Leader Behaviors and the Work Environment for Creativity: Perceived Leader Support
-by Teresa Amabile, Elizabeth A. Schatzel, Giovanni B. Moneta, and Steven J. Kramer

Employees’ perceptions of team leader support

POSITIVE when the leader engages in 4 types of effective behavior:

(1) monitoring the work effectively
-giving timely feedback and reacting to problems in the work with understanding and help;

(2) providing socioemotional support
-showing support for a team member’s actions or decisions;
-helping alleviate stressful situations for subordinates;
-keeping team members informed about stressful situations;
-addressing subordinates’ negative feelings;
-disclosing personal information;

(3) recognizing good work privately and publicly; and

(4) consulting subordinates about the work
-asking for team members’ ideas and opinions;
-acting on subordinates’ ideas or wishes.

MORE NEGATIVE when the leader engaged in 3 types of ineffective behavior:

(1) monitoring the work ineffectively
-checking on the status of assigned work too often;
-displaying an inadequate understanding of subordinates’ capabilities or work;
-providing nonconstructive negative feedback on work done;
-checking on the status of assigned work for too long;
-displaying lack of interest in subordinates’ work or ideas;

(2) failing to effectively clarify roles and objectives
-giving assignments that are not appropriate for the team member;
-not providing enough clarity about an assignment;
-changing assignments or objectives too frequently;
-giving assignments that conflict with other management instructions;

(3) dealing with problems ineffectively
-avoiding solving problems;
-creating problems.

Creative Thinking
Creative Thinking
On a

People are focused and protected, have a sense of doing important work
On a

People are not focused, are distracted, fragmented activities, many more meetings with multiple people instead of individuals
On an

Collaboration with one person rather than multiple people, exploring rather than problem solving

Low level of collaborative work, more meetings with multiple people, little encouragement for creativity

Pictorial representation of Prof. Teresa Amabile’s "Time Pressure and Creative Thinking Matrix" presented at the FEE Conference.

According to research by Prof. Amabile, the higher the time-pressure on a given day, lower is the likelihood of creative thinking that day and also the next day.
I also made one observation. One statement in the research results says that “People reported feeling more creative on time pressured days.” Although the research proves the opposite, it is common for professionals in any high pressure job to feel that way. When the pressure is more, you tend to “get more done”. So the point is not that you have become more creative, it’s just that you do more. And most likely that “more” will not be as efficient as it would have been without as much pressure.