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SAMF-Fagkomiteen for samfunnsvitenskap

Group Motivation: the Fundamental Mechanism of Business Creativity? (forts etter YFF pr. 162850)

Awarded: NOK 1.3 mill.

The aim of the study is to investigate different levels and forms of group motivation as a general and homogenous mechanism connecting perceptions of the work environment and different variants of organizational creativity. We argue that group motivation can both enhance and diminish the quality and frequency of business creativity and novelty depending on the specific forms of group motivations, the discrepancies between the group's goals and perception of actual achievements, and type of environmental f actors. The unit of analysis is the project group. The Work Environment Inventory (KEYS) instrument will be employed to measure the work environment and creativity in different companies in U.K., Germany, or Norway, or a combination of these countries. Mo tivation will be measured by a new questionnaire reflecting a new mathematical expression formalizing the interaction between environmental factors and the motivations of groups. We expect to validate this new perspective since the ex isting literatures on creativity, motivation, and emotions do not identify specific enough different forms, variants, or levels of neither creativity nor motivations. The primary question that we seek to answer is: "can we systematically initiate, activate, or create the quality and frequency of business creativity by knowing groups motivation profiles?" There is little literature (e.g. Basadur, 1992; Cameron, 1999; Gi lbert & Bower, 2002) on how motivation, in a specific and correct defined way, affect organizational creativity. A problem with the current literature on creativity is that it does not develop and identify specific and deep enough different categories, va riants and forms of neither creativity nor motivation. This leads to the risk of averaging out any effect a specific form of group motivation has on a specific form of business creativity. This is because too abstract categories and variants of motivation or creativity may hide dependencies between sub-categories. We wi ll develop descriptive hierarchies for both motivation and creativity, and test dependencies between these sub-categories. A hierarchy represents different levels of a concepts, were sub-categories "defines" a more abstract level. We propose group motivation to be a general, "universal", and homogenous mechanism underlying the functional connection between work environment and business creativity, although we do not exclude that other mechanisms can operate simultaneously. We argue that organizational creativity is supported, activated, or created by group values (motivations) that uphold their own existence (internal-existing values), e.g. societal and moral values, and justice. The research will be explorative since we categorize the concepts of business creativity and group motivation in new ways and at deeper levels. In addition, arguing that motivation is a general and homogenous mechanism in explaining creativity is also new ; the respective literatures only use motivation as a mechanism through the perspectives of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, i.e. measuring motivation at the most basic and abstract level. A difficulty with the study is that group motivation might be hard to measure since the short-lived character of emotions is part of its definition or description. An implication of the study is that the motivation system and structures of a group can be measured a priori in order to fit the most suitable individuals to obtain certain group characteristics that foster creative projects. This is important since the quality and likely success of business innovations begin here.

Funding scheme:

SAMF-Fagkomiteen for samfunnsvitenskap