Disentangling the Creative Process: an Examination of Differential Antecedents and Outcomes for Specific Process Elements

Gerben Tolkamp, Tim Vriend, Bart Verwaeren, Roni Reiter-Palmon, Bernard Nijstad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Building on theories of sensemaking, this study demonstrates the importance of disentangling the creative process. Specifically, we show that the specific elements of the creative process (problem construction, information search and encoding, and idea generation) are differentially related to both antecedents and specific types of creative outcomes. Using survey data from employees and their supervisors from a wide variety of organizations, we found that leader creative expectations were more strongly related to idea generation than to problem construction and to information search and encoding. Job autonomy, in contrast, was significantly related to problem construction, but not to information search and encoding or idea generation. Furthermore, we found that although idea generation is positively related to both radical and incremental creativity, problem construction is only positively related to radical creativity. We discuss implications for the study of creative processes and creativity more generally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Business and Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Creative process
  • Employee creativity
  • Job autonomy
  • Leader creative expectations
  • Sensemaking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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