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Creativity In Context: Update To The Social Psychology Of Creativity [Paperback]

by Teresa M Amabile
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 7, 1996 0813330343 978-0813330341
Creativity in Context is an update of The Social Psychology of Creativity, a classic text for researchers, students, and other interested readers. Creativity in Context incorporates extensive new material, going far beyond the original to provide a comprehensive picture of how the motivation for creative behavior, and creativity itself, can be influenced by the social environment.Teresa Amabile describes new findings from both her own research and from the work of many others in the field, detailing not only the ways in which creativity can be killed by social-psychological influences, but also the ways in which it can be maintained and stimulated. The research and the theory have moved beyond a narrow focus on the immediate social environment to a consideration of broad social influences in business organizations, classrooms, and society at large; beyond a documentation of social influences to a consideration of the cognitive mechanisms by which social factors might impact creativity; and beyond subject populations consisting of children and college students to an inclusion of professional artists, research scientists, and other working adults.Amabile describes a greatly expanded set of methodologies for assessing creativity, and introduces a set of methodologies for assessing the social environment for creativity in non-experimental studies. Throughout, the book maintains a clear focus on a comprehensive view of creativity—how the social context can influence motivation and how motivation, in conjunction with personal skills and thinking styles, can lead to the expression of creative behavior within that context. The result is a clarified theory of how creativity actually happens, with strong implications for supporting and increasing essential aspects of human performance.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Teresa M. Amabile is professor of business administration at Harvard University.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Westview Press (June 7, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813330343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813330341
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #947,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Teresa Amabile is the Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration and a Director of Research at Harvard Business School. Originally educated as a chemist, Teresa received her doctorate in psychology from Stanford University. She studies how everyday life inside organizations can influence people and their performance. Teresa's research encompasses creativity, productivity, innovation, and inner work life - the confluence of emotions, perceptions, and motivation that people experience as they react to events at work.

For more about Teresa or The Progress Principle, visit

Teresa recently spoke at TEDxAtlanta. The video from her talk is available here:

Teresa's most recent discoveries appear in her book, The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work. The book, based on research into nearly 12,000 daily diary entries from over 200 professionals inside organizations, illuminates how everyday events at work can impact employee engagement and creative productivity. Published in August 2011 by Harvard Business Review Press, the book is co-authored with Teresa's husband and collaborator, Steven Kramer, Ph.D. Her other books include Creativity in Context and Growing Up Creative. Teresa has published over 100 scholarly articles and chapters, in outlets including top journals in psychology (such as Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and American Psychologist) and in management (Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal). She is also the author of The Work Preference Inventory and KEYS to Creativity and Innovation. Teresa has used insights from her research in working with various groups in business, government, and education, including Procter & Gamble, Novartis International AG, Motorola, IDEO, and the Creative Education Foundation. She has presented her theories, research results, and practical implications in dozens of forums, including the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Young Presidents' Organization annual university, and the Front End of Innovation annual conference.

As an educator, Teresa strives to teach leaders and aspiring leaders ways in which they can simultaneously achieve their most passionate career aspirations, further the success of their organizations and employees, and serve the higher aims of the societies in which they work. At Harvard Business School, Teresa has taught MBA and executive courses on managing for creativity, leadership, and ethics. Previously, at Brandeis University, she taught social psychology, organizational psychology, the psychology of creativity, and statistics. She served as the host-instructor of the 26-part series, Against All Odds: Inside Statistics, originally broadcast on PBS.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
I am a management consultant for major corporations and also write business books. My clients frequently ask me to help them understand how to make their companies more creative. Almost all books on this subject ignore the influence of other people on the creative person. Teresa Amabile does just the opposite, and puts creativity into a context to explain how to establish a creative environment for everyone. This book is an update of her earlier work, and the additions are very valuable. If you are a business person who wants to learn how to grow sales and profits faster, you need to understand the lessons in this book. She wrote a summary of this book recently in HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW that you may want to read, also. CORPORATE CREATIVITY is another good book on this subject.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for students of creativity. October 25, 1998
Outstanding analysis of psychological research on creativity and motivation. Must reading for scholars and laypeople alike who are interested in creativity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic in social creativity January 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an updated classic that any creativity researcher should have on their shelf. It may seem dry to most but it's packed with fantastic information that articulates the need to look at creativity as a social phenomena, not an individual one. I'm an academic so I don't want fluff I want the research, this book does that. It's not written like journal articles so any person can pick it up and read it, I'm just warning that this book is about the research, not some anecdotal stories that follow the author's experiences of "being creative"
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