Facilitating and rewarding creativity during new product development

James E. Burroughs, Darren W. Dahl, C. Page Moreau, Amitava Chattopadhyay, Gerald Gorn

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


In an effort to improve creativity in the new product development process, many firms offer incentive programs, creativity training programs, or both. However, creativity continues to be a construct that is not well understood in marketing, and little research has examined the joint influence of such initiatives on creative outcomes. As a result, there is considerable variance in the way firms approach these issues. A qualitative study of 20 firms indicates that 15 offered some type of incentive program, whereas only 7 engaged in creativity training (a subset of the firms used both). Given that previous research has consistently found that extrinsic rewards offered in isolation actually undermine the creative process (by reducing intrinsic motivation), it seems that many firms may be unwittingly hampering their own creative efforts. However, two experiments demonstrate that the effect of rewards can be made positive if offered in conjunction with appropriate training. Specifically, product creativity was highest when the monetary reward was paired with a dedicated creative training technique. The training alters the influence of the reward such that it reinforces, rather than undermines, intrinsic motivation. Managers can improve the effectiveness of their creative efforts by leveraging the use of incentives and training in combination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-67
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Marketing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Creativity
  • Creativity training
  • Extrinsic rewards
  • Intrinsic motivation
  • New product development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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