Turning shame into creativity: the importance of expressive suppression in creative team environments among Colombian employees
We draw on the functionalist perspective of emotions (Keltner & Gross, 1999) in order to propose that ashamed employees engage in creative activity as a way to restore their positive self-image. We also propose that the shame–creativity relation is strongest if employees expose themselves via expressive suppression to a team environment that encourages creativity. We test these propositions with data from two Colombian field studies. Overall, we find mixed support for a main effect of shame on creativity but consistent support for the moderating effect of exposure to creative team environments on the link between shame and creativity. A scenario experiment confirmed restore motivation as one central mediating mechanism explaining the main and interactive effects of shame on creativity. We discuss implications for the literatures on creativity, shame, and exposure to creative team environments.