Emotional Intelligence

Côté & Miners. ASQ. 2006 - EI, cognitive intelligence, and job performance

Compensatory model that the association between EI and job performance is moderated by cognitive intelligence such that the EI-performance relationship becomes more positive as cognitive intelligence decreases. Compensatory effects: Individuals low in one ability may be compensated by his/her possession of other abilities. They argued that each dimension of EI may serve as an underlying mechanism through which EI complements CI in job performance. People low in CI will have more room for improvement and corrections through the mechanisms regulated by their EI.

Use objective measures of CI and EI, control demographic variables, LMX & Big-5 personality traits. Field sample. Two sources of data: Job performance (supervisor) (OCB & task performance), EI & CI (focal employees)

Strengths: This is a straight forward study that focuses on a fundamental question on (a) the relationship between CI & EI and how they complement each other in impacting outcomes; and (b) what may lead to the mixed results found in previous studies on the relationship between EI and job performance. The authors used objective measures and multiple sources of data, thus reducing the common method bias.

Law, Wong, & Song (JAP, 2004) - The construct and criterion validity of emotional intelligence and its potential utility for management studies

The authors argued that EI, individual’s ability to deal with his or her emotion, is conceptually distinct from personality. Three studies established the discriminant and predict validity of EI.

Strength: MTMM (multitrait-multimethod) to deal with the self-report bias


Abstract continued: in study 1, the authors showed that EI was related to yet distinct from personality dimensions and that it had incremental predictive power on life satisfaction. In study 2, the construct validity of self-reports and others’ ratings of EI were examined using two samples. In the student sample, parents’ ratings explained additional variance in the students’ life satisfaction and feelings of powerlessness after controlling for the Big Five personality dimensions. In the work sample, peer ratings were found to be significant predictors of job performance ratings provided by supervisors after controlling for the Big Five personality dimensions.

Davis et al.(1998) four dimensional definition of EI: a. appraisal and expression of emotion in oneself; b. appraisal and recognition of emotion in others; c. regulation of emotion in oneself; d. use of emotion to facilitate performance. EI consists of a set of abilities that a person uses to understand, regulate, and make use of his or her emotions.

Other commentaries on EI research

Past research on EI has examined the effect of EI on performance (e.g., Lyons & Schneider, 2005) , psychological well-being (e.g., Bar-On, 2005), and conflict resolution (Jordan & Troth, 2004). However, research on EI has not attracted much attention and some scholars have raised the following issues:

1.      Criticism on existing measurement: “MSCEIT tests knowledge of emotions but not necessarily the ability to perform tasks that are related to knowledge that is assessed” (Brody, 2004). Can we use “expert rating’ to assess one’s ability to deal with emotion? In other words, are there “correct” answers on to items on the “emotional” ability test? So far we have not seen much validity evidence on the existing “objective” MSCEIT measure published in top-tier journal. Other existing measures have their own problems (e.g., self-report measure established by Wong & Law; Bar-On’s EQ-i measure lacks discriminant validity evidence & incremental predictive validity above the contribution of established predictors such as cognitive ability and Big-5 personality (Conte, 2005)).

2.      EI may be culturally bounded and investigation of cross-cultural similarities and differences in EI is needed (Conte, 2005).

3.      Focus on “emotion” rather than the ability to deal with emotion “EI” in organizational context? Lack of understanding of “emotion”?


Big-5 Personality

Goldberg (JPSP 1990) - An alternative “description of personality”: The big-five factor structure

This meta-analysis established the evidence for the generalizability of Big-5 personality by demonstrating across unusually comprehensive sets of trait terms.

Qian: the aim of the article is to provide sufficient evidence of the generality of the Big-Five structure. Findings were presented to demonstrate factor robustness within a near-comprehensiveness set of 1,431 trait adjectives across a wide variety of factor-analytic procedures (study1), and within a representative set of 479 commonly used terms across samples of both self- and peer-descriptions (study2). Moreover, in the 3rd study, analyses of 100 clusters derived from 339 trait terms suggest their potential utility as Big-five markers in future studies.

Barrick & Mount (Personnel Psychology 1991) - The Big-5 personality dimensions and job performance: A meta-analysis

Abstract: This study investigated the relation of “Big Five” personality dimensions (Extraversion, Emotional Stability, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness to Experience) to three job performance criteria (job proficiency, training proficiency, and personnel data) for five occupational groups (professionals, police, managers, sales, and skilled/semi-skilled). Results indicated that one dimension of personality, Conscientiousness, showed consistent relations with all job performance criteria for all occupational groups. For the remaining personality dimensions, the estimated true score correlations varied by occupational group and criterion type. Extraversion was a valid predictor for two occupations involving social interaction, managers and sales (across criterion types). Also, both Openness to Experience and Extraversion were valid predictors of the training proficiency criterion (across occupations). Other personality dimensions were also found to be valid predictors for some occupations and some criterion types, but the magnitude of the estimated true score correlations was small (p < .10).

Q: But most of the correlations for Emotional Stability were relatively low. The results of Agreeableness suggest that it is not an important predictor of job performance. Overall, the results illustrate the benefits of using the 5-factor model of personality to accumulate and communicate empirical findings…In general, the true score correlations for subjective criteria were larger than for objective criteria.

The meta-analysis established evidence for the generalizability of Big-5 personality on predicting individual job performance.

Hough & Furnham (Handbook of Psychology 2003) - Use of personality variables in work settings (review article)

Five-Factor Model // //

Five-factor model is robust across different cultures, languages, types of assessment, rting sources, genders, and factor extraction and rotation methods, and that (a) Extraversion and Neuroticism are the most robust – they were replicated reliably in almost all studies, (b) Conscientiousness is next most reliably replicated, © there is less evidence for Agreeableness, and (d) Openness to Experience is the least replicable, and its construct validity is the most controversial (Hough & Ones, 2001). However, Openness to Experience may become one of the most important personality variables given the dynamics in the rapidly changing work of world.

Criticism: The model does not capture all aspects of individual differences in their personal dispositions (Hough, 1997; Hough & Schneider, 1996). Future studies may examine other personal dispositional factors such as proactive personality, core self-evaluation. The five factors may confound with other constructs (e.g., Conscientiousness ßà Dependability with achievement (Hough)).

Possible moderator variables

1.      Intentional distortion: Concern on whether people will intentionally distort their responses to self-report personality measures in either a positive or negative direction. This is a more serious problem in laboratory experiment than field study. Besides the setting of the study, instructions (or warnings) about detection of and consequences for distortion are included in the administration directions to applicants will lessen the problem of intentional distortion.

2.      Adjective form vs. complete sentence in personality measures: The frame of reference or context provided in items may influence the criterion-related validities of personality variables for work-related criteria. The more general items (or adjective forms) produced lower validity coefficients than the contextualized items.

Bauer, Erdogan, Liden, & Wayne (JAP 2006) - A longitudinal study of the moderating role of extraversion: Leader-member exchange, performance, and turnover during new executive development

This study looks at how extraversion affects the LMX-to-outcomes (performance, turnover intentions, and actual turnover) for an executive sample. Hierarchical regression results showed that LMX was not related to performance or turnover intentions for those high in extraversion; but for individuals low in extraversion, there was a relation between LMX, performance, and turnover intentions. The basic argument was that LMX is a theory of social interaction and its effect should be contingent on the extent to which employees interact effectively with others. Because extraverts are characterized as seeking situations in which they garner social attention and interaction, they are likely to do well in executive positions, without the necessity of forming high-quality relations with their leader. Introverts without a high-quality LMX relationship may find it hard to access needed information and resources and to navigate complex social networks. Results from hierarchical regression found no relation between LMX and performance & turnover intention for those high in extraversion. Survival analysis showed that LMX was only related to turnover-hazard rate for individuals low in extraversion.

Strength of this study:

1.      Incorporated LMX (based on social exchange theory) into the executive development literature

2.      Examine how individual difference factor (extraversion) may impact the LMX-to-outcome relationship – empirically validating the universalistic perspective taken in prior studies

3.      Subjective & Objective Data: Senior executive rating of new executive’s performance (subjective rating) and actual turnover data from company record (objective data)

4.      Longitudinal data

5.      Methodological advancement: Survival analysis to examine actual turnover based on how long executives stayed with the organizations before they leave, rather than logistic regression procedures. The two methods may yield contradictory results and survival analysis should provide a more accurate method of estimating relations between turnover & other variables

Proactive Personality -

Crant (JOM 2000) Proactive Behavior in Organizations

Four different constructs intended to capture one’s propensity to engage in proactive behavior and display initiative across an array of work-related phenomena.

1.      (Bateman & Crant, 1993) Proactive personality as a construct that identifies differences among people in the extent to which they take action to influence their environments. They developed a PPS to measure this construct. Prior research established the relationships between proactive personality with individual job performance (Crant, 1995), career outcomes (Seibertm Crant, & Kraimer, 1999), leadership (e.g., Bateman & Grant, 1993), organizational innovation (Parker, 1998), team performance (Kirkman & Rosen, 1999), and entrepreneurship (Crant, 1996). This is the most widely studied construct related to proactive behavior.

2.      Personal initiative is a behavioral pattern whereby individuals take an active, self-starting approach to work and go beyond formal job requirements (Frese et al., 1996, 1997). It is characterized by give components: (a) it is consistent with the organizational mission; (b) it takes a long-term focus; © it is action-oriented and goal directed; (d) it is persistent in the face of obstacles; and (e) it is self-starting and proactive. Usually measured using an interview-based methodology.

These two constructs describe behavioral tendencies toward proactive behavior in general.

3.      (Parker, 1998) Role breadth self-efficacy is used to capture employees’ perceived capability of carrying out a broader and more proactive set of work tasks that extend beyond prescribed technical requirements. It covers a broader domain than self-efficacy, which focuses on technical competency.

4.      (Morrison & Phelps, 1999) Constructive efforts by employees to effect functional change with respect to how work is executed.

These two constructs are presumed to vary with environmental conditions.

Context-specific proactive behaviors

Socialization (process, symbolic interaction); Proactive feedback seeking; Issue selling (managers proactively influencing the strategy formulation process by calling others’ attention to – and influencing their understanding of – particular issues; impression management as mediators between contextual factors (e.g., organizational norms toward issue selling) and issue-selling decisions); Innovation; Career management; Coping with stress.

The authors suggested that there was no comprehensive theory that ties together these many domains and constructs by specifying the proactive behavior process.

Thompson (JAP 2005)  - Proactive personality and job performance: A social capital perspective

They suggested that proactive employees achieve performance benefits through constructing strong networks with others who have influence and resources needed for achieving self-directed objectives. Specifically, they argued that proactive employees, through network building, take initiatives in undertaking productive changes that aimed at benefiting the organization. Analyzed using SEM, results from 126 employee-supervisor dyads supported the proposed mediation. Partial mediation was found between network building à initiative taking à job performance. Strength of this study would be on the understanding of what proactive employees do at work that will lead to their positive job performance by looking through the lens of social capital perspective (i.e., their political tactics). Authors collected data from two sources which reduced the self-report bias. Weaknesses: Cross-sectional data for testing the proposed causal model.

Parker, Williams & Turner (JAP 2006) - Modeling the antecedents of proactive behavior at work

Abstract : Using a sample of UK wire makers, the authors tested a model in which personality and work environment antecedents affect proactive work behavior via cognitive-motivational mechanisms (role breadth self-efficacy, control appraisals, change orientation, flexible orientation). Self-reported proactive work behaviors (proactive idea implementation and proactive problem solving) were validated against rater assessments for a subsample (n=60) of wire makers. With the exception of supportive supervision, each antecedent was important, albeit through different processes. Proactive personality was significantly associated with proactive work behavior via role breadth self-efficacy and flexible role orientation, job autonomy was also linked to proactive behavior via these processes, as well as directly; and coworker trust was associated with proactive behavior via flexible role orientation In further support of the model, the cognitive-motivational processes for proactive work behavior differed from those for the more passive outcome of generalized compliance.

Brown, Cober, Kane, Levy, & Shalhoop (JAP 2006) - Proactive personality and the successful job search: A field investigation with college graduates

They attempted to explore the black box between the distal antecedents (individual difference factors: proactive personality, conscientiousness, and self-esteem) and workplace outcomes (job search outcome) by examining how these antecedents independently influence the job search process. Based on social-cognitive theory, they argued that individual difference factors influence employee’s self-efficacy (a more proximal regulator of human cognitive, motivational, affective, behavioral, and decisional processes), will influence the job search process (job search behavior, job search effort), and the ultimate workplace outcome. Longitudinal data was collected from a single source (graduates). Results showed that proactive personality predicts self-efficacy, and has indirect impact on job search behavior and job search outcome. Self-esteem has a direct impact on self-efficacy but only indirect impact on job search outcome. However, conscientious was found to have no impact on the mediating variables and outcome. This may provide support on the domain relevancy of proactive personality such as the unstructured nature of job search in this study.

Allen, Weeks, & Moffitt (JAP 2005) - Turnover intentions and voluntary turnover: The moderating roles of self-monitoring, locus of control, proactive personality, and risk aversion

This study examines how individual may differ on the relationship between their turnover intention and actual turnover behavior. With two samples, they found (a) mixed support for the moderating effect of internal locus of control on strengthening the turnover intention-actual turnover relationship; and strong support for the moderating effect of (b) risk aversion and © low self-monitoring on the relationship. Proactive personality, however, did not directly moderate the relationship. Strengths of this study include longitudinal data, objective [company record] and subjective data [employee].

Major, Turner, & Fletcher (JAP 2006) - Linking proactive personality and the Big Five to motivation to learn and development activity

This study simultaneously examined the impact of proactive personality and Big-5 personality on motivation to learn, which leads to development activity [objectively assessed in this study]. The idea was to test empirically whether proactive personality is a composite of Big Five facets. Based on longitudinal data, results indicated that proactive personality was, only in part, a composite of Big Five facets, which accounted for 26% of its variance. Using Cohen’s effect size indicator, they found that proactive personality has greater effect on motivation to learn than any of the Big Five facets. SEM results showed that proactive personality, openness, extraversion, and conscientiousness predicted motivation to learn, and motivation to learn was positively related to development activity. Proactive personality, extraversion, and openness had significant indirect links to development activity. Additional Hierarchical regression results suggested that proactive personality had significant incremental validity in the prediction of motivation to learn over all relevant Big Five facets.

What is common about these recent studies?

They all used the cognitive-motivational states to explain the proactive personality-outcome relationship.


Fong (AMJ 2006) - The effects of emotional ambivalence on creativity

Abstract: Emotional ambivalence, or the simultaneous experience of positive and negative emotions, is an underexplored emotional state in organizations. The results from two laboratory experiments demonstrate that individuals experiencing emotional ambivalence are better at recognizing unusual relationships between concepts, therefore showing an ability believed to be important to organizational creativity. Informational theories of emotion suggest that individuals interpret emotional ambivalence, which is perceived to be an unusual emotional experience, as signaling they are in an unusual environment, which in turn increases sensitivity to unusual associations. There results yield important implications, regarding how to influence creative performance at work.

Emotional ambivalence: Simultaneous conflicting emotions of positive & negative emotions

Information processing perspective: Emotion as signal s or information regarding the type of environment that they’re in, which direct them to think and behave to adapt to such environment.

Argument: (1) Mixed emotions as signals to unusual environment where seemingly unrelated things can co-occur. (2) Emotional ambivalent individuals may show a heightened sensitivity or a predisposition to see relationship s between seemingly unrelated objects. (3) Only if emotional ambivalent individuals perceive the conflicting emotion as atypical, they may experience a heightened sensitivity to associations [perceived typicality as moderator].

Two experiments to test the main effect and moderation hypotheses. Concern would be how to generalize to the field as emotion ambivalence would be hard to examine out of lab experiment.

Zhou & George (AMJ 2001) - When job dissatisfaction leads to creativity: Encouraging the expression of voice

Abstract: This study focused on the conditions under which job dissatisfaction will lead to creativity as an expression of voice. We theorized that three contextual factors, useful feedback from coworkers, coworker helping and support, and perceived organizational support for creativity would each interact with job dissatisfaction and continuance commitment (commitment motivated by necessity) to result in creativity. In a sample of 149 employees, as hypothesized, employees with high job dissatisfaction exhibited the highest creativity when continuance commitment was high and when (1) useful feedback from coworkers, or (2) coworker helping and support, or (3) perceived organizational support for creativity was high. Continuance commitment is a necessary but not sufficient condition under which dissatisfaction can lead to creativity.

Contribution: (1) creativity measure (2) three-way interaction

Limitations: Cross-sectional data insufficient for supporting the proposed mediation

It would be interesting in future research to investigate the actual management systems and practices that are likely to lead to perceptions of organizational support for creativity.


Usually, an implicit and sometimes explicit assumption in job satisfaction theorizing and research is that a high level of job satisfaction contributes positively to organizational effectiveness and employee well-being and that a low level of job satisfaction or job dissatisfaction, is detrimental for organizations and their members. However, in an era emphasizing the need for change, job dissatisfaction is not always a detriment for organizational effectiveness. Discontentment can be a trigger for change when those who are dissatisfied seek to come up with new and better ways of doing things to improve current conditions, which is the essence of creativity. Creativity, in an organizational context, refers to the generation of novel and potentially useful ideas. An idea must have both novelty and usefulness to be considered creative. Creativity is the generation of new and useful ideas by individual employees, whereas innovation involves the successful implementation of creative ideas by the organization.

Reactions to job dissatisfaction: exit, voice, loyalty, and neglect (Farrell, 1983). First, consistent with turnover literature, dissatisfied employees may quit an org. all together in response to their job dissatisfaction (exit). Second, dissatisfied employees may choose to remain in their org. and actively try to improve conditions, actively searching for and coming up with new ways of doing things and advocating changes to make things better (voice). Third, employees may remain in the org. but respond passively to their job dissatisfaction by accepting the status quo without raising any objections or making any suggestions for improvements (loyalty). Lastly, employees may remain in the org. and exhibit passive withdrawal behaviors such as putting forth less effort (neglect). Exit and voice are active responses, and neglect and loyalty are passive responses. Exit can be destructive while voice is constructive. The two passive responses can be dysfunctional for org. In order for dissatisfaction to result in functional outcomes for org., employees need to respond to their dissatisfaction in an active and constructive manner—-through voice.

Under what conditions: high continuance commitment: high costs associated with leaving make exit not a viable option for employees. Creativity entails certain risks because of its departure from the status quo, traditional approach, and habitual behaviors. Employees may choose to use creativity as an expression of voice only when they perceive that creative performance has the potential to be effective. That is, organizational context: coworker behaviors toward a focal employee (including useful feedback, helping and support) and perceived organizational support for creativity (it captures the extent to which organizations are seen as encouraging, respecting, rewarding, and recognizing employees who exhibit creativity). This argument is consistent with creativity literature, such as Oldham & Cummings (1996, AMJ).

Oldham & Cummings (AMJ 1996) - Employee creativity: Personal & contextual factors at work

They argued that the personal characteristics (Creativity Personality Scale) and job context (job complexity, supportive supervision, and controlling supervision) have independent and joint contributions to employees’ creative performance as these factors influence one’s intrinsic motivation to be creative. However, they did not assess intrinsic motivation directly.

Qian: This study examined the independent and joint contributions of a measure of creativity-relevant personal characteristics (the CPS) and three measures of the organizational context-job complexity, supportive supervision, and noncontrolling supervision-to the explanation of three indicators of employee creativity: patents, contributions to a suggestion program, and rated creativity. In addition, they examined the contributions of the personal and context measures to two traditional outcomes, overall work performance and intentions to quit.

The results indicated that participants produced the most creative work when they had appropriate creativity-relevant characteristics, worked on complex, challenging jobs, and were supervised in a supportive, noncontrolling fashion . The contextual characteristics alone contributed independently to the performance and intentions to quit outcomes. Employees exhibited higher performance and lower intentions to quit when their jobs were complex and when their supervisors were described as supportive and noncontrolling.

Runco (Ann Review of Psy 2004) - Creativity

Social research on creativity is an increasing trend. More longitudinal study should be conducted as prior research were based mostly on cross-sectional data. Future studies should explore the “dark side of creativity” – evil inventions and techniques that bring harm to the public. My interest would be to look at the negative consequences of creative performance, if any? How may cultural differences affect creative performance or performance appraisal on creative performance?

Qian: Abstract: creativity has clear benefits for individuals and society as a whole and plays a great role in innovation and entrepreneurship. This chapter reviews the creativity research, first looking to the relevant traits, capacities, influences, and products, and then within disciplinary perspectives on creativity (e.g. biological, cognitive, developmental, organizational). Great headway is being made in creativity research, but more dialogue between perspectives is suggested.

Person, product, press, and process (a scheme proposed by Rhodes, 1961/87). Person category includes research on personal characteristics. Intrinsic motivation is a core characteristic of creative persons. Process research may be less personal and more behavioral. The concept of press is used to describe pressures on creative process or on creative persons. It refers to the relationship of human beings and their environment. These situational influences on creativity include freedom, autonomy, good role models, resources, time, and so on. The product approach to creativity focuses on outcomes and those things that result from the creative process. The assumption here is that studies of products are highly objective, and therefore amenable to the scientific method.

Creativity, intelligence, and personality is given much less attention in the current literature. Creativity is not just a kind of problem solving and a reaction, but can be proactive. Creativity facilitates and enhances problem solving, self-expression, and health. The potential costs for creativity should also be acknowledged. Its association with the various disorders implies this. The madness and eccentricity have long been attributed to creative geniuses. Original behavior is always contrary to norms, all creativity is a kind of deviance.

Individuals who study creativity should maintain a flexible approach and avoid relying too heavily on one perspective. Interdisplinarity might draw from a very wide range of perspectives. Creativity is expressed in different ways in different domains. Is there any cultural differences in creativity??

Shalley, Zhou & Oldham (JOM 2004) - The effects of personal and contextual characteristics on creativity: Where should we go from here?

Creativity refers to the development of novel, potential useful ideas. Innovation refers to creative ideas that are successfully implemented at the organization or unit level. Based on intrinsic motivation theory, they asserted that creativity is a function of personal & contextual characteristics. “Each contextual characteristic affects creativity via its effects on employees’ “intrinsic motivation” to perform a work assignment.” Based on Cognitive Evaluation Theory, the salience of informational (signal on personal competence) & controlling (signaling on external pressures to conformity in doing things) aspects of contextual characteristics have differential impact on intrinsic motivation.

Past research on personal characteristics on creativity includes Personality such as the Creative Personality Scale (Gough, 1979) and Big-5 personality. In general, positive relation was found between CPS and individual’s creative ratings. Openness to experience shows generally positive association with creativity across a variety of domains (Feist, 1998). Research on individuals’ cognitive style (Adaption-Innovation Theory posits that individuals have a natural orientation of creative problem solving) have found mixed results on the impact of individual’s innovative cognitive style to creativity. Future research may want to examine the independent effect of the cognitive style and personality on creativity.

Contextual characteristics that have been examined in past research include job complexity, relationship with supervisors [supportive (Feist et al., 1999: +ve) vs. controlling (George & Zhou, 2001: -ve) leadership; transformational leadership (Shin & Zhou, 2003: +ve)], relationship with coworkers [Mixed support: +ve (Amabile et al., 1996; Zhou & George, 2001); n.s. (George & Zhou, 2001); -ve: peer competition has a positive impact on employee creativity (Shalley & Oldham, 1997)], rewards [Mixed support on the positive impact of contingent rewards: depends on what kind of rewards (information, resources) that serve the controlling or informational function], evaluation [Depends on whether employees perceived the evaluation to be critical (-ve) or developmental (+ve: Shalley & Oldham, 2001; Shalley & Perry-Smith, 2001) in nature], time deadlines and goals [Goals are more interesting & important: creative goal (+ve) vs. production goal (-ve); do-your-best” goal or difficult creativity goal (+ve: Shalley, 1995)], spatial configuration of work settings. In general, individuals tend to exhibit high creativity when: their jobs are complex, their supervisors engage in supportive, noncontrolling behaviors, their work is evaluated in a developmental, nonjudgmental fashion, and their settings’ configuration restricts unwanted intrusions. Future research needs to explore the mechanisms explaining the influence of contextual characteristics beyond the “intrinsic motivation” argument.

Several studies examined the interaction between personal and contextual characteristics on creativity (Oldham & Cummings, 1996; George & Zhou, 2001; Madjar et al., 2002; Shalley & Oldham, 1997). Inconsistent context-creativity relations might be explained by considering other contextual conditions. More work needs to be done on including personal characteristics other than CPS & openness to experience, and cognitive styles.

They also suggested future research to examine the creative process, mood states (as antecedents & consequences), self-efficacy & creative role identity, creative role models, cross-cultural differences, social networks, different types of creativity (responsive, expected, contributory, proactive), team creativity, measurement of creativity.

Insight: Fit between organizational policies on encouraging creative performance with employees’ creative performance, moderated by employees’ desire to be creative?

Tierney & Farmer (AMJ 2002) - Creative self-efficacy: Its potential antecedents and relationship to creative performance

They proposed a new construct - creative self-efficacy - which refers to employees’ beliefs that they can be creative in their work roles. An assumption is that creativity in organizational setting is often a choice. Yet I think in some situations this is not the case. When creativity is part of the job requirement, how may this affect employees’ creative performance? In this study, they identified 4 antecedents to creative self-efficacy (job-related knowledge in terms of job experience & formal education, job self-efficacy that may generalize to more specific “creative” self-efficacy, supportive supervisor behavior in terms of role modeling and verbal persuasion, and job complexity). Cross-sectional data.

Shin & Zhou (AMJ 2003) - Transformational leadership, conservation, and creativity: Evidence from Korea.

Based on intrinsic motivation theory, situational factors (e.g. transformational leadership) exert influence on creativity via influencing intrinsic motivation. This study explicitly tested the mediating effect of intrinsic motivation between transformational leadership (intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration, charisma, and inspirational motivation) & employee creativity. Findings revealed that transformational leadership was positively related to follower creativity. Followers’ conservation (a value favoring propriety and harmony in interpersonal and person-to-group relations) moderated that relationship. Intrinsic motivation mediated the contribution of the interaction of transformational leadership and conservation and partially mediated the contribution of transformational leadership to creativity.

Sample was drawn from Korean culture (generalizability issue) and effect sizes were modest. Cross-sectional design for testing causal relationship. Not controlled for transactional leadership to examine the “incremental” effect of transformational leadership.

(Below is a summary that I prepared for Yaping for his research projects)

Personality, social network and creativity

There have been many researches on the relationship between personal dispositions and creativity. These dispositions include the Big-5 personality (i.e., openness to experience and conscientiousness), attitude toward divergent thinking, locus of control, affect, willingness to take risk and self-efficacy. In Simonton’s (2000) review on the development of creativity research, he also stated that creative people are “disposed to be independent, nonconformist, unconventional, even bohemian, and they are likely to have wide interests, greater openness to new experiences, a more conspicuous behavioral and cognitive flexibility, and more risk-taking boldness.” In addition to personal dispositions, contextual factors are another main stream of research on creativity. For example, Shalley (1991) examined the effects of goal setting with individual creativity.

However, I was surprised to find that there were only a few studies that took a social network perspective in examining creativity (e.g., Medjar, 2002; Williams, 2004). Creativity is a social process. Amabile et al. (1996) found evidence that supports from coworkers and supervisors enhance employees’ productivity. Dewett (2004) proposed that the creative process of individuals is a social interaction between oneself and the relevant others. “Individuals participate in the creative process in an interacting fashion by developing ideas and presenting them to relevant others; and then by learning from reactions, reworking ideas, and representing them.” In their research on how social networks may impact the R&D process of a group of engineers in Demark, Dahl & Pederson (2005) found that social contacts between those engineers facilitated knowledge diffusion. Although the study did not examine how such knowledge diffusion may impact creativity, it is what Shalley (1991) had concluded in her literature review that a necessary condition for creativity was ability. Ability refers to the domain knowledge of one’s work and the skills essential to process information creatively. It is thus expected that the knowledge diffusion between the engineers will enhance their individual creativity. In addition, Mehra, Kilduff & Brass (2001) suggested that the research on structural position has “neglected both the possibility that the network positions occupied by individuals might be influenced by their psychology and the possibility that personality and social network position might combine to influence important outcomes such as work performance.” Since creativity is a social process, it will be meaningful to examine how personality and social network may be integrated to impact individual creativity.

Furthermore, what has been missing in the study of the relationship between social network and creativity is the network content. Rodan & Galunic (2004) suggested that managers gain the advantages of heterogeneous knowledge (diverse knowledge, know-how, and expertise) through their social network. They found that both network structure (i.e., sparseness of a manager’s network) and network content are comparably important in a manager’s overall performance. However, the network content was much more important for innovative performance. In the study of how personality, social network, and creativity may integrate, it is also necessary to take into consideration how personality may affect the network content. In other words, is it possible that some personal dispositions may affect how one may seek to develop and maintain a social network that offers him the knowledge diversity?

Amabile, Barsade, Mueller, & Staw. (ASQ 2005) - Affect and creativity at work

Abstract: This study explored how affect relates to creativity at work. Using both quantitative and qualitative longitudinal data from the daily diaries of 222 employees in seven companies, we examined the nature, form, and temporal dynamics of the affect-creativity relationship. The results indicate that positive affect relates positively to creativity in organizations and that the relationship is a simple linear one. Time-lagged analyses identify positive affect as an antecedent of creative thought, with incubation periods of up to two days. Qualitative analyses identify positive affect as a consequence of creative thought events, as well as a concomitant of the creative process. A preliminary theory of the affect-creativity cycle in organizations includes each of these links and proposes mechanisms by which they may operate.

Rodan, & Galunic. (SMJ 2004). More than network structure: How knowledge heterogeneity influences managerial performance and innovativeness.

Abstract: This study deals with individual managerial performance, both overall and in generating innovation. While prior work has demonstrated a relationship between network structure and managerial performance, inadequate attention has been paid to network content. We consider several micro-social processes that might account for differences in managerial performance, taken from economic sociology and studies of managers’ exploitation of their social networks and derived from work in psychology on the genesis of ideas. We compare the influence of these mechanisms on managerial performance using a sample of 106 middle managers in a European telecommunications company. Our findings suggest that, while network structure matters, access to heterogeneous knowledge is of equal importance for overall managerial performance and of greater importance for innovation performance.

Madjar, Oldham, Pratt. (AMJ 2002) - There’s no place like home? The contributions of work and nonwork creativity support to employees’ creative performance.

This study simultaneously addressed explicit support from both employees’ significant others outside their workplace and those inside a workplace. They also proposed that the supportive behaviors will shape employees’ mood state, which in turn affect their creativity. “Mood” (positive and negative) refers to a pervasive generalized affective state that is not necessarily directed at any particular object or behavior. Moods are relatively transient states that are experienced over the short run, fluctuate over time, and may be affected by contextual conditions. They also took into consideration the influence of individual difference (personality characteristics) on the support-creativity relationship. They proposed individuals with creative personalities will respond more positively (i.e., higher creativity) to support from work and nonwork sources than those with less creative personalities. Results revealed that work and nonwork support contribute independently to employee’s creative performance. Only positive mood was found to mediate the support-creativity relationship. Creative personalities were found to moderate the nonwork support-creativity relationship. Future studies need to examine why such relationship exist.

Weakness: Cross-sectional, self-report data, not rule out “intrinsic motivation” as potential mediator

Social Identity

**Kreiner & Sheep (AMJ 2006) à potential for dissertation work Where is the “me” among the “we”? Identity work and the search for optimal balance

Abstract: Through two qualitative studies, we examine how members of a particularly demanding occupation conduct identity work to negotiate an optimal balance between personal and social identities. Findings are based on open-ended survey responses from an in-depth interview with Episcopal priests. We first explore the situational and vocational demands placed on those in challenging occupations, along with the identity tensions that often result from those demands. We then specify and classify several identity work tactics that ameliorate these demands and tensions by differentiating or integrating personal and social identities. To synthesize findings, we develop a theoretical model of identity work.

Research questions:

(1)   What is the nature of situational identity demands placed on those in particularly challenging occupations?

(2)   What individual tensions result from these identity demands?

(3)   How do occupation members engage in identity work in response to these identity demands and tensions?


Identity at individual has two parts:

Personal identity: Individuated self-those characteristics that differentiate one individual from others

Social identity: Categorizations of the self into more inclusive social units that depersonalize the self-concept.

Identification as a:-

“state”: part of an individual’s identity that derives from his or her association with a social group

“process”; the process of aligning identity with that of a social group (identity negotiation refers to how identification waxes and wanes as individuals and their context evolve).

Identity demands: Situational factors that pressure individuals toward extreme integration or segmentation of personal and social identities [situational factors ~ between subject].

Identity tensions: Stresses and strains experienced by an individual in relation to the interaction between her or his personal identity and a given social identity [individual level ~ within subject].

Identity tactics: Differentiation (separating role from identity, setting limits, creating an identity hierarchy, enacting ephemeral roles, flipping the on/off switch); integration (merging role with identity, infusing self-aspects into tasks, casting self as emblem); neutral or dual-function (seeking refreshment, involving other people, tapping spiritual resources). One’s choice of tactics and the optimal balance of identities may change over time “in regard to their perception of what a healthy balance between inclusion and uniqueness meant” (p.1049).

Method: Grounded approach, interviews & open-ended surveys


Organizational Commitment

Allen & Meyer (J. Occupational Psy 1990) - The measurement and antecedents of affective, continuance, and normative commitment to the organization

This is an important piece of work on organizational commitment, which refers to the psychological state which binds the individual to the organization. They developed a measurement scale which captures three types of commitment. Affective commitment refers to the affective or emotional attachment, identification, or involvement to the organization. Continuance commitment refers to the commitment based on the perceived costs of leaving the organization. Normative commitment refers to the belief about one’s responsibility to remain with the organization. They found a positive and significant correlation between affective and normative commitment, and continuance commitment is independent to both AC & NC.

Qian: the conceptualizations of attitudinal commitment compromise three general themes: affective attachment, perceived costs, and obligation. Affective attachment refers to the strongly committed individual identifies with, is involved in, and enjoys membership in the org.  Perceived cost is viewed as a tendency to engage in consistent lines of activity’ (Becker, 1963) based on the individual’s recognition of the ‘costs’. Obligation means one’s responsibility to the organization, and commitment is considered as the totality of internalized normative pressures to act in a way which meets organizational goals and interests.

With respect to antecedent variables, the evidence seems strongest predictions about affective commitment, which are employees who felt comfortable in their roles and who felt competent in the job, expressed greater affective attachment to the org. The strength of employees’ need to remain with an organization is related to their perceptions regarding the availability of alternatives and the magnitude of particular investments they have made. The failure of the organizational commitment norm to correlate with the third canonical variate also may be attributed to its very general nature.

Mathieu & Zajac (Psy Bulletin 1990) A review and meta-analysis of the antecedents, correlates, and consequences of organizational commitment

The results showed that personal characteristics (e.g., age, education, gender, martial status) have relatively small correlation with OC (attitudinal & calculated commitment) and theoretical explanation of the linkage between personal characteristics and OC were needed. Analysis on moderation of personal characteristics on OC revealed that personal characteristics have, in general, greater impact on AC than CC. The sample size for job characteristics was small. Relationship with the leaders (+), group relationship and organizational characteristics (unclear and need theoretical justification). One interesting thing about this study is that the authors suggested that OC has relatively little direct influence on performance in most instances. Similarly, research on job satisfaction also suggested a weak relationship between JS & performance. These would suggest that more proximal factors should be identified.

Research at the time was mostly limited to individual level of analysis. The authors proposed to examine whether the findings on individual level studies are isomorphic to other levels of analysis. For example, whether the relationship between OC, OCB, JS, stress (as examples) and performance the same or different at the organizational level (OCà individual performance = OC à organizational performance). Another thing that they pointed out would be the insufficient attention on how OC may affect employee creativity? Again, we may examine (a) OC à individual creativity; (b) OC à organizational absorptive capacity based on the isomorphism. Other suggestions by the authors

The referent of organization commitment is “organization”. Would there be other referents (e.g., direct supervisor, coworkers, work group, customers, community)? There may be different antecedents & consequences to OC as carry over from employees’ commitment to different referents.

Qian: it summarizes previous empirical studies that examined antecedents, correlates, and/or consequences of organizational commitment using meta-analysis. Type of organizational commitment (attitudinal vs. calculative) was proposed as a moderator variable and was found to account for significant between-study variance in 9 of 18 comparisons.


A. The correlation between personal characteristics and OC tended to be small. The relationships between several personal variables and OC are likely to develop, interact, and change over time. The need for longitudinal studies to disentangle the dynamic nature of these relationships is suggested. B. enhanced job characteristics is a valid antecedent to the development of OC, although based on relative small number of samples. C. leader initiating structure and consideration behaviors both tended to correlate positively with commitment at moderate levels. Also, the influence of leader behavior is likely to be moderated by other factors, such as subordinate characteristics and work environment. D. the influences of organizational characteristics (org. structure, size and centralization) have generally found rather weak correlations. They may be mediated by other factors, such as the nature of group relations.


A.    Motivation, job involvement, stress, occupational commitment, union commitment, and job satisfaction exhibited significant (moderate level or higher) correlation with commitment.

B.     The high degree of interrelationship between OC and the correlates may be interpreted in several fashions. First, method and response biases are likely to inflate the actual magnitude. Second, the items used to measure might be different.


A. performance has a weak relationship with OC. the linkages are likely to be moderated by such factors as pay policies.

B. withdrawal behaviors: commitment demonstrated much larger correlations with two turnover-related intentions: intention to search for job alternative; and intention to leave one’s job.

C. the most common use of OC in causal models has been as a mediator of the influences of personal characteristics and work experiences on employee turnover processes.

Job satisfaction

Steel & Rentsch (JAP 1997) - The dispositional model of job attitudes revisited: Findings of a 10-year study

This 10-year study tested an alternative explanation of job satisfaction as a situational view which explains additional variance subgroup analysis (performing similar & different works) above and beyond the dispositional view. Both the dispositional and situational views of job satisfaction are supported. The study also suggested an interactionist perspective of the impact of job and personal characteristics.


Research findings showing that satisfaction scores are stable over time led to suggest that job satisfaction is rooted in dispositional mechanisms. Measures of job satisfaction and job involvement evidenced significant stability over time the study’s 10-year interval. Multiple regression showed that job characteristics explained variance in the attitudinal measures after accounting for the variance due to attitudinal stability. The success of job design interventions may be conditioned by personal characteristics of the individual in the sample. By supporting both the dispositional and situational views of job satisfaction, interactionist perspective views job satisfaction as the product of both person-based tendencies and situation-based experience.

Abstract: Research investigating differences in attitudes among full-time and part-time employees has a long history. Unfortunately, the empirical results have been mixed and conflicting. To resolve inconsistencies in prior research, the authors conducted 2 studies. In the 1st study, the authors developed a measure of work status congruence, which measures the degree to which employers match employee preferences for full-time or part-time status, schedule, shift, and number of hours. The authors hypothesized hat a match or congruence between worker preferences and organizational staffing practices would be associated with positive employee attitudes and behaviors. In the 2nd study, the authors tested these hypotheses. The results indicate that work status congruence is positively associated with job satisfaction, organizational commitment, employee retention, as well as in-role and extra-role performance.

This study contributes to the literature of employment relationship by introducing a measure of work status congruence. The argument was developed based on discrepancy theory and social exchange theory. Employees will compare the actual work status (in terms of part- & full-time status, schedule, shift, and no. of hours) and their personal preference. Employees who perceive a positive discrepancy will lead to more positive attitudes & behavior. Based on social exchange theory, these employees will reciprocate the positive discrepancy by engaging in extra- and in-role behaviors.

Limitations: The scale for proposed alternative explanation “underemployment” has low reliability (alpha=.60). Also, there are only two items measuring each facet of work status congruence, which may lead to greater measurement error.

Strengths: This study addresses an interesting phenoneom concerning employment relationship. The authors collect data from a very representative sample (hospital staff) and overcame several problems in prior studies. If to extend this study, I would like to examine how work status congruence is related to work-life balance and work-family conflict. How may individual differences, LMX affect the consequences of work status congruence?

Rotgbard, Phillips & Dumas (OS 2005) - Managing multiple roles: Work-family policies and individuals’ desires for segmentation

Abstract: As workers strive to manage multiple roles such as work and family, research ahs begun to focus on how people manage the boundary between work and nonwork roles. This paper contributes to emerging work in boundary theory by examining the extent to which individuals desire to integrate or segment their work and nonwork lives. This desire is conceptualized and measured on a continuum ranging from segmentation (i.e., separation) to integration (i.e., blurring) of work and nonwork roles. We examine the fit between individuals; desire for segmentation/integration and their access to policies that enable boundary management suggesting that more policies may not always be better in terms of job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Using survey methodology and a sample of 460 employees, we found that desire for greater segmentation does moderate the relationship between the organizational policies one has access to and individuals’ satisfaction and commitment. People who want more segmentation are less satisfied and committed to the organization when they have greater access to integrating policies (e.g., onsite childcare) than when they have less access to such policies. Conversely, people who want greater segmentation are more committed when they have greater access to segmenting policies (e.g., flextime) than when they have less access to such policies. Moreover, the fit between desire for segmentation and organizational policy (by difference score) has an effect on satisfaction and commitment over and above the effects of demographic characteristics such as age, gender, martial status, income, number of children, and the age of those children.

Insights: In the paper the authors suggested that “the ways that boundaries [between work and nonwork lives] are enacted may differ greatly” (p. 244). What may be some factors contributing to the difference in boundary enactment? This study discussed how individuals’ desire for integration/segmentation of work and nonwork lives moderate the fit between organization policies and employee attitudes. Past studies had identified demographic factors that predict the desire for segmentation. My interest would be to identify other factors that may explain individuals’ choice [desire] of integration/segmentation (e.g., cultural differences, employment relationship, LMX, CMX, need for achievement) and how factors in different levels [cross-level study] affect one’s segmentation strategy.

WIKI Discussion

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