Two Therapeutic Approaches to Creativity Motivation of Management Trainees: An Experiment in Nigeria

By Nwaneri, Ada C. | Journal of Comparative International Management, June 2010 | Go to article overview

Two Therapeutic Approaches to Creativity Motivation of Management Trainees: An Experiment in Nigeria


Nwaneri, Ada C., Journal of Comparative International Management


The purpose of the study is to investigate the effect of problem solving and cognitive restructuring approaches in improving the creativity motivation of management trainees through enhancing their individual creative behaviour. A 3 x 2 factorial design was adopted in this study. The sample of study consisted of 102 subjects randomly drawn from a stratum of management trainees undergoing Masters Program in Business Administration in three Universities in Ibadan, Nigeria. Three validated instruments were used for data collection before and after therapy. Analysis of covariance and t--test statistics were used to test the generated hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The results obtained showed that both the creative problem-solving and cognitive restructuring techniques were effective in improving management trainees' creative behaviour and consequently raising their level of creativity motivation. However, creative problem-solving technique was found to be significantly more effective than cognitive restructuring technique in raising subjects' creativity motivation. The findings also indicated that the intervention strategies were effective in raising the creativity motivation of both Type A and Type B personality subjects. However, while problem-solving technique was more effective for Type B personality subjects, cognitive restructuring technique was found to have more effect in raising the level of creativity motivation of Type A subjects. Based on the outcome of the study, managers and researchers wishing to foster motivation for creativity in the organizations can do so, not only by paying attention to work environments that enhance creativity motivation, but also by trying to improve the creative behaviour of individuals at work using these or similar intervention measures.

Introduction

Creativity is the production, conceptualization, or development of a useful idea that may include processes and procedures (Shalley, Gilson and Blum, 2000). It is a key player in all spheres of human progress and has become increasingly important in this epoch of rapid technological advancements. As House (2003) notes: "No matter how stable an industry is, today it is changing at least 10 times faster than 25 years ago," organizations need to be creative to achieve high levels of productivity and to survive. Bingham (2001) putting it bluntly states: "It is a question of innovate or die". Thus, creativity is a crucial capability that organizations need to foster in their employees.

To enhance the creativity of individuals at work, Amabile (1998) and Adams (2006) argue that a confluence of the three components of expertise, creative thinking skills and motivation (especially intrinsic motivation) are needed. Motivation is, therefore, an important factor in creative production. Creativity motivation is the drive and interest in creativity. It is when one is creatively motivated that it becomes easier to identify problems that need to be resolved, perceive the need for change and with interest and passion commit oneself creatively to the implementation of change.

Nakamura and Csikzentmihalyi (2002) note that motivational attributions play more important roles in individuals than those who change the culture for particular cognitive attributes. There are some literatures indicating that motivation in creativity and innovation is more important than personality trait (Bishop, 2005). Thus, it is not just a matter of creative personality or intelligence, but the one with motivation to improve or develop something that matters. To be creative, one must be motivated. Amabile (1998) states that to influence intrinsic motivation in the work place means to influence knowledge and creative thinking styles which are longer term pursuits (cited in Adams 2006).

Some studies have shown that intrinsic motivation--which is the motivation to engage in activity primarily for the interest in the task--and the sense that something is worth doing for its own sake has more positive influence in creative output than extrinsic motivation. …

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