We develop a dual-tuning perspective concerning how positive and negative moods interact to influence creativity in supportive contexts. Using data on employees in an oil field services company, we hypothesized and found that when supervisors provided a supportive context for creativity and positive mood was high, negative mood had a strong, positive relation to creativity, with creativity being the highest when the context was supportive and both positive and negative moods were high. We explored three alternative ways in which supervisors can provide a supportive context: by providing developmental feedback, by displaying interactional justice, and by being trustworthy.


  • Aiken and West, 1991 Aiken L. S., West S. G. 1991. Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Google Scholar
  • Amabile, 1988 Amabile T. M. 1988. A model of creativity and innovation in organizations. In Staw B. M.Cummings L. L. (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior, vol. 10: 123–167. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press. Google Scholar
  • Anderson and Gerbing, 1988 Anderson J. C., Gerbing D. W. 1988. Structural equation modeling in practice: A review and recommended two-step approach. Psychological Bulletin, 103: 411–423. Google Scholar
  • Bies, 2005 Bies R. J. 2005. Are procedural justice, interactional justice conceptually distinct? In Greenberg J.Colquitt J. A. (Eds.), Handbook of organizational justice: 85–112. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Google Scholar
  • Clore, Gaspar and Garvin, 2001 Clore G. L., Gaspar K., Garvin E. 2001. Affect as information. In Forgas J. P. (Ed.), Handbook of affect and social cognition: 121–144. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Google Scholar
  • Colquitt, Greenberg and Zapata-Phelan, 2005 Colquitt J. A., Greenberg J., Zapata-Phelan C. P. 2005. What is organizational justice? A historical overview. In Greenberg J.Colquitt J. A. (Eds.), Handbook of organizational justice: 3–56. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Google Scholar
  • Diener and Iran-Nejad, 1986 Diener E., Iran-Nejad A. 1986. The relationship in experience between various types of affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50: 1031–1038. Google Scholar
  • Edmondson, 1999 Edmondson A. 1999. Psychological safety and learning behavior in work teams. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44: 350–383. Google Scholar
  • Fiedler, 1988 Fiedler K. 1988. Emotional mood, cognitive style, and behavior regulation. In Fiedler K.Forgas J. (Eds.), Affect, cognition and social behavior: 101–119. Toronto: J. Hogrefe. Google Scholar
  • Forgas and Vargas, 2000 Forgas J. P., Vargas P. T. 2000. The effects of mood on social judgments and reasoning. In Lewis M.Haviland-Jones J. M. (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (2nd ed.): 350–367. New York: Guilford. Google Scholar
  • Fredrickson, 2001 Fredrickson B. L. 2001. The role of positive emotions in positive psychology. American Psychologist, 56: 218–226. Google Scholar
  • Fredrickson and Losada, 2005 Fredrickson B. L., Losada M. F. 2005. Positive affect and the complex dynamics of human flourishing. American Psychologist, 60: 678–686. Google Scholar
  • Frijda, 1988 Frijda N. H. 1988. The laws of emotion. American Psychologist, 43: 349–358. Google Scholar
  • Gasper, 2003 Gasper K. 2003. When necessity is the mother of invention: Mood and problem solving. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39: 248–262. Google Scholar
  • George and Zhou, 2002 George J. M., Zhou J. 2002. Understanding when bad moods foster creativity and good ones don't: The role of context and clarity of feelings. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87: 687–697. Google Scholar
  • Greenberg, 1993 Greenberg J. 1993. The social side of fairness: Interpersonal and informational classes of justice. In Cropanzano R. (Ed.), Justice in the workplace: Approaching fairness in human resource management: 79–103. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Google Scholar
  • Hirt, Melton, McDonald and Harackiewicz, 1996 Hirt E. R., Melton R. J., McDonald H. E., Harackiewicz J. M. 1996. Processing goals, task interest, and mood-performance relationship: A mediational analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71: 245–261. Google Scholar
  • Hu and Bentler, 1999 Hu L., Bentler P. M. 1999. Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternative. Structural Equation Modeling, 6: 1–55. Google Scholar
  • Isen, Daubman and Nowicki, 1987 Isen A. M., Daubman K. A., Nowicki G. P. 1987. Positive affect facilitates creative problem solving. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52: 1122–1131. Google Scholar
  • Isen, Johnson, Mertz and Robinson, 1985 Isen A. M., Johnson M. M. S., Mertz E., Robinson G. R. 1985. The influence of positive affect on the unusualness of word associations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48: 1413–1426. Google Scholar
  • Jamison, 1993 Jamison K. R. 1993. Touched with fire: Manic-depressive illness and the artistic temperament. New York: Free Press. Google Scholar
  • Jamison, 1995 Jamison K. R. 1995. Manic-depressive illness and creativity. Scientific American, 272(2): 62–67. Google Scholar
  • Kaufmann, 2003 Kaufmann G. 2003. The effect of mood on creativity in the innovation process. In Shavinina L. V. (Ed.), The international handbook on innovation: 191–203. Oxford, U.K.: Elsevier Science. Google Scholar
  • Kaufmann and Vosburg, 1997 Kaufmann G., Vosburg S. K. 1997. “Paradoxical” mood effects on creative problem-solving. Cognition and Emotion, 11: 151–170. Google Scholar
  • Kaufmann and Vosburg, 2002 Kaufmann G., Vosburg S. K. 2002. The effects of mood on early and late idea production. Creativity Research Journal, 14: 317–330. Google Scholar
  • Lewicki, Wiethoff and Tomlinson, 2005 Lewicki R. J., Wiethoff C., Tomlinson E. C. 2005. What is the role of trust in organizational justice? In Greenberg J.Colquitt J. A. (Eds.), Handbook of organizational justice: 247–270. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Google Scholar
  • Lewis and Wiegert, 1985 Lewis J. D., Wiegert A. 1985. Trust as a social reality. Social Forces, 63: 967–985. Google Scholar
  • Madjar, Oldham and Pratt, 2002 Madjar N., Oldham G. R., Pratt M. G. 2002. There's no place like home? The contributions of work and nonwork creativity support to employees' creative performance. Academy of Management Journal, 45: 757–767.AbstractGoogle Scholar
  • Martin and Stoner, 1996 Martin L. L., Stoner P. 1996. Mood as input: What we think about how we feel determines how we think. In Martin L. L.Tesser A. (Eds.), Striving and feeling: Interactions among goals, affect, and self-regulation: 279–301. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Google Scholar
  • McCallister, 1995 McCallister D. J. 1995. Affect- and cognition-based trust as foundations for interpersonal cooperation in organizations. Academy of Management Journal, 38: 24–59. Google Scholar
  • McClelland and Judd, 1993 McClelland G. H., Judd C. M. 1993. Statistical difficulties of detecting interactions and moderator effects. Psychological Bulletin, 114: 376–390. Google Scholar
  • Melton, 1995 Melton R. J. 1995. The role of positive affect in syllogism performance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21: 788–794. Google Scholar
  • Niehoff and Moorman, 1993 Niehoff B. P., Moorman R. H. 1993. Justice as a mediator of the relationship between methods of monitoring and organizational citizenship behavior. Academy of Management Journal, 36: 527–556.LinkGoogle Scholar
  • Oldham, 2003 Oldham G. R. 2003. Stimulating and supporting creativity in organizations. In Jackson S. E.Hitt M. A.DeNisi A. S. (Eds.), Managing knowledge for sustained competitive advantage: 243–273. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Google Scholar
  • Oldham and Cummings, 1996 Oldham G. R., Cummings A. 1996. Employee creativity: Personal and contextual factors at work. Academy of Management Journal, 39: 607–634.LinkGoogle Scholar
  • Robinson and Clore, 2002 Robinson M. D., Clore G. L. 2002. Episodic and semantic knowledge in emotional self-report: Evidence for two judgment processes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83: 198–215. Google Scholar
  • Runco, 1994 Runco M. A. 1994. Creativity and its discontents. In Shaw M. P.Runco M. A. (Eds.), Creativity and affect: 102–123. Norwood, NJ: Ablex. Google Scholar
  • Schwarz, 2000 Schwarz N. 2000. Emotion, cognition, and decision making. Cognition and Emotion, 14: 433–440. Google Scholar
  • Schwarz, 2002 Schwarz N. 2002. Situated cognition and the wisdom of feelings: Cognitive tuning. In Feldman Barrett L.Salovey P. (Eds.), The wisdom in feelings: 144–166. New York: Guilford. Google Scholar
  • Schwarz and Clore, 1983 Schwarz N., Clore G. L. 1983. Mood, misattribution, and judgments of well-being: Informative and directive functions of affective states. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45: 513–523. Google Scholar
  • Schwarz and Clore, 2003 Schwarz N., Clore G. L. 2003. Mood as information. Psychological Inquiry, 14: 296–303. Google Scholar
  • Schwarz and Skurnik, 2003 Schwarz N., Skurnik I. 2003. Feeling and thinking: Implications for problem solving. In Davidson J. E.Sternberg R. J. (Eds.), The psychology of problem solving: 263–290. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
  • Shalley, Zhou and Oldham, 2004 Shalley C. E., Zhou J., Oldham G. R. 2004. Effects of personal and contextual characteristics on creativity. Journal of Management, 30: 933–958. Google Scholar
  • Sy, Cote and Saavedra, 2005 Sy T., Cote S., Saavedra R. 2005. The contagious leader: Impact of leader's mood on the mood of group members, group affective tone, and group processes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90: 295–305. Google Scholar
  • Tellegen, 1982 Tellegen A. 1982. Brief manual for the differential personality questionnaire. Unpublished manuscript, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Google Scholar
  • Vosburg, 1998a Vosburg S. K. 1998a. The effects of positive and negative mood on divergent thinking performance. Creativity Research Journal, 11: 165–172. Google Scholar
  • Vosburg, 1998b Vosburg S. K. 1998b. Mood and the quantity and quality of ideas. Creativity Research Journal, 11: 315–324. Google Scholar
  • Watson, 2000 Watson D. 2000. Mood and temperament. New York: Guildford Press. Google Scholar
  • Watson, Clark and Tellegen, 1988 Watson D., Clark L. A., Tellegen A. 1988. Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54: 1063–1070. Google Scholar
  • Zhou, 2003 Zhou J. 2003. When the presence of creative coworkers is related to creativity: Role of supervisor close monitoring, developmental feedback, and creative personality. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88: 413–422. Google Scholar
  • Zhou and George, 2001 Zhou J., George J. M. 2001. When job dissatisfaction leads to creativity: Encouraging the expression of voice. Academy of Management Journal, 44: 682–696.LinkGoogle Scholar
Academy of Management
  Academy of Management
  100 Summit Lake Drive, Suite 110
  Valhalla, NY 10595, USA
  Phone: +1 (914) 326-1800
  Fax: +1 (914) 326-1900