The impact of employees’ self-determined motivation types on individual creativity and innovative work behavior
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This dissertation investigates the following overarching question: How do motivation types – as outlined by self-determination theory (SDT) – affect individuals' creativity and innovative work behavior (IWB) in organizations, and what are some factors that may influence those relationships? For practice, this is a relevant question since managers are concerned with how to successfully motivate their employees, and motivation determines what an individual will do (Amabile, 1996). Furthermore, employees – who are at the heart of organizations – are drivers of creativity that can result in innovative processes, procedures, products, and services which ultimately benefit organizations' performance, competitive advantage, and survival (e.g., Amabile, 1988; Anderson, Potočnik, & Zhou, 2014; Shanker, Bhanugopan, van der Heijden, & Farrell, 2017; Van de Ven, 1986; Woodman, Sawyer, & Griffin, 1993) In order to successfully support employees' motivation and foster their creativity and IWB, it is necessary to identify types of motivation that relate to them. According to Amabile (1996), intrinsic motivation is crucial for individual creativity. Yet intrinsic motivation has not always predicted creativity in prior empirical research (e.g., Amabile, Hennessey, & Grossman, 1986; Schoen, 2015; Shalley & Perry-Smith, 2001), and it may not be the only beneficial type of motivation in relation to creativity-related behavior. As posited by SDT, in addition to intrinsic motivation, other autonomous forms of motivation can be beneficial to creativity and IWB, such as identified motivation. Moreover, if autonomous motivation types are beneficial for creativity and IWB, then it is also helpful to determine the effects of other contextual factors, including elements of person-environment fit and personality, as well as rewards. The research in this dissertation aims to investigate these issues in three full articles and a research note. Using time-lagged survey data, Article 1 studies the effects of intrinsic motivation, identified-prosocial motivation, and external motivation on idea submission and future motivation to participate in an organization's virtual idea campaign. Results show positive relationships between intrinsic motivation and idea submission and future motivation to participate, a positive relationship between identified-prosocial motivation and future motivation to participate, and a negative relationship between external motivation and idea submission. Contextual factors that may have affected employees' motivation and idea submission include the burden of excessive workloads, and a perceived lack of communication and support from management. With self-report, cross-sectional survey data, Article 2 investigates the relationships between person-organization fit (PO fit), SDT motivation types (e.g., intrinsic, identified, and external motivations), and IWB. The findings reveal that PO fit is associated with intrinsic and identified motivations, which are positively related to IWB – showing that autonomous motivation mediates the effect of PO fit on IWB – while there is no significant relationship between PO fit, external motivation, and IWB. In Article 3 (Short Research Note), time-lagged survey data and supervisor reports of creativity are analyzed to reveal the relationship between extraverted personality, identified motivation, and supervisor-rated creativity. The study shows that extraversion moderates the effect of identified motivation on supervisor-rated creativity, such that the interaction of high levels of extraversion with high levels of identified motivation lead to higher rated creativity, whereas introverted employees with similar levels of identified motivation have lower ratings of creativity. Finally, in Article 4, a behavioral experiment is used to study how elements of justice (i.e., reward evaluation fairness and reward allocation timeliness) affect the influence of monetary rewards on intrinsic motivation and creativity. The study shows that conditions with high reward evaluation fairness (a form of procedural justice) have significantly higher changes in intrinsic motivation and creativity when compared with a control (no reward) condition and reward conditions with lower levels of procedural justice. On the other hand, reward allocation timeliness (a form of informational justice) was not found to have significant effects on changes in both intrinsic motivation and creativity. Ultimately, the findings from these studies contribute to a better understanding of how individual motivation relates to creativity and IWB, and what effects some other factors have on those relationships. The research in the dissertation supports the notion that autonomous motivation types are indeed superior to controlled forms of motivation, but it also shows that rewards with fair assessment procedures can help increase intrinsic motivation, and ultimately creativity. Furthermore, PO fit is helpful in fostering both autonomous motivation types and, indirectly, IWB, while extraversion is a personality trait that influences supervisors' ratings of creativity of employees with similar levels of identified motivation. Practical implications and future research directions are discussed.