Interrelations between Motivation, Creativity and Emotions in Design Thinking Processes – An Empirical Study Based on Regulatory Focus Theory

  • Madeleine Kröper
  • Doris Fay
  • Tilmann Lindberg
  • Christoph Meinel


Design thinking, here defined as a team-based innovation method, helps to deal with complex design problems by sustaining in-depth learning processes on problem perception and diverse solution paths. To carry out design thinking processes successfully, motivation is a central psychological aspect to ensure creativity of the project outcome. In this paper, we ask how motivation is affected by the design thinking process and how it is related to team member’s emotions throughout the process. We adopted regulatory focus theory to conceptualize motivational variables. Experience Sampling Method within a field study with two samples was used, investigating people’s motivation of setting and approaching goals throughout real-life design projects that used design thinking. Results of this study show that the different phases carried out in design thinking processes significantly impact motivation and emotions of the members of a design team.


Design Thinking Design Thinking Processes Motivation Creativity Emotions Teams Regulatory Focus Theory 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Madeleine Kröper
    • 1
    • 2
  • Doris Fay
    • 2
  • Tilmann Lindberg
    • 1
  • Christoph Meinel
    • 1
  1. 1.Hasso Plattner InstituteUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  2. 2.University of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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