Boosting creativity in functional diverse work groups: The importance of help-seeking behavior and openness to experience

Huatian WANG*, Sonja RISPENS, Evangelia DEMEROUTI

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Organizations increasingly require employees to be proactive and creative problem solvers in their daily work. We employ a multilevel perspective (i.e., weekly activity level, group/context level, and personal level) to understand employees’ day-to-day creative process. Specifically, we examine whether weekly help-seeking behaviour is positively related to weekly creativity and to what extent this relationship is affected by work group functional diversity and employees’ level of openness to experience. We recruited 368 medical employees nested within 42 work groups over four consecutive weeks. The results showed that help-seeking behaviour was not related to this week’s creativity, but was positively related to next week’s creativity when work group functional diversity was high. Moreover, this lagged effect was even stronger when simultaneously employees scored high on openness to experience. Our findings suggest that help-seeking behaviour sparks creativity after a period of incubation. Furthermore, employees’ creative performance reaches the highest level when they engage in help-seeking behaviour in a more functionally diverse work environment and simultaneously are more open-minded to different experiences. We thus present an integrative model (i.e., what actions individuals engage in, which circumstances individuals are exposed to, and what personal abilities individuals are capable of) to understand employees’ creativity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)768-780
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Issue number5
Early online date9 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • creative performance
  • diary study
  • Help-seeking behaviour
  • openness to experience
  • work group functional diversity


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