Enhancing employee creativity: Effects of choice, rewards and personality.

Jing Zhou, Greg R. Oldham, Aichia Chuang, Ryan Shuwei Hsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We conducted a quasi-experimental field study of an organization-wide suggestion program and a follow-up laboratory experiment to examine the effects of choice of rewards on employee creativity. As hypothesized, the results of both studies showed that choice had positive, significant effects on the number of creative ideas employees generated and the creativity level of those ideas. Results of the quasi-experiment also showed that creative self-efficacy (CSE) mediated the effects of reward choice. Two general categories of rewards were examined in our studies—those that directly benefited the idea generator (Self) and those that directly benefited charities (Other). We explored the effects of these reward categories on employee creativity and whether employee creative personality interacted with the reward categories to affect employee creativity. Results showed that the reward categories did not have a significant impact on employee creativity. However, both studies demonstrated that in the Other reward condition, employees with a creative personality produced ideas higher in creativity than those with a less creative personality. The quasi-experiment also showed that CSE mediated the effects of the Reward × Creative Personality interaction. We discussed the implications of these results for the future research and practice. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • choice
  • creativity
  • field experiment
  • personality and individual differences
  • reward and incentive systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Enhancing employee creativity: Effects of choice, rewards and personality.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this