Faculty Publications

Jennifer Mueller

Creative Change


Creative Change: How We Resist It...How We Can Embrace It

All corporate CEOs, top executives, and other business leaders say they want creativity and need real innovation in order to thrive in a competitive world. But according to startling research from former Wharton management professor Jennifer Mueller, the truth is that many business leaders chronically reject creative solutions and often embrace the familiar, even as they profess commitment to innovation.

Mueller’s research also reveals that it’s not just CEOs, but educators, scientists, and many, many others who often struggle to accept new and creative ideas even when desired. Mueller parses the tough questions that these findings raise. Could people love but also hate creative ideas? Could the mindset we use to evaluate ideas turn this love or hate on or off—in an instant? Do experts struggle even more than novices with this bias? And even more startling, could the “best practices” that organizations employ to manage innovation activate this bias, and inadvertently, kill innovation?


PhD, Brandeis University, Developmental & Social Psychology

BA, Southern Methodist University, Psychology

Jennifer Mueller is an associate professor of management in the University of San Diego School of Business, where she teaches organizational behavior and leadership classes at both the undergraduate and MBA levels. Mueller’s research examines the costs and benefits of collaboration in teams, as well as the biases people have against creative ideas and creative people. She has published several articles in top management journals including: Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and Psychological Science. She is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Psychology as well as Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. She has held positions at several business schools including Yale School of Management and the Stern School of Business at NYU, and she was an assistant professor at the Wharton School for seven years before joining the USD faculty in 2012.


“Jen Mueller makes a telling point: To be most successful, we need both to foster creativity in ourselves and to reduce our resistance to it when it occurs around us. Better still, she provides manageable, scientifically-grounded steps for doing each. Count me sold on this book.”

-Robert Cialdini, author of Influence and of Pre-Suasion

"'Playing it safe' has never been riskier—yet truly embracing change has never felt tougher. Jennifer Mueller offers refreshingly creative insights and relentlessly useful advice for unleashing creativity in your company, your career, and your life. Don't just sit there...Read this book—and change something!"

-William C. Taylor, Cofounder, Fast Company and author of Simply Brilliant


Contact Information

Liz Harman


(619) 260-4682