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NEWS: ‘Tighter budgets boost creativity’

Brands with tighter budgets develop more creative products than those with bigger budgets, according to new research by Cass Business School, City University London.

These findings have come from a research experiment carried out by the school where two teams were tasked with designing a new children’s toy from a list of 20 objects. While one group was left to choose freely among the items, the other was told they had to stay within a fixed budget. Individuals given freedom to choose any objects picked a great number of items using a larger budget, but the group with financial constraints chose less items but produced more creative products.

Dr Irene Scopelliti of Cass Business School, commented on the finding: “The findings suggest that in a financially constrained environment, innovation teams may be more likely to find creative combinations that would otherwise be hidden if an abundance of resources are available.”

Meanwhile, the experiment found that people with ‘novelty-seeking tendences’ were most creative under financial restrictions. However, their creativity dimmed when they were given bigger budgets.

Dr Scopelliti said the findings could have implications for companies hiring new employees or selecting teams: “While creativity is enhanced by financial constraints, the ability to exploit the  opportunity may well only be available to novelty seekers whose creativity is heightened by the challenge.

“Novelty seekers may also be more productive under these constraints because they can focus better on the creative task without being overwhelmed by information overload.” 

This research shows that big budgets don’t necessary mean results, and smaller projects result in more creative campaigns.