growing emphasis on creativity as reflected in novel and appropriate ideas
sometimes overlooks the need to be efficient and meet time and budget
constraints (George & Zhou, 2001). This study investigates under what
conditions the balance between creativity and efficiency is best maintained.
Two studies were conducted: Study-I examined the effects of a dual goal
paradigm with different levels of goal specificity on the best simultaneous
scores of creativity and efficiency. Participants were 124 students, who were
asked to perform a computerized word anagram task, with two sub-goals: a)
generate original words; b) maintain certain cost level, as each letter used
has a certain cost. There were four goal conditions which varied in their level
of specificity. In addition, some personal dispositions were assessed. The
results of experiment 1 demonstrated that when one sub-goal was specific and
the other one was general performance was significantly higher for the specific
than the general goal, hence, creating a trade-off between the two performance measures.
Yet, when the two sub-goals were specific and difficult the overall performance
level was the lowest, compared to all other conditions, and in contrast to the
goal-setting theory. Furthermore, when the two goals were either specific or
general, personal dispositions influenced performance: conscientiousness
negatively affected creative performance while creative self efficacy had a
positive effect on it.
Study-II aimed at testing an additional framing effect which directs
attention towards creativity or towards cost effectiveness, when the two
sub-goals were equal in their level of specificity. Results of Study-II
demonstrated that the framing of efficiency enhanced performance efficiency,
but the creativity framing did not have a significant effect on creative
performance. However, the overall performance score of both sub-goals was
higher under the difficult goal with efficiency framing than with no framing.
Implications of these findings will be further discussed.