Leadership-driven Ideation: The Cognitive Effects of Directive Feedbacks on Creativity

Abstract : Leadership and creativity have usually been viewed as antagonist concepts, compromised between two contradictory variables: control and freedom. There is growing evidence that too much leadership control could kill subordinates’ creativity, while in contrary too much freedom could lead them to chaos and disorder. In the past decades, countless researches suggested that in order for creativity to emerge, leaders should grant more freedom and autonomy to their followers. Our hypothesis is that leaders could foster subordinates’ creative ideation capacities by controlling their ideation processes through directive feedbacks. In this study, we explored the influence of directive feedbacks interactively given by a leader at each idea generated by his/her subordinate, throughout a classical creative problem-solving task done online via a distant text conversation. The task consisted of generating as many original solutions as possible that allows that a hen’s egg dropped from a height of ten meters does not break. Results confirmed that leaders’ directive feedbacks were able to drive and guide subordinates’ ideation paths in two distinctive directions, according to leaders’ domain-relevant knowledge and vision for creativity.
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Submitted on : Monday, May 9, 2016 - 2:15:20 PM
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Hicham Ezzat, Marine Agogué, Mathieu Cassotti, Pascal Le Masson, Benoit Weil. Leadership-driven Ideation: The Cognitive Effects of Directive Feedbacks on Creativity. European Academy of Management - EURAM, Jun 2016, Paris, France. ⟨halshs-01298791⟩

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