When and why does employee creativity fuel deviance? Key psychological mechanisms.J Appl Psychol. 2019 Sep; 104(9):1144-1163.JA
Drawing on self-enhancement theory, we propose that, intraindividually, employees tend to give themselves credit when they engage in creativity. Perceived creative credit, in turn, activates multiple psychological motives that ultimately affect deviance. On the one hand, perceived creative credit is associated with greater creativity-driven norm-breaking motives and greater entitlement motives, which in turn should increase deviance. On the other hand, perceived creative credit is associated with greater image preservation motives, which in turn should decrease deviance. A within-person study involving 206 employees and their coworkers conducted over a 10-day period provided broad support for the proposed model. In addition, a between-person variable, namely rewards for creativity, moderated the self-crediting process. The within-person serial mediation relationship between creativity and deviance was positive and significant for employees who perceived low rewards for creativity, but was not significant for those who perceived high rewards for creativity. In other words, rewards for creativity in the workplace effectively nullified this within-person self-crediting mechanism among employees. This study thus illustrates that, within individuals, creativity and deviance are related through perceived creative credit and different psychological motives (i.e., serial mediation). However, the strength of this serial mediation relationship varies depending on the availability of formal rewards for creativity (i.e., moderated serial mediation). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).