A new perspective on time pressure and creativity: Distinguishing employees' radical versus incremental creativity

Yong Zhang, Hao Qu, Frank Walter, Wu Liu, Mingxuan Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The role of time pressure on individual employees' creativity remains ambiguous, with prior studies reporting positive, negative, and curvilinear relations. The present research aims to address this issue. Drawing from the attentional focus model, we (a) distinguish the consequences of time pressure for radical versus incremental creativity and (b) introduce external and internal knowledge scanning as distinct mediating mechanisms. Moreover, we cast employees' long-range and short-range planning as moderators of the indirect time pressure–creativity linkages. Time-lagged data from 203 employees and their supervisors revealed that time pressure hampered employees' radical creativity by undermining their external scanning, with long-range planning alleviating this negative indirect relationship. In contrast, we found an indirect, inverted U-shaped linkage between time pressure and incremental creativity through internal scanning. Unexpectedly, this indirect relation was not contingent on employees' short-range planning. These results offer a new theoretical perspective that helps to reconcile previous, seemingly contradictory findings on the relationship between time pressure and creativity. Moreover, our results offer practical implications for modern workplaces that require employees' creative contributions under conditions of time scarcity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1400-1418
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Volume44
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2023

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