Far from muddling one’s thinking, being under pressure helps workers come up with creative solutions to difficult problems. So says the University of Exeter’s Business School.
Its analysis of problem-solving in the subsidiaries or regional offices of 27 large multinational companies (MNCs) found a direct link between the pressure staff are under to solve a problem and the creativity of their solution.
Researchers point out that small teams are more effective than large ones in problem-solving, finding that the greater the number of staff involved in coming up with a solution, the less creative it is likely to be. Nor does seeking information from outside one’s own unit produce a more creative solution.
Boundary Capabilities in MNCs: Knowledge Transformation for Creative Solution Development was written in collaboration with University College Dublin and the National University of Ireland and published in the Journal of Management Studies.