|M.Sc Student||Veinberg Yulia|
|Subject||Attenuating the Trade-off between Novelty and Usefulness|
in Creative Task Performance - The Power of The
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Miriam Erez|
This study explores the influence of situational regulatory focus on both aspects of creative performance - novelty and usefulness - under individual and team settings. Regulatory focus theory distinguishes between two self-regulation systems - promotion focus and prevention focus. Promotion focus is related to growth and development needs and to goals that are associated with people’s hopes, wishes and aspirations, whereas prevention focus is related to security needs and goals that are associated with felt duties, obligations, and responsibilities. While a promotion focus enhances novelty, a prevention focus directs attention to the usefulness of the idea which enables its successful implementation. The present study hypothesized that the different effects of promotion versus prevention focus will be observed in an individual setting. In contrast, in a group setting, the responsibility to other team members directs them toward the attainment of high novelty also when working in a prevention focus situation, and toward the attainment of high usefulness also when working in a promotion focus. The hypotheses were tested in an experiment of a 2 (promotion/prevention focus) by 2 (individual/team setting) factorial design. Participants were 133 students who performed a creative problem solving task. The study provided support for the research hypotheses. Namely, individuals who worked alone were more strongly influenced by the situational effects of promotion and prevention foci. Promotion enhanced novelty and reduced usefulness, whereas prevention enhanced usefulness and decreased novelty. Yet, the team context attenuated the effect of the regulatory focus, leading toward a balanced performance of novelty and usefulness under the two regulatory focus conditions. This finding has important implications for the design of a work setting targeted to enhance creativity.