No artigo Talent, Passion, and the Creativity Maze, Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer colocam a motivação intrínseca no centro da actividade criativa e na capacidade para encontrar as melhores soluções para os problemas com os quais nos deparamos no dia-a-dia.
Os autores lembram um artigo de Douglas Conant que considera três factores primordiais na contratação de alguém: competência, carácter e capacidade para trabalhar em equipa. Porém, na opinião de Amabile e Kramer há que acrescentar um outro elemento:
«He gives great advice on how to find such a person. But he’s missing a crucial ingredient. That ingredient, at least as important as the talent package described by Conant, is passion for the work — what psychologists call intrinsic motivation. Without it, no amount of talent will yield great performance. For 35 years, we have been exploring how motivation affects creativity. In studies involving groups as diverse as children, college students, professional artists, and knowledge workers, we have found that people are more creative when they are more strongly intrinsically motivated — driven by interest, enjoyment, satisfaction, and a sense of personal challenge in the work they are doing».
«Intrinsically motivated people are more creative because they engage more deeply with the work. Imagine a task you have to do — say, an important marketing problem you have to solve at work — as a maze you need to get through. Most business problems have multiple solutions that would work, multiple exits from that maze. Often, there is one clear, straight path out of the maze — the standard solution that everyone uses for this type of problem. If you’re extrinsically motivated, perhaps by a looming deadline or fear of a negative evaluation, you’re likely to take that safe path. The solution works, but it’s boring; it doesn’t move things forward. But if you’re intrinsically motivated, you love the hunt through the maze for a more interesting — and likely more creative — solution».