At the individual level numerous motivation-related factors have been identified as drivers of creative production. The key ones are presented below:
Intrinsic versus Extrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation is a key driver of creativity (Amabile, 1990; Baron and Harrington, 1981). In fact extrinsic interventions such as rewards and evaluations appear to adversely affect innovation motivation because they appear to redirect attention from “experimenting” to following rules or technicalities of performing a specific task. Furthermore, apprehension about evaluation appears to divert attention away from the innovation because individuals become reluctant to take risks since these risks may be negatively evaluated. On the contrary, in order to be creative, individuals need freedom to take risks, play with ideas and expand the range of considerations from which solutions may emerge.
Open ended, non-structured tasks engender higher creativity than narrow jobs. This occurs by virtue of the fact that people respond positively when they are challenged and provided sufficient scope to generate novel solutions. It appears that it is not the individual who lacks creative potential but it is the organizational expectations that exert a primary debilitating effect upon the individual’s inclination to innovate (Shalley and Oldham, 1985).
Skills and Knowledge
Creativity is affected by relevant skills such as expertise, technical skills, talent etc. However such domain-related skills can have both positive as well as negative consequences. Positively, knowledge enhances the possibility of creating new understanding. Negatively, high domain-relevant skills may narrow the search heuristics to learnt routines and thereby constrain fundamentally new perspectives. This can lead to functional “fixedness”.
At a more macro-level Schneider et al. (1996) suggest that organizations may attract and select persons with matching styles. Organizational culture, as well as other aspects of the organization, may be difficult to change because people who are attracted to the organization may be resistant to accepting new cognitive styles. When a change is forced, those persons attracted by the old organization may leave because they no longer match the newly accepted cognitive style. Among other things, this culture-cognitive style match suggests that organizational conditions (including training programmes) supportive of creativity will be effective only to the extent that the potential and current organizational members know of and prefer these conditions.