Do High-Commitment Work Systems Affect Creativity? A Multilevel Combinational Approach to Employee Creativity

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Abstract

This study uses 3-level, 2-wave time-lagged data from a random sample of 55 high-technology firms, 238 teams, and 1,059 individuals in China to investigate a multilevel combinational model of employee creativity. First, we hypothesize that firm (macrolevel) high-commitment work systems are conducive to individual (microlevel) creativity. Furthermore, we hypothesize that this positive crosslevel main impact may be combined with middle-level (mesolevel) factors, including team cohesion and team task complexity, such that the positive impact of firm high-commitment work systems on individual creativity is stronger when team cohesion is high and the team task more complex. The findings from random coefficient modeling analyses provide support for our hypotheses. These sets of results offer novel insight into how firms can use macrolevel and mesolevel contextual variables in a systematic manner to promote employee creativity in the workplace, despite its complex nature.

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