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Facilitating Positive Emotions for Greater Creativity and Innovation

Individual, Relational, and Contextual Dynamics of Emotions

ISBN: 978-1-78754-845-9, eISBN: 978-1-78754-844-2

Publication date: 24 September 2018


Creativity is increasingly vital to competitive advantage. Leaders are under growing pressure to generate a creative output from themselves and their teams, and human capital managers and consultants are increasingly called to facilitate and build a climate that promotes innovation. Positive emotions are beneficial for big picture, creative, innovative thinking (Fredrickson, 2001; Fredrickson & Branigan, 2005; Subramaniam et al., 2009). Negative emotions create more accuracy, bottoms up neural processing, and problem finding (Forgas, 2013; Forgas & Wyland, 2006). This research investigated if induced positive emotions lead to a higher creative output than negative emotions. An online experiment aimed to induce either a positive or negative mood through video clips before participants undertook a creative task. Personality dimensions were also measured to assess how preferences in information processing impacted creative output. The study demonstrated the efficacy of induced mood and concluded that positive emotions seem to be beneficial for creative output, both quantity and quality. The findings add to the considerable data on the impact of emotions on workplace performance (Amabile et al., 2005) and can be directly applied to learning, innovation, and creative thinking interventions in the workplace. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of interventions that facilitate a positive emotional climate and how to increase creative potential and performance.



Langley, S. (2018), "Facilitating Positive Emotions for Greater Creativity and Innovation", Individual, Relational, and Contextual Dynamics of Emotions (Research on Emotion in Organizations, Vol. 14), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 259-270.



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