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Follow the Crowd in a New Direction: When Conformity Pressure Facilitates Group Creativity (And When It Does Not)

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Adopting a person by situation interaction approach, we identified conditions under which conformity pressure can either stifle or boost group creativity depending on the joint effects of norm content and group personality composition. Using a 2 x 2 x 2 experimental design, we hypothesized and found that pressure to adhere to an individualistic norm boosted creativity in groups whose members scored low on the Creative Personality Scale (Gough, 1979), but stifled creativity in groups whose members scored high on that measure. Our findings suggest that conformity pressure may be a viable mechanism for boosting group creativity, but only among those who lack creative talent.

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2011-01-01

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group creativity; conformity pressure; individualism-collectivism; group personality composition

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Required Publisher Statement: © Elsevier. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. Final version to be published as: Goncalo, J. A. & Duguid, M. M. (in press). Follow the crowd in a new direction: When conformity pressure facilitates group creativity (and when it does not) [Electronic version]. Organizational Behavior & Human Development Processes.

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