MORE TASKS, MORE IDEAS: THE ENERGY SPILLOVER OF MULTITASKING ON SUBSEQUENT CREATIVITY Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 20, 2019
Creator
  • Kapadia, Chaitali
    • Affiliation: Kenan-Flagler Business School
Abstract
  • In this dissertation, I propose that multitasking behavior has a beneficial influence on subsequent creativity. By drawing on theories of energy, I propose that multitasking behavior induces a higher level of activation, which in turn, positively influences downstream creative performance. I empirically examine this model in three studies: two laboratory experiments and a field study with restaurant servers; the studies yield convergent findings across different measures of multitasking and creativity. Results from the first laboratory experiment provide support for a positive relationship between multitasking and subsequent creative performance and demonstrate that this effect is specific to creative performance and not task performance. Results from the second laboratory experiment provide support for multitasking indirectly increasing creative performance through higher activation on two of three creativity measures. Results from the field study suggest that multitasking improves creative performance indirectly through activation, and that a person’s dispositional preference for multitasking, polychronicity, moderates this relationship such that the effect of multitasking on activation is stronger for someone who prefers not to multitask. Together this work yields important theoretical and practical implications about managing creativity in the fast-paced contemporary workplace.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Melwani, Shimul
  • Payne, B. Keith
  • Christian, Michael
  • Pearsall, Matthew
  • Fragale, Alison
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017
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