In the modern fast-paced workplace, employees are required to be creative under various levels of stress. In understanding the relationship between stress and creativity, organizational scholars and practitioners have largely focused on how stress affects cognition, while overlooking the role that physiological responses to stress might play in creative performance. The present paper draws upon psychophysiological theories of stress to highlight that the effect of stress on creative performance critically depends on whether stress-inducing situations engender "challenge" physiological states (i.e., fluid physiological stress responses) or "threat" physiological states (i.e., constrictive physiological stress responses). We integrate extant physiological and organizational theories of stress into research on creativity, identify physiological stress responses as overlooked mechanisms that can help explain why stress differentially affects creativity, and provide practical information about how organizational scholars can incorporate physiological measures into research on creativity.
Akinola, Modupe, C. Kapadia, G.J. Lu, and Malia Mason. "Incorporating physiology into creativity research and practice: The effects of bodily stress responses on creativity in organizations." Academy of Management Perspectives 33, no. 2 (2019): 163-184.
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