جنبش بیداری خلاقیت کارمند : نقش هوش عاطفی (هیجانی) رهبر
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1737||2003||24 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Leadership Quarterly, Volume 14, Issues 4–5, August–October 2003, Pages 545–568
Creative activities are affect-laden. Laboring at perhaps the most inspiring and difficult of human endeavors, a creator frequently experiences the excitement of discovery and the anguish of failure. Engaging in creativity in organizations inevitably creates tension, conflict, and emotionally charged debates and disagreements because complex organizations need both control and predictability and creativity and change. In this paper, we describe five routes through which the innate creativity of organizational members can be awakened: identification, information gathering, idea generation, idea evaluation and modification, and idea implementation. We propose that leaders, and in particular, the emotional intelligence of leaders, plays a critical role in enabling and supporting the awakening of creativity through these five complementary routes. After describing theory and research on emotional intelligence, we develop propositions concerning how leaders' emotional intelligence can enable and promote followers' creativity in multiple ways.
While viewing work as a creative endeavor has a long history (Ellsworth, 2002), organizational behavior research on employee creativity in contemporary organizations has emerged only recently as an important and relatively neglected area of scholarly inquiry. The past decade has witnessed a burgeoning of interest in creativity as researchers have sought to understand how creativity can be fostered or encouraged in the workplace and why it sometimes seems so rare (for a review of contemporary creativity research, see Zhou & Shalley, 2003). Much of this body of work has examined contextual or organizational factors that facilitate or inhibit creativity Amabile, 1988 and Amabile, 1996. One key contextual factor that influences employee creativity is leadership Shin & Zhou, in press and Tierney et al., 1999. While previous studies have examined the role specific leadership behaviors play in supporting or suppressing creativity (e.g., George & Zhou, 2001, Oldham & Cummings, 1996, Shin & Zhou, in press, Tierney et al., 1999 and Zhou, 2003), little theory has been developed to pinpoint the roots of these behaviors. In this paper, we suggest that at the root of creativity-supportive leadership behaviors is emotional intelligence. Creativity in organizations is affect-laden. While creative outcomes are often glorified and romanticized, and creative people hailed as geniuses, creativity is an inherently difficult endeavor and entails hard work and frustration (Staw, 1995). As both one of the most inspiring and difficult of human endeavors, creativity involves coming up with something that challenges the status quo. People often feel more comfortable sticking to the routine and familiar, rather than heading down an unfamiliar and risky path (Staw, 1995). Thus, attempting to create something new is often accompanied by anxiety and uncertainty. When a creative activity fails to bear fruit despite the creator's effort, the creator experiences anxiety and despair; when a creative activity shows promise or delivers a satisfactory outcome, the creator experiences excitement and hope (e.g., Csikszentmihalyi, 1996). Compounding the inherent challenge of being creative is the fact that many organizational initiatives aim to influence or control employees to work in predetermined ways to meet specific objectives. As organizations increase in size and complexity, the need for predictability and control of employee behavior seems ever greater. Juxtaposing more traditional research in organizational behavior such as studies on goal setting (Locke & Latham, 1990) with contemporary research on creativity illustrates a fundamental paradox of complex work organizations. On the one hand, organizations are highly dependent upon control systems, standardized practices, and routines to ensure smooth and efficient operations. Yet these systems have the unintended consequence of shutting down the innate creative propensities of organizational members. Every standardized practice, routine, product, service, and technology has the potential to be improved upon or replaced and it is through the creative endeavors of organizational members that such new and better ways of doing things, products, and services come about. However, the fact that such standardized routines, practices, technologies, products, and services exist in an organization often makes it very difficult to generate and implement improvements, even when the external environment strongly signals the need for such improvements. Hence, the often-noted irony that organizations (which spend considerable resources to select and retain highly qualified and capable managers and employees) are often blind to changes in the environment until these changes are very salient to all and their ramifications transparent. The paradox between control and creativity creates tension and conflict between existing systems and practices in organizations and employees attempting to come up with new and better ways of doing things. The tension and conflict put enormous pressure on the employees, and can induce affective states such as frustration and irritation. Numerous attempts at creativity get killed in their infancy because employees fall victim to these emotions. Thus, managing these varying emotions and guiding employees to take advantage of, instead of falling victims to, their emotions is often critical for successful creative outcomes. In this paper, we argue that leaders can play a crucial role in awakening and fostering creativity in organizational members both through their own behaviors and actions and through creating a work environment that supports and encourages creativity. In particular, we propose that emotional intelligence will enable leaders to awaken, encourage, and support creativity among employees in organizations. Our paper unfolds as follows. First, we review research on creativity, the role of leadership in encouraging and sustaining creativity, and the creative process. Then we provide a brief overview of theorizing and research on emotional intelligence. Following this, we propose the mechanisms or routes by which leader emotional intelligence can awaken and foster employee creativity from a process standpoint. We conclude with implications of our analysis.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this paper, we propose how creativity can be awakened through five routes: identification, information gathering, idea generation, idea modification, and idea implementation. Thus, even if an idea has been selected and is in the process of implementation, we propose that it might not necessarily be a creative one and a truly creative idea can emerge from the implementation process itself. Creativity can be awakened through the process of gathering information, generating ideas, or modifying ideas. And identifying problems and opportunities can also serve to awaken creativity, particularly in employees whose work does not revolve around creative endeavors. Thus, rather than suggesting a sequential process, we propose that creativity can be awakened in organizations in multiple, and complementary ways. The need to awaken creativity is particularly important for organizational members engaged in what is typically considered noncreative work. Such employees typically are subject to elaborate and carefully thought out routines and standardized practices to carry out their jobs. While such standardization is necessary in a complex organization, at the same time, organizations need their employees to be able to think beyond following preestablished routines and actively be involved in generating new and useful ideas. We propose that the potential for creativity resides in us all; thus, our metaphor of awakening creativity in employees who are subject to considerable situational constraints and pressures on a day-to-day basis. Of course, creativity is also essential for employees engaged in creative tasks such as research scientists, composers, and designers. Our perspective on core routes to creativity suggests that the creative process is never really over and that leaders and their followers need to have the stamina and flexibility to be open and receptive to creative inspiration even when they are engaged in implementing what was once thought to be a creative idea. During the implementation process, unforeseen problems might arise or new opportunities identified that lead to a truly ground-breaking idea far superior to the one that is currently being implemented. Shifting gears at this late stage, admitting that a superior idea has been identified, and, in a sense, beginning again can be emotionally draining, particularly in the absence of a supportive leader and environment. Leaders who are high on emotional intelligence will be able to both understand how their followers are feeling and why and take the steps needed to give them the courage, optimism, and enthusiasm to flexibly approach creativity no matter how and when it might manifest itself. Solving problems and identifying opportunities, on the surface, would seem to be the most natural route for creativity to emerge in organizations. Yet, the paradox of the need for control and the need for spontaneity and creativity in complex organizations suggests that, at least for a considerable subset of the employed workforce, structures and processes oriented around control can essentially shut down workers' innate creativity. For many workers, problems on the job are seen as a source of frustration and dissatisfaction. Although not all frustration at work can be channeled into creative problem solving, previous theory and research suggests that under favorable conditions, some dissatisfaction with problems at work can provide the impetus for change and creativity March & Simon, 1958, Staw, 1994 and Zhou & George, 2001. Leaders high on emotional intelligence will be able to sense this frustration and importantly to create favorable conditions to channel it into creative problem solving. Such leaders will be attuned to the signaling function of negative affect (i.e., there are problems in need of attention) (Frigda, 1988) and use it to mobilize followers to proactively seek to solve problems and improve conditions. Similarly, leaders high on emotional intelligence will be able to help followers seize opportunities they identify and manage the uncertainty creative efforts entail. Pursuing a risky opportunity entails considerable uncertainty and stress and emotional intelligence will enable leaders to recognize when followers need encouragement and support. In fact, opportunities can create shifts in emotions between enthusiasm and excitement on the one hand and discouragement and anxiety on the other Csikszentmihalyi, 1996, Richards, 1994 and Shaw, 1994. Leaders high on emotional intelligence will help their subordinates manage these emotional swings and use them to their advantage. Gathering information, generating ideas, and modifying ideas all have the potential to be important routes to creativity as they can cause people to think about things in different ways, imagine possibilities heretofore unfathomed, and more generally be free of artificial constraints. Thus, while engaged in such activities, followers and their leaders need to be open to creative ideas that may arise, even if they result in a fundamental shift in thinking (e.g., the problem one is trying to solve is not really a problem; the opportunity one is seeking to pursue is actually indicative of an unforeseen problem). Leaders who are high on emotional intelligence will be able to help their followers be flexible in their information processing such that creative ideas are recognized as such and explored with enthusiasm (George, 2000). Importantly, creativity is often a collective endeavor and involves collaboration and interaction with others. For this reason, in developing our propositions, we discussed issues related to creativity in a social environment, such as conflict and tension, and how leaders' emotional intelligence would enable them to manage affect in groups of employees and create a collective sense of ownership. The group creativity literature is voluminous and an important direction for future theorizing and research is to explore how leaders' and followers' emotional intelligence plays out in groups and teams. Creative endeavors, by their very nature, are affect-laden. Being able to understand the affect surrounding creativity and manage it is an important ability for both those engaged in creative activities and those who are overseeing the process by virtue of their leadership roles. Leaders who are high on emotional intelligence will have the ability to both understand and manage their followers' emotions as well as help their followers to realize how they are feeling, why they are feeling that way, and manage their feelings effectively.