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and work in progress

Rigolizzo, M., & Amabile, T. (2015). Entrepreneurial Creativity: The Role of Learning Processes and Work Environment Supports. The Oxford Handbook of Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, 61 -78


This chapter argues that the creative process is supported, at each stage, by certain learning behaviors and that both creative behaviors and learning behaviors depend on particular social-environmental conditions at each stage. Focusing on entrepreneurial creativity within startups and established organizations, the chapter describes four stages: problem identification; preparation; idea generation; idea evaluation and implementation. It explains how creativity-relevant and domain-relevant skills are distinct and how each skill set becomes more or less important depending on the uncertainty inherent in a given stage. The chapter also discusses the role of intrinsic motivation and the impact of various forces on the motivation for entrepreneurial creativity. With examples drawn from cases of entrepreneurial individuals and companies, links are made between creativity, learning, and the ways in which social-environmental factors influence the motivation for these behaviors differentially at different points in the creative process.

Perkins D., Rigolizzo M. & Biller M. (2013) Learning Better from Work: Three Stances that Make a Difference. Learning Innovations Laboratory, Harvard Graduate School of Education


Research suggests that work-relevant learning occurs largely on the job. However, in many situations workers do not learn nearly as much as they might. The "three stances" model helps to explain why. When someone undertakes a task, the person may adopt a completion, performance, or development stance, reflecting a range of organizational and personal influences. The completion stance prioritizes speed and good-enough performance, with little learning. The performance stance invests in high-quality results this time around, with learning generally a strong side effect but not a deliberate agenda. The development stance reaches for high-quality results this time around, with the additional goal of improving later performance. Unfortunately, workers often opt for stances that generate less learning, due to organizational culture, personal attitudes, and the character of the tasks themselves. The stances model suggests ways to counter this tendency and enhance learning from work.

Rigolizzo, M. (under review) Individual Learning Behaviors. Organization Science


This paper examines how working adults behave while in the process of learning. Drawing on well-established research into team-level learning behaviors, it maps individual learning to memory formation processes to posit that, at the individual level, learning is not an integrated act but consists of at least five distinct behaviors of taking on a challenge, attending to information, building meaningful context, repeated practice and reflection. Applying a new behavioral measure of learning, findings show that (1) the behaviors lead to differential outcomes based on how they contribute to memory formation, (2) the behaviors are independent, such that engagement in one behavior does not predict engagement in the other behaviors, and (3) learning goal orientation predicts whether working adults take on a challenge but does not predict whether they engage in subsequent learning behaviors. By rooting individual-level learning in the cognitive science of memory formation and empirically demonstrating the independence of five key learning behaviors, this paper enables robust theory development for the individual-level workplace learning that underlies team and organizational performance.

Works in Progress

Reflecting on Learning: The Power of Rediscovery on the Motivation to Reflect (with Ting Zhang & Teresa Amabile)

Optimizing Challenge: How the interaction of negative feedback and taking on challenges impacts learning and performance (with Francesca Gino, Brad Staats, & Chris Myers)

Overcoming the Impact of Incivility on Learning Behaviors (with Chris Porath)

Learning to be a Novice: The impact of becoming a novice on expert affect and performance (with Ting Zhang)

Expert Transitions: The antecedents of successfully transitioning from individual expert to effective leader (with Kate Roloff)

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. – Confucius



Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School
Boston, MA
Boston, Massachusetts