Curiosity in organizations: Addressing adverse reactions, trade-offs, and multi-level dynamics

Todd Kashdan, Spencer H. Harrison, Evan Polman, Ronit Kark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Curiosity serves a basic function in increasing the probability of work engagement, productivity, creativity, and innovation. Much of what is known about curiosity in organizations has been limited to explorations of individuals. Here, we provide empirically supported insights on how curiosity operates at various levels spanning individuals, collaborations, teams, organizations, and societies. Additionally, we advance research and practice by addressing several neglected issues. There is a strange disconnect in how leaders and co-workers encourage curiosity yet often experience an adverse reaction during or after its occurrence. There is also a strange asymmetry in the field such that curiosity is often described as a universally positive asset/trait yet there are costs that are worthy of consideration such as decision-making speed (i.e., trade-offs). Depending on the type of curiosity and mode of expression, curiosity can have bright, dark, or mixed consequences. Our aim is to help scientists and practitioners to better understand and intervene when attempting to capitalize on curiosity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104274
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023


  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • Decision-making
  • Goals
  • Leadership
  • Productivity
  • Well-being


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