Developing creativity: Exploring the roles of various sources of developmental supports

Date of Completion

January 2005


Business Administration, Management




To increase the uniqueness of ideas, products and services, the developmental perspective of creativity proposed in this dissertation suggested to management scholars and practicing managers that the social environment be restructured so that employees can access support from various sources inside and outside of the organization. In this regard, as hypothesized, psychosocial support from work (supervisors, coworkers) and non-work developers (family members, friends) was positively associated with creativity. In a comparative sense, the results showed that it was psychosocial support from work developers that was more strongly associated to creativity. Additionally, my findings suggested that the influence on creativity was found to be a function of the joint contributions of support from work and non-work developers. That is, several of the interactions among the supports were found to be significantly related to creativity. Especially interesting were the findings that employees appeared to be most creative when both work and non-work psychosocial support were high. Also, I found that psychosocial and career support interacted in such a way that when the former was provided in high amounts by work developers and the later in low quantities by non-work developers individuals were most creative. ^ With regard to how support impacts creativity, I did not find that the proposed mediator, perceived need for change, helped to explain the association between the developmental supports and creative performance. Finally, I contemplated whether all individuals would generate similar levels of creativity in a supportive context. In an attempt to shed some light on this issue, I concluded the study by examining the moderating influence of personality expecting that individuals with a less creative personality would gain the most from developmental support and that this benefit would be realized by their generating more groundbreaking ideas and solutions. Specifically, it was found that individuals with a less creative personality were most creative when career support from work and non-work developers increased. Contrary to this, creativity was highest for individuals with a high creative personality as psychosocial support from work and non-work developers increased. Therefore, the relationship between developmental support and creativity was dependent on an individual's creative characteristics. ^