Ordinary creativity as a process: How crisis generates and sustains creative cycles

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Abstract

We follow a systemic view of creativity, emphasizing everyday creative processes’ dynamics, continuity, and influence of the external environment to investigate how crises generate and sustain creative cycles. Based on an inductive qualitative study derived from data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic from informants who created services to help society respond to problems caused by the pandemic, we explore how connections between creators and the intended beneficiaries of their work can encourage subsequent cycles of creativity. We contribute to expanding knowledge on creative cycles and related incentives showing that changes on the intended beneficiary of creative work - benefit others or self-interest - can exert a positive influence on individuals' enthusiasm to continue their efforts throughout the creative process. These changes may serve as a spark reinforcing creator's persistence to re-engage in creative cycles; therefore, we suggest that prosocial motivation and self-interest can be complementary, synergistically sustaining individuals' persistence for creativity. Furthermore, we emphasize that individuals’ engagement in subsequent cycles of creativity depends on their ability to explore external environmental conditions, such as identifying opportunities. We recommend that pursuing potential opportunities to solve current problems highlighted by crises is more likely to be successful in the long run then attempt to solve problems created by crises; thus, we propose that crises can play an essential role in generating innovations by encouraging individuals to create ideas to solve already existing problems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
Volume2022
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022

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