Handbook of Research on Leadership and Creativity
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Handbook of Research on Leadership and Creativity

Edited by Michael D. Mumford and Sven Hemlin

The rapid pace of technological change and globalization of products, competition and services have conspired to place a new premium on innovation for firms across the world. Although many variables influence creativity and innovation, the effective leadership of creative teams has proved especially important. This timely Handbook presents the state of the art for what leaders must do to lead creative teams and how they should do it.
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Chapter 6: Intrinsic motivation and creativity: Opening up a black box

Logan M. Steele, Tristan McIntosh and Cory Higgs


Historically, the link between motivation and creative performance has focused heavily on intrinsic motivation. However, after nearly 30 years of research, the underlying mechanisms of this relationship remain largely a mystery. In this chapter, the authors draw on goal orientation and self-regulation theories of motivation to propose specific paths through which intrinsic motivation may have a positive or negative impact on creative performance, depending on the type of outcome of interest (e.g., radical vs incremental creativity, expected vs proactive creativity). In addition, despite the long-standing belief that extrinsic motivation is bad for creativity, they also propose ways in which extrinsic motivation may in fact prove beneficial. Exploratory and exploitative cognitive processes (e.g., deep learning, self-efficacy) are examined as key mediating mechanisms. They highlight the need for leaders to understand their context and objectives in order to effectively facilitate creative performance.

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