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Paradoxical frames and creative sparks: Enhancing individual creativity through conflict and integration

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  • Miron-Spektor, Ella
  • Gino, Francesca
  • Argote, Linda

Abstract

Across industries, organizations operate in increasingly complex and uncertain environments. To succeed in such environments, organizations require their members to think creatively and integrate conflicting demands. We propose that the adoption of paradoxical frames—mental templates that encourage individuals to recognize and embrace contradictions—increases creativity. In four laboratory studies using different creativity tasks and different manipulations for eliciting paradoxical frames, participants who adopted paradoxical frames were more creative than their counterparts who did not. Our results suggest that the positive influence of paradoxical frames on creativity is due to the paradoxical relationship between task elements and not merely to their joint activation. This paradoxical relationship creates a sense of conflict in individuals and enhances their ability to integrate contradictions, which in turn increases creativity.

Suggested Citation

  • Miron-Spektor, Ella & Gino, Francesca & Argote, Linda, 2011. "Paradoxical frames and creative sparks: Enhancing individual creativity through conflict and integration," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 229-240.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:116:y:2011:i:2:p:229-240
    DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2011.03.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paulus, Paul B. & Yang, Huei-Chuan, 2000. "Idea Generation in Groups: A Basis for Creativity in Organizations," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 76-87, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Miron-Spektor, Ella & Beenen, Gerard, 2015. "Motivating creativity: The effects of sequential and simultaneous learning and performance achievement goals on product novelty and usefulness," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 53-65.
    2. Kim, Yeun Joon & Zhong, Chen-Bo, 2017. "Ideas rise from chaos: Information structure and creativity," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 15-27.

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