Structural and financial constraints - enabling or inhibiting creativity?
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- Master Thesis 
Although creativity is a widely studied concept, the relationship between constraints and creativity is still a topic that offers a great deal of conflicting views. Moreover, constrained creativity processes seem to be widely implemented throughout the business sector. The aim of this thesis is therefore to provide insight and contribute to a deeper understanding of the relationship between constraints and creativity. This will be done by investigating whether financial and/or task structure constraints enable or inhibit creativity, measuring and comparing mean creativity scores (average effects) and the most creative ideas (extreme value effects). We will further examine whether the average and extreme value effects of a financial constraint is dependent on task structure, and whether bounded and unbounded creativity processes are moderated by approach and/or avoidance motivation. Approach motivated individuals are directed by positive and desirable opportunities, while avoidance motivated individuals are directed by avoiding negative and undesirable outcomes. To investigate these relationships, we have conducted an online ideation experiment. Creativity is measured through appropriateness and novelty, individually. Our results indicate that constraints enable average creativity, while inhibiting extreme value creativity. Moreover, the effect of a constrained creativity processes depends on whether the inventor is approach or avoidance motivated. Our results will now be described in more detail. Financial and task structure constrains are found to have a significant, positive affect on mean novelty, and a zero effect on mean appropriateness. Financial and task structure constraints are found to have a significant, negative affect on both the appropriateness and the novelty extreme value score. Further, our findings suggest that the effect of a financial constraint on creativity is strengthened by a task structure constraint. Approach motivated individuals are found to be less creative when being constrained, while avoidance motivated individuals are found to be more creative in constrained conditions.