Is overparenting harmful to creativity?

Wenzhi Zheng, Yenchun Jim Wu*, Zhanjie Ma, Yingping Mai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Heavy parental involvement is widely believed to inhibit creativity. On the basis of this rationale and the self-creativity literature, this study collected paired data to examine the effects of overparenting (which includes the parental arrangement of daily life affairs and parental involvement in schooling), team learning, and coaching by immediate supervisors on employee creativity (i.e., the creativity of Chinese only-child millennial employees). The findings are described as follows. First, parental involvement in schooling had a significant and positive effect on employee creativity, and the parental arrangement of daily life affairs was inversely related to employee creativity, as in a U-shaped relationship. Second, supervisors' coaching behaviours improved employee creativity and partially moderated the relationship between overparenting and employee creativity. Third, team learning moderated the interrelationships between overparenting, coaching behaviours, and employee creativity. This paper discusses the complex factors that shape creativity and provides recommendations regarding the parenting and recruitment of Chinese millennials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-32
Number of pages12
JournalCreativity and Innovation Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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