Creativity Under Fire: The Effects of Competition on Creative Production

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Creativity Under Fire: The Effects of Competition on Creative Production

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Title: Creativity Under Fire: The Effects of Competition on Creative Production
Author: Gross, Daniel Pincus
Citation: Gross, Daniel P. "Creativity Under Fire: The Effects of Competition on Creative Production." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 16-109, March 2016. (Revised September 2016.)
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Abstract: Though fundamental to innovation and essential to many industries and occupations, individual creativity has received limited attention as an economic behavior and has historically proven difficult to study. This paper studies the incentive effects of competition on individuals' creative production. Using a sample of commercial logo design competitions, and a novel, content-based measure of originality, I find that intensifying competition induces agents to produce original, untested ideas over tweaking their earlier work, but heavy competition drives them to stop investing altogether. The results yield lessons for the management of creative workers and for the implementation of competitive procurement mechanisms for innovation.
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:26211016
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