Idea Generation

Zoning out or Breaking Through? Linking Daydreaming to Creativity in the Workplace

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Much has been written about the liabilities of mind wandering in the workplace. Given its prevalence, however, mind wandering may carry underappreciated benefits—especially with respect to creativity. Examining this possibility, we hypothesize that mind wandering involving imaginative thoughts, also known as “daydreams,” has the potential to spur creativity. We develop a theoretical model in which we examine two facets of daydreams based on their content: problem-oriented daydreams and bizarre daydreams. In addition, we specify an antecedent condition that produces such daydreams (cognitively demanding work; Studies 1 & 2), as well as a boundary condition of the effects of daydreaming on creativity (professional identification; Study 2). Our results indicate that among professionally identified individuals, daydreaming carries noteworthy benefits for creativity but also that daydreaming can impair performance in the absence of professional identification.

On the Emergence of Collective Psychological Ownership in New Creative Teams

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We develop and test a theoretical model that explains how collective psychological ownership—shared feelings of joint possession over something—emerges within new creative teams that were launched to advance one person’s (i.e., a creative lead’s) preconceived idea. Our model proposes that such teams face a unique challenge—an initial asymmetry in feelings of psychological ownership for the idea between the creative lead who conceived the idea and new team members who are beginning to work on the idea. We suggest that the creative lead can resolve this asymmetry and foster the emergence of collective psychological ownership by enacting two interpersonal behaviors—help seeking and territorial marking. These behaviors build collective ownership by facilitating the unifying centripetal force of team identification and preventing the divisive centrifugal force of team ownership conflict. Our model also proposes that collective ownership positively relates to the early success of new creative teams.

Protecting the Turf: The Effect of Territorial Marking on Others’ Creativity

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Territorial marking allows people to communicate that a territory has been claimed. Across 2 studies, we examine the impact of territorial marking of one’s ideas on others’ invited creativity when asked to provide feedback. Integrating research on territoriality and self-construal, we examine the effect of control-oriented marking on invited creativity (Study 1), and the extent to which an independent versus interdependent self-construal moderates this effect (Study 2). Results of Study 1 demonstrate that the use of control-oriented marking to communicate a territorial claim over one’s ideas inhibits invited creativity, and this effect is mediated by intrinsic motivation. Also consistent with our hypotheses, the results of Study 2 show that self-construal moderates the effect of control-oriented marking on others’ intrinsic motivation and creativity. Marking diminishes invited creativity among people with an independent self-construal but serves to enhance the creativity of those with an interdependent self-construal.