Linking Self-Construal to Creativity: The Role of Approach Motivation and Cognitive Flexibility

Yan Shao, Bernard Nijstad, Susanne Täuber



While some evidence has linked the way individuals define themselves in relation to others (independent versus interdependent self-construal) to creativity, little is known about the underlying mechanism in explaining why and how self-construal influences creativity. Integrating approach-avoidance motivation theory and the dual pathway to creativity model, this research focuses on the motivational and cognitive mechanisms that transfer the effects of self-construal on creativity. Specifically, we expect that independent self-construal is a driver of creativity because it facilitates individuals’ approach motivation, which in turn increases flexible information processing. To test the three-stage mediation model, one experiment and one cross- national survey were conducted. In Study 1, in a sample of 236 Dutch students, self-construal was manipulated by a story-writing task; approach- avoidance motivation, cognitive flexibility and creativity were measured. Results of Study 1 showed that approach motivation and cognitive flexibility together mediated the effects of self-construal on creativity. In Study 2, self- construal, approach (and avoidance) motivation, cognitive flexibility and creativity were all measured in a Dutch (147 students) and a Chinese sample (63 students). The results of Study 2 supported the three-stage mediation model in the Dutch sample but not the Chinese sample. Limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftAcademy of Management Proceedings
StatusPublished - 2016
EvenementAcademy of Management Conference : Making Organizations Meaningful - California, Anaheim, United States
Duur: 5-aug.-20169-aug.-2016

Citeer dit