Teresa M. Amabile

16 Results

 

J. Richard Hackman (1940-2013)

This paper—a tribute to the lifework of the late scholar J. Richard Hackman, a professor of social and organizational psychology at Harvard—recalls his many contributions to our understanding of work design and team effectiveness. As the authors note, Hackman's research changed the face of work design in countless industries, from service and manufacturing jobs, to education, health care, and the performing arts. His theory (with Greg Oldham) of job characteristics, and his evidence about how one could redesign and enrich jobs, made it possible for workers not only to perform well but also to develop and make meaningful contributions through their work. The author or coauthor of 10 books on group effectiveness, Hackman revitalized teams research with his insights into the conditions under which effective collective work processes emerge. Read More

Helping You Help Me: The Role of Diagnostic (In)Congruence in the Helping Process within Organizations

Coming up with new ideas and solving difficult problems in modern organizations is increasingly accomplished through collaboration and teamwork. Often when people collaborate to tackle a knowledge-intensive project, they still need external help to achieve their goals: advice, assistance with task completion, team coaching, mentoring, and/or socio-emotional support. Yet we know little about the helping process itself. Indeed, sometimes helping attempts are useless, or worse. By conducting a field study of helping in a major design firm, the authors of this paper analyzed how the helping process unfolded. In particular, they focused on aspects of the process, differentiating episodes that employees assessed as successful from those they deemed unsuccessful. They discovered that the key differentiator was whether the helper and the person being helped established "diagnostic congruence" at the outset - a shared understanding of the state of the project and what sort of help was needed. Overall, the study contributes to our understanding of helping in organizations by discovering the interactional influences on the success of a helping episode. It also sheds light on help from a process perspective, highlights the importance of timing in aspects of the process, and uncovers the prominent role of emotion in perceptions of unsuccessful helping. Read More

Componential Theory of Creativity

The componential theory of creativity is recognized as one of the major theories of creativity in individuals and in organizations, serving as a partial foundation for several other theories and for many empirical investigations. It was first articulated by Teresa Amabile in 1983 and has undergone considerable evolution since then. In essence the theory is a comprehensive model of the social and psychological components necessary for an individual to produce creative work. The theory specifies that creativity requires a confluence of four components: Creativity should be highest when 1) an intrinsically motivated person with 2) high domain expertise and 3) high skill in creative thinking 4) works in an environment high in supports for creativity. Read More

How Small Wins Unleash Creativity

In their new book, The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work, authors Teresa M. Amabile and Steven J. Kramer discuss how even seemingly small steps forward on a project can make huge differences in employees' emotional and intellectual well-being. Amabile talks about the main findings of the book. Plus: book excerpt. Closed for comment; 12 Comments posted.

Getting to Eureka!: How Companies Can Promote Creativity

As global competition intensifies, it's more important than ever that companies figure out how to innovate if they are going to maintain their edge, or maintain their existence at all. Six Harvard Business School faculty share insights on the best ways to develop creative workers. Closed for comment; 20 Comments posted.

The Most Important Management Trends of the (Still Young) Twenty-First Century

HBS Dean Nitin Nohria and faculty look backward and forward at the most important business trends of the young twenty-first century. Read More

Sharpening Your Skills: Managing Teams

The ability to lead teams is fast becoming a critical skill for all managers in the 21st century. Here are four HBS Working Knowledge stories from the archives that address everything from how teams learn to turning individual performers into team players. Read More

Getting Down to the Business of Creativity

Business leaders must manage and support creativity just as they would any other asset. Harvard Business School professors Teresa Amabile, Mary Tripsas, and Mukti Khaire discuss where creativity comes from, how entrepreneurs use it, and why innovation is often a team sport. From the HBS Alumni Bulletin. Read More

The Power of Ordinary Practices

Seemingly mundane things that managers do can have great impact on their workers, says Professor Teresa Amabile. In this conversation with Professor Mike Roberts, she updates her ongoing research on creativity in the workplace by investigating how people's intense inner work lives affect their productivity—and how managers can encourage production. Read More

How Team Leaders Show Support–or Not

What does a team leader do so that employees know they are being supported? A Q&A with HBS professor and creativity expert Teresa Amabile about new research. Read More

Time Pressure and Creativity: Why Time is Not on Your Side

Even as time pressures increase in corporate life, the need for creative thinking has never been greater, says Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile. Read More

John Irving’s Lessons for Business

John Irving might seem an unlikely candidate to teach managers and business leaders how to foster creativity in their organizations. Not so, found HBS professor Teresa Amabile. Read More

Minding the Muse: The Impact of Downsizing on Corporate Creativity

HBS Professor Teresa Amabile's in-house study of creativity at a high-tech Fortune 500 firm took on new implications when the company began a significant reduction in the size of its global workforce. Expanding the research to measure changes in the creative environment during and after the layoffs, Amabile and colleague Regina Conti of Colgate University showed that downsizing can have surprising effects on the creativity of remaining employees and the company's strategic position in the marketplace. Read More

The Intellectual Underpinnings of Entrepreneurial Management

The term entrepreneur — literally, "undertaker"—has been around for over two centuries, but attempts to define it have remained elusive. In this excerpt from their article "Entrepreneurial Management: In Pursuit of Opportunity," HBS Professors Howard H. Stevenson and Teresa M. Amabile look back at the roots of entrepreneneurship as an academic field of interest and ahead to what they believe will be "the entrepreneur's century." Read More