The effect of game playing, goal orientation, and game difficulty level on subsequent creative new product development outcomes: A multi-process account
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In an effort to bolster employee creativity, companies like Google, Box, and Groupon (to name a few) have adopted indoor work spaces incorporating slides, swings, and unconventional design and color schemes, respectively. While it may be costly and time consuming to change certain aspects of a firm's work environment (e.g., room design) to aid creativity and brainstorming, it is relatively easy for managers to encourage employees to engage in certain forms of unstructured recreation just prior to creative-based work tasks such as cross-functional team new product development sessions. My dissertation addresses an important oversight in the literature by looking at the effect of cognitive game playing, goal orientation, and game difficulty level on subsequent new product development creativity . In experiment 1, I hypothesize (and find) that a cognitive game which engenders a greater degree of fun results in greater creativity on a subsequent new product development task, compared to a cognitive-based game that engenders less fun. I also find that a cognitive-based game which engenders a high degree of fun results in greater creativity on a subsequent new product development task, compared to a control-group. In experiment 2, I propose (and find) that individuals, who are primed with a process goal orientation for a cognitive-based game that engenders a high degree of fun, are more likely to be creative on a subsequent NPD task than those who are primed with an outcome goal orientation. Experiment 3 is to test the potential interactive effect of goal orientation context and game difficulty on the subsequent link between cognitive-based game playing and creativity. I find that creative outcomes are maximized when game difficulty is moderate or high (vs. low) and when a process orientation is primed. Also, the multi-process mechanism is hypothesized that a moderate level of cognitive-based game difficulty results in less resource depletion (vs. a high difficulty level) and a maximum level of fun (vs. a low or a high difficulty level). I find support for less resource depletion (vs. a high difficulty level), whereas I fail to find an evidence for the effect of a maximum level of fun (vs. a low or a high difficulty level). Experiment 4 is designed to replicate findings of experiment 3 by directly manipulating cognitive processing resources. The patterns of findings are consistent to those in experiment 3.