Suggesting Creative Solutions or Just Complaining: Perceived Organizational Support, Exchange Ideology, and Learning Goal Orientation as Determining Factors

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In this study we explore conditions that may motivate employees’ engagement in creativity and complaining when faced with everyday problems at work. We theorize that perceived organizational support (POS) as part of the organizational context and exchange ideology (EI) and learning goal orientation (LGO) as individual difference characteristics may be defining factors in the motivation to complain or create solutions. In a sample of 288 employee and supervisor pairs, as hypothesized, we found that POS was negatively related to complaining and positively related to creativity. The effects of high POS were stronger for employees with high EI and high LGO. Implications of these results for organizations trying to stimulate creative suggestions and reduce complaining are discussed.

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