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23. Stimulate Creativity by Fueling Passion

Teresa M. Amabile

Subject Business and Management » Organizational Behavior

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631215066.2003.00024.x


People will be most creative when they feel motivated primarily by the interest, enjoyment, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself – and not by external pressures. This is the “Intrinsic Motivation Principle of Creativity’ ( Amabile, 1996 ), and it suggests that the social environment, particularly the presence or absence of external pressures in that environment, can influence creativity by influencing people's passion for their work. Managers can influence the level of creativity in their organizations by establishing work environments that support passion for the work. Intrinsic motivation is the motivation to do work because it is interesting, engaging, or positively challenging. In its highest form, it is called passion and can lead to complete absorption in the work ( Csikszentmihalyi, 1990 ). The elements that make up intrinsic motivation include a sense of self-determination in doing the work (rather than a sense of being a pawn of someone else), a feeling that one's skills are being both fully utilized and further developed, and positive feelings about the work, which may be akin to positive affect or positive emotion (e.g., deCharms, 1968 ; Deci and Ryan, 1985 ; Lepper and Greene, 1978 ). A considerable body of research over the past 25 years (conducted with both children and adults) has demonstrated that external pressures in the work environment, also called ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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