Effects of Job Insecurity and Creative Self-efficacy on Employees’ Creativity
2011, 43 (08):
Given the severe environment with intense competition and unpredictable technology changes, increasing number of organizations realize that employees should be encouraged and cultivated to be creative. Meanwhile, as changes, such as downsizing and outsourcing, have been launched constantly by organizations, employees may feel insecure about their jobs. In previous studies, no clear conclusions have been drawn on the relationship between job insecurity and creativity. In the current study, based on the VSR theory, it is hypothesized that there is a reversed U shape relation between job insecurity and creativity. According to the self-efficacy theory, it is proposed that the interaction between job insecurity and creative self-efficacy would be significant. For those with high creative self-efficacy, the influence of job insecurity on creativity would be weak. Additionally, based on the intrinsic motivation theory, it is proposed that influence of job insecurity and creative self-efficacy would be mediated by intrinsic motivation.
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Data were collected from 286 dyads of employees and their immediate supervisors from twelve enterprises. The questionnaire for employee included job insecurity, creative self-efficacy, and intrinsic motivation. Employee creativity and job complexity were rated by immediate supervisors. Theoretical hypotheses were tested by hierarchal regression.
As the result showed, controlling the effect of control variables (gender, age, tenure, education and job complexity), job insecurity had reversed U shape impact on creativity, and creative self-efficacy had positive effect on creativity; meanwhile, the interaction effect between job insecurity and creative self-efficacy has also been shown to be significant. Specifically, the effect of job insecurity was stronger for employees with low creative self-efficacy. Following the procedure suggested by Baron and Kenny, intrinsic motivation was found mediated the relationships of job insecurity and creative self-efficacy to creativity.
The present study demonstrated that, employees would achieve highest creativity on the condition of moderate job insecurity level. Using recent studies on negative contextual factors, such as time pressure, it could be referred that, moderate negative stimulation, rather than complete positive context, would help inspiring employees’ creativity. Creative self-efficacy had positive impact on creativity, even more important, the effect of job insecurity was moderated by creative self-efficacy. Thus, it is indicated that manager can promote employees’ creativity by training subordinates’ creative self-efficacy. The last contribution is that the mediating effect of intrinsic motivation has been proved. For practical implications, it should be worth trying for managers to stimulate subordinates’ intrinsic motivation.