Performance evaluation and creativity: Balancing originality and usefulness

Andreas Ostermaier, Matthias Uhl*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Innovation requires creative ideas, which are both original and useful. Usefulness is crucial for ideas to be implemented and turn into innovation. We examine how performance evaluation helps balance both dimensions. In a laboratory experiment, creators generate words, which users and jurors rate for creativity. Users use the words to write texts, whereas jurors do not use them. Creators’ pay depends either on user or juror ratings. Creators take their evaluators’ perspective and accommodate their preferences. Our findings highlight the instrumental role of the evaluator in motivating creativity. It suggests that firms involve users in performance evaluation to facilitate innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101552
JournalJournal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Creativity
  • innovation
  • performance evaluation
  • perspective-taking theory

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Performance evaluation and creativity: Balancing originality and usefulness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this