-Occurring Interest, Affect, and Involvement." Paper presented at the Eastern Psychological Association Meeting, Boston, MA, April 1, 1992. View Details
  10. Rape and Physical Attractiveness: Judgements Concerning the Likelihood of Victimization

    Keywords: Crime and Corruption; Attitudes; Safety; Personal Characteristics;

    Citation:

    DeJong, W., Teresa M. Amabile, and M. L. Stubbs. "Rape and Physical Attractiveness: Judgements Concerning the Likelihood of Victimization." Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, New York, September 01, 1979. View Details

Other Publications and Materials