From autonomy to creativity: a multilevel investigation of the mediating role of harmonious passion.J Appl Psychol. 2011 Mar; 96(2):294-309.JA
Building on self-determination theory, we theorized about and demonstrated, through 2 multilevel field studies, the pivotal role of harmonious passion in translating organizational autonomy support and individual autonomy orientation into job creativity. Results based on 3-level data from 856 members in 111 teams within 23 work units of a porous metal company (Study 1) and from 525 employees in 98 teams of 18 branches of a large commercial bank (Study 2) revealed 2 major findings. First, organizational autonomy support from a higher organizational level (unit or branch) compensated for the effect of autonomy support from a lower organizational level (team) or individual autonomy orientation on employees' harmonious passion. Second, harmonious passion mediated the interactive effects of unit (branch) autonomy support and team member autonomy orientation, of team autonomy support and team member autonomy orientation, and of unit (branch) autonomy support and team autonomy support on individual creativity. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings in the organizational context.