We explore the effect of a reward for creativity program on employee creativity in organizations by investigating the underlying mechanisms based on the transactional model of stress and coping—a novel theoretical perspective for this research area. We theorize and find in two field studies that challenge appraisal of a reward for creativity program (perceived potential for gain, growth, or mastery) is positively related to problem-focused coping, which in turn predicts high creative performance. By contrast, threat appraisal of a reward for creativity program (perceived potential for harms or losses) is positively related to emotion-focused coping in the form of blaming, which in turn predicts low creative performance. Our findings also support the different indirect effects of the two appraisals of a reward for creativity program on creative performance through coping strategies. In addition, we find self-efficacy that is an antecedent of individual appraisals. We discuss the implications of the findings for theory development and managerial practice and suggest some important avenues for future research.
Bibliographical noteThis article is based on the first author’s dissertation for a PhD degree under the super- vision of Professor Kwok Leung at City University of Hong Kong.
This research is partly supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China Grant (71302145) and Youth Foundation Project of Humanities and Social Sciences of Ministry of Education in China (12YJC630087) awarded to Fuli Li.
- challenge appraisal
- coping strategies
- reward for creativity program
- threat appraisal