Breakthrough Recognition: Competing for Attention

Working Papers

There is anecdotal evidence that some researchers are able to generate commercially successful ideas repeatedly, while others, albeit able to generate ideas, are much less consistent at generating commercially successful ones. However, there is limited work on drivers that lead to high rates of generation of commercially successful ideas.Read More

Idea Generation and the Role of Feedback: Evidence from Field Experiments with Innovation Tournaments

Published Research

In many innovation settings, ideas are generated over time and managers face a decision about if and how to provide in-process feedback to the idea generators about the quality of submissions. In this article, we use design contests allowing repeated entry to examine the effect of in-process feedback on idea generation.Read More

Culture of Meritocracy and Innovation: How Firm Culture Can Motivate Effort, Performance, and Creativity

Funded Research Proposal

Companies often showcase achievements of high performing “stars” to recognize them, but also motivate observing employees. However, “star” recognition can have both beneficial and detrimental effects on observing employees. Read More

Balancing on the Creative High-Wire: Forecasting the Success of Novel Ideas in Organizations

Published Research

Betting on the most promising new ideas is key to creativity and innovation in organizations, but predicting the success of novel ideas can be difficult. To select the best ideas, creators and managers must excel at “creative forecasting”—i.e., predicting the outcomes of new ideas.Read More

The Double-Edged Sword of Recombination in Breakthrough Innovation

Published Research

We explore the double-edged sword of recombination in generating breakthrough innovation: recombination of distant or diverse knowledge is needed because knowledge in a narrow domain might trigger myopia, but recombination can be counterproductive when local search is needed to identify anomalies.Read More

On the Origin of Species of Ideas: The Role of Randomness and Selectiveness in Creativity

Funded Research Proposal

This research is aimed at understanding the conditions under which randomness vs. selectiveness is more or less conducive to creativity in organizations. In a series of experiments, the study will test the effectiveness of random (chance-based) approaches vs. selective (skill-based) approaches to developing creative ideas.Read More

Recognizing creative leadership: Can creative idea expression negatively relate to perceptions of leadership potential? 

Published Research

Drawing on and extending prototype theories of creativity and leadership, we theorize that the expression of creative ideas may diminish judgments of leadership potential unless the charismatic leadership prototype is activated in the minds of social perceivers. Study 1 shows creative idea expression is negatively related to perceptions of leadership potential in a sample of employees working in jobs that required creative problem solving.Read More

Why seeking help from teammates is a blessing and a curse:  A theory of help seeking and individual creativity in team contexts

Published Research

Research has not explored the extent to which seeking help from teammates positively relates to a person’s own creativity. This question is important to explore as help seeking is commonly enacted in organizations and may come with reciprocation costs that may also diminish creativity.Read More

Opportunity Spaces in Innovation: Empirical Analysis of Large Samples of Ideas

Published Research

A common approach to innovation, parallel search, is to identify a large number of opportunities and then to select a subset for further development, with just a few coming to fruition. One potential weakness with parallel search is that it permits repetition. The same, or a similar, idea might be generated multiple times.Read More

Idea Generation and the Quality of the Best Idea

Published Research

In a wide variety of settings, organizations generate a number of possible solutions to a problem—ideas—and then select a few for further development. We examine the effectiveness of two group structures for such tasks—the team structure, in which the group works together in time and space, and the hybrid structure, in which individuals first work independently and then work together.Read More

The Bias Against Creativity: Why People Desire But Reject Creative Ideas

Published Research

People often reject creative ideas even when espousing creativity as a desired goal. To explain this paradox, we propose that people can hold a bias against creativity that is not necessarily overt, and which is activated when people experience a motivation to reduce uncertainty.Read More