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Understanding the Mediation Effect of Motivation

Understanding the Mediation Effect of Motivation

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CREATIVITY RESEARCH JOURNAL, 20(1), 53–66, 2008 Copyright # Taylor & Francis Group, LLC ISSN: 1040-0419 print=1532

-6934 online DOI: 10.1080/10400410701841955

Creativity and Certain Personality Traits: Understanding the Mediating Effect of Intrinsic Motivation
Veena Prabhu, Charlotte Sutton, and William Sauser
Auburn University

Creativity is a topic of ever-increasing interest, given its importance and applicability to literally every field. Personality traits have been frequently and predictably related to creative achievement. Amabile (1983) pointed out that individuals may have certain traits and abilities that are favorable for creativity, but whether these will actually result in achieving creative results depends on their intrinsic motivation. Additionally, under certain circumstances extrinsic motivation has been found to have a positive effect on creativity. We hypothesized a conceptual model and tested the mediating and moderating role of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation respectively in the relationship between 3 personality traits (openness to experience, self-efficacy, and perseverance) and creativity. This study, conducted in a university setting, found support for the potential mediating role of intrinsic motivation between creativity=openness to experience as intrinsic motivation partially mediated this relationship. Self-efficacy was closely related to creativity, with intrinsic motivation completely mediating this relationship. Extrinsic motivation moderated the relationship between self-efficacy=creativity and perseverance= creativity and had a negative association with creativity.

Psychologists have shown an interest in creativity since the time of Galton (1883). In fact, research in the domain of creativity over the last 4 decades has generated more than 9,000 published works (Runco, Nemiro, & Walberg, 1998). It has been suggested that some level of creativity is required in almost every job (Shalley, Gilson, & Blum, 2000; Unsworth, 2001). Sternberg (1985) found that the implicit theories of creativity of professors of art, business, philosophy, and physics overlapped significantly, as did the implicit theories of creativity of laypersons. Thus, creativity is not restricted to arts, science, or philosophy, but is also a part of our everyday lives (Runco & Richards, 1997). The words of Anderson (1992) seem quite appropriate:
Creativity is the gift and discipline that provides the competitive edge—in marketing, production, finance,

and all of the other aspects in an organization. Firms and managers crave it. Awards are given for it. Incentives encourage and cajole it. But it’s still the most elusive weapon in an executive’s arsenal. (p. 40)

We express our appreciation to Howard Clayton for valuable comments and suggestions regarding this article. Correspondence should be sent to Veena Prabhu, Department of Management, College of Business and Economics, California State University, Los Angeles, CA. E-mail: vprabhu@calstatela.edu

Simonton (1999) noted that defining creativity was a very difficult task, especially given the diverse approaches used in varied fields. Cognitive psychologists prefer to define creativity in terms of a mental process (Smith, Ward, & Finke, 1995); psychologists in experimental aesthetics define creativity as a product (Martindale, 1990; Simonton, 1989). Personality psychologists prefer to treat creativity as a trait (F. X. Barron, 1969; Eysenck, 1993). However, there has been a growing consensus among creativity researchers regarding the appropriateness of defining creativity in terms of an outcome (Amabile, 1983) such as a novel idea (Amabile, 1988; Woodman, Sawyer, & Griffin, 1993). Martindale (1989) stated, ‘‘A creative idea is marked by three attributes: it must be original, it must be useful or appropriate for the situation in which it occurs, and it must actually be put to some use’’ (p. 211). Consistent with prior theory and research, we defined creativity

‘‘Individual-level creativity is closely linked to the motivational process and research on creativity has either implicitly or explicitly used motivation as an invisible. Eisenberger. Runco (2004). 1996. Thus. M. individual differences). Rhoades. investigations of correlates of creativity do not necessarily take us any closer to understanding the actual mechanisms that underlie creative capacities’’ (p. & Cameron. 1998). Cattell & Butcher. Describing in his meta-analysis. After a careful FIGURE 1 Conceptual model. 1981. whereas personality psychology is the study of what makes a person unique from others (i. 1998). 1965. 1999). F. Oldham & Cummings. It is safe to say that in general a ‘‘creative personality’’ does exist and personality dispositions do regularly and predictably relate to creative achievement. (p. 266). and unique ideas concerning procedures and processes that can be used at work and are appropriate and significant to the problem or opportunity presented (Amabile. 290) The bulk of research on creativity over the years has emphasized various characteristics of individuals successful in creative endeavors (e. but whether these will actually result in achieving creative results depends on their intrinsic motivation. in his exhaustive review.g. However. (p. 1996) suggesting a profile for creative individuals (Eysenck. 1954). hypothetical construct directing employee behavior’’ (p. This study adds to the existing literature by exploring the mediating role of intrinsic motivation and the moderating role of extrinsic motivation in the relationship between personality traits=creativity (see Figure 1). original. The importance of intrinsic motivation in creativity has long been suggested (Crutchfield. Steiner (1965) also argued that in order to be creative.e. especially when the reward is contingent on creativity (Eisenberger & Rhoades. X.54 PRABHU. In their review article. SUTTON. 1996). However. 1996... . Ambrose and Kulik (1999) stated. internal. extrinsic motivation also has an incremental effect on creativity.. The relationship between personality traits and creativity has been well documented in the literature (George & Zhou. 1991). 679). Although past research centered on intrinsic motivation as the key ingredient in creativity (Amabile. Oldham & Cummings. These conditions were in accordance to the characteristics of a mediator variable (see R. Feist (1998) aptly described the relation between the two fields of personality and creativity: The disciplines of personality psychology and creativity share an essential commonality: They both emphasize the uniqueness of the individual. and Choi (2004) provided evidence that both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation under certain conditions contributes to creativity. Several traits have been suggested to be related to creativity (see Feist. Barron & Harrington. 1997. 1962). 1988. Feist. ‘‘Sadly. aptly stated. Thus. Both disciplines also focus on the consistency and stability—or lack thereof—of such uniqueness. The essence of a creative person is the uniqueness of his or her ideas and behavior. 1997). Barron. This article draws attention to this silence in the creativity literature. Barron & Kenny. 1986). X. Oldham & Cummings. particularly by way of motivational factors. Feist (1998) stated: Empirical research over the last 45 years makes a rather convincing case that creative people behave consistently over time and situation and in ways that distinguish them from others. in spite of the vast amount of research carried out in the field of creativity relating to the personality and motivation of the creative individual (Amabile. Shalley. we chose three traits for which there was theoretical=empirical support that the trait predicted both (a) creative performance and (b) intrinsic motivation. 2001. 1985). 1988). which leads to a voluntary investigation of new alternatives and ideas (Rogers. one of the important sources of creativity is an individuals’ intrinsic task interest. 304) A major source of evidence for the consistency and generality of creative personality is the fact that samples of creative individuals varying in age and working in different fields have been found to share common characteristics (e. Further.g. an individual has to be inherently interested in the issue or problem and motivated to find a solution. SAUSER as the generation of novel. F. 1970). individuals may have certain traits and abilities that are favorable for creativity. 2001. we are aware that an individual’s motivation to perform a task can be intrinsic or extrinsic (Deci & Ryan. there is still inadequate empirical support to explain the mechanism by which personality traits are linked to creativity. according to Amabile (1983).

Since the early work of Mackinnon (1960). & Frese. Urban. 1995. and Simon (1962) suggested that creative behavior was accompanied by persistence. Cervone. George & Zhou. p. in many cases.g. 1994. Besides a range of selfstarted and proactive behaviors. 1984). openness to experience has the most empirical support as being closely related to creativity (Feist. have been made over several years. Bandura (1986. and later by Adelson (2003). motivation between the three personality traits and creativity. and perseverance. & James. 1983). of the Five Factor Model dimensions. 1993. 664). It is important for a creative person to have faith in his or her capabilities not just for a temporary phase (belief) but over a stable time period (trait). CREATIVITY AND PERSEVERANCE Creative ideas are more likely to be implemented if initiative is high (Frese. multifaceted belief system that operates selectively across different activity domains and under different situational demands. This was clearly illustrated in the studies carried out by Csikszentmihalyi (1996). creative people continued with perseverance in their creative venture. The purpose of this study was three-fold: (a) We first examined the relationship between creativity and the personality traits of self-efficacy and perseverance. Csikszentmihalyi (1996) interviewed 91 renowned creative individuals and questioned them about their relationships. PERSONALITY. in contrast to specific self-efficacy. 1994). Early creativity theorists Newell. On the other hand.CREATIVITY. italics added). habits. 1982. general self-efficacy is defined as a ‘‘generalized trait consisting of one’s overall estimate of one’s ability to effect requisite performances in achievement situations’’ (Eden & Zuk. AND MOTIVATION 55 literature review. rather than being a decontextualized conglomerate’’ (Bandura. priorities. 1986). Shaw. 2001). 2004). (b) next we tested the mediational role of intrinsic FIGURE 2 Hypothesized model. Eden & Aviram. 1984. Mackinnon (1960) observed that another characteristic of creative people is a persistent high level of energy in their work.g. general self-efficacy consists of trait-like characteristics that are ‘‘not tied to specific situations or behavior’’ but that generalize to a ‘‘variety of situations’’ (Sherer et al. we chose the following three personality traits—openness to experience.. CREATIVITY AND SELF-EFFICACY Self-efficacy is one’s perceived capability for performing a specific task (Bandura. Torrence (1988) found perseverance to be one of the main traits in creative individuals. In spite of phases of disappointment and depression. 1997). p. self-efficacy. Hypothesis 1: The trait of self-efficacy will relate significantly and positively to creativity. 1997) argued that specific self-efficacy represents task and situation (domain) specific cognition. and insights. This capability has been viewed as a generative capability. 1997. 42). (c) we tested the moderating role of extrinsic motivation (see Figure 2). 3). Torrence (1988) determined that perseverance was one of the main traits in creative individuals. 629. Tipton & Worthington. 1997. 2000). p. and resourcefulness (Bandura. and finally. 2004. 1995). theory and research to date have indicated that taskand-situation specific self-efficacy and general selfefficacy represent separate constructs (e.. which represents ‘‘a dynamic. Perkins (1994) drew attention to the fact that creative breakthroughs were usually the result of strenuous efforts that. 1991. initiative involves persistent behavior (Frese & Fay. Eden & Kinnar. Thus. 2001) such as demonstrating perseverance in the face of obstacles (Rank. hence in this study self-efficacy was referred to as a trait (see also Lennings. Selfefficacy is defined as ‘‘beliefs in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to produce given attainments’’ (p.. 1998). Pace. In fact. one of the traits closely related to creativity is openness to experience (Dollinger. Eden & Zuk. This leads to the hypothesis that self-efficacy will augment creativity. . The importance of self-efficacy to creativity has received some support (summarized in Lubart. inventiveness. Sherer & Adams. Bandura (1997) strongly suggested that self-efficacy is essential for creative productivity. General self-efficacy has been used recently as another dimension of selfefficacy in empirical research (e. which blocked their creative striving. Perseverance stood out as a key characteristic of a creative individual. This ability influences performance through the adept use of sub-skills. However. Bandura (1997) suggested that strong self-efficacy was also an important requirement for creativity.

Feist. cognitive resources. Hence the mediating role of intrinsic motivation is hypothesized: Hypothesis 3: Intrinsic motivation will mediate the relationship between openness to experience and creativity. Creative . there is a higher probability that the one who has faith in his or her capability to do the job (high self-efficacy). 1986) the above discussion suggests that (a) openness to experience is closely associated with both intrinsic motivation and creativity. Bandura (1986) cited strong self-efficacy as a necessary condition for creative productivity and also suggested that it is inherent in motivational processes. intrinsic motivation was also closely associated with both personality traits and creativity (Amabile. 1995. From the above discussion. Entwistle (1988) found that students who were high in openness to experience exhibited higher levels of intrinsic motivation. 1992). In fact McCrae and Costa (1997) stated that openness was the most relevant trait for creativity. ‘‘Self-efficacy refers to beliefs in one’s capabilities to mobilize the motivation. including the ‘‘Ah Hah’’ experience and the relationship of that experience to perseverance. 1990. were prominent features of the interviews. Adelson concluded that perseverance. Urban. creativity requires individuals to be perseverant. Hypothesis 2: Perseverance will be positively and significantly related to creativity. insight. George & Zhou. much more interesting. and personal technique. will find the job doable and. Shalley. 1992). SAUSER Adelson (2003) interviewed the 2002 Franklin Institute Laureates in order to understand some basic issues relating to scientific creativity. this was later reaffirmed by Bandura (1997). Farmer. 1996. 2004. curiosity. 2001). MEDIATING ROLE OF INTRINSIC MOTIVATION IN CREATIVITY= SELF-EFFICACY Ford (1996) proposed that self-efficacy perceptions influence employee creativity. originality. Thus. Wood and Bandura (1989) stated. 635). ‘‘Creative individuals do not give up easily’’ (p. 171). and broadmindedness (Costa & McCrae. The ability to see things from different perspectives has been stressed in the creativity literature (Perkins. Simonton (1999) stated. 1985). It has revealed a robust association with creativity (Dollinger. Barron & Kenny. & Graen. Openness to experience is a personality characteristic that reflects characteristics such as imaginativeness.g. In fact. along with resulting analytic abilities. therefore. 408). MEDIATING ROLE OF INTRINSIC MOTIVATION IN CREATIVITY=PERSEVERANCE ‘‘Persistence is the other side of the creativity coin’’ (Adelson. Hypothesis 4: Intrinsic motivation will mediate the relationship between self-efficacy and creativity. That intrinsic motivation is needed for creativity is well illustrated in the literature (e. SUTTON. Sternberg & Lubart. and (b) intrinsic motivation is strongly related to creativity. 1988. Oldham & Cummings. Ford (1996) identified self-efficacy beliefs as a key motivational component in his model of individual creative action. 1992). especially in the face of challenges that are a part and parcel of creative work (Shalley & Gilson. M. and in the light of the fact that intrinsic motivation is also related to creativity. we hypothesize the mediating role of intrinsic motivation in the relationship between self-efficacy and creativity. An individual is said to be intrinsically motivated when he or she performs a task due to the sheer fascination of the task itself. An individual’s belief in his or her capability mobilizes his or her motivation. 1983. and courses of action needed to meet given situational demands’’ (p. rather than simply because of its outcomes (Deci & Ryan. On the other hand. 1998. 1985) and researchers have empirically verified that there is a positive association between measures of intrinsic motivation and creativity (Tierney. 2003. MEDIATING ROLE OF INTRINSIC MOTIVATION IN CREATIVITY=OPENNESS TO EXPERIENCE Deci (1971) suggested that there are two motivational subsystems: extrinsic and intrinsic. Given the characteristics of a mediating variable (see R. 1999). Self-efficacy has also been identified as a key motivational construct within organizations (Gist & Mitchell. 1985). Simon. 2004).56 PRABHU. especially intrinsic motivation.. consider two individuals who are low and high in self-efficacy respectively. This suggests that self-efficacy may have a positive impact on intrinsic motivation. For example. 1996. Amabile. One element of openness is attentiveness to inner feelings (McCrae & Costa. p. Zhou 1998). & James. The one who is low on self-efficacy may lose interest in the job even before he has begun doing it because he or she has little or no confidence in himself or herself of performing the job to begin with. Openness to experience facilitates multiple perspectives thereby building interest in the task itself. Further.

and animal and dairy science. The above discussion leads us to the following hypothesis. information systems management (5. 1983. 1988). pharmacy. entrepreneurship.45%). Nickerson. Furthermore. health administration. It included students majoring in marketing (15. thereby facilitating intrinsic motivation. Creativity was measured using the What Kind of Person Are You? (WKOPAY) inventory. Hypothesis 7: Extrinsic motivation will moderate the relationship between self-efficacy and creativity. a 50item self-report checklist designed to assess individuals’ perception of their own behavior (Khatena & Torrence. have found that. Basadur (1997) analyzed a Japanese firm that used a structural approach in order to motivate creative problem solving by way of monetary incentives. More recent studies have not only negated some of the prior research about the negative impact of extrinsic motivation on creativity but. Gaddis. 1971). Creative personality consists of both domain-specific traits and domain-general traits (Feist. training. 1996. although extrinsic motivation can help to ensure a timely and complete output (Amabile.23%). we chose this particular management course because it comprised students from varied curriculums. This was supported by Woodman and Schoenfeldt (1989). biomedical science. Monetary rewards were given for all ideas that could be practically applied. 1996. with the firm receiving as many as 140 suggestions per person per year. Hypothesis 6: Extrinsic motivation will moderate the relationship between openness to experience and creativity. accounting (13.7 years (SD ¼ 1. fishery. who concluded that creative individuals approach a problem with greater persistence. Intrinsic motivation may be essential for the novelty in the work. 1993). The following example illustrates that perseverance does have an effect on intrinsic motivation: As one develops greater expertise and talent in a specific domain due to his or her perseverance. . such as consumer affairs. 2002. Participation was voluntary and completely anonymous. Scott. Eisenberger & Cameron. intrinsic and extrinsic motivation could synergistically aid creative performance. engineering (6. 1999. The sample consisted of 58% men and approximately 98% were of junior or senior standing with an average age of 21. business administration (12. Some work activities may be challenging and interesting (intrinsically motivating). Collins & Amabile. 1990). Basadur pointed out that the program was successful because it was highly motivating. building science (3. Eisenberger & Rhoades. under certain conditions. Measures Creativity. Hennessey & Amabile. suggesting that the importance of extrinsic motivation in creativity. and careful alignment with organizational strategy. finance (13. Hypothesis 5: Intrinsic motivation mediates the relationship between perseverance and creativity. communication. AND MOTIVATION 57 individuals are especially persistent when they meet with adversities and disappointments (Chambers. aviation management (7. extrinsic motivation may have a negative impact on intrinsic motivation (Deci. one must note that the initial reason for developing the expertise may be due to either intrinsic or extrinsic motivation. recognition.CREATIVITY. 2001. days. PERSONALITY. Keynes (1942=1956) suggested that Newton’s extraordinary gift may have resulted from the ability to deliberate intensely on a problem for hours. Mumford. history. one is likely to find domain-relevant activities to be more positively reinforcing. if necessary. That hard work is required for creativity has long been stressed (Golann. 1993). irrespective of whether the idea was small or large. public relations. including rewards. under certain circumstances. and others (22.7%).32%). 1999. However. but there may also be other activities that are purely extrinsically motivated (Amabile. The fact that is noteworthy in this study is that the Data were collected from 124 undergraduate students who were enrolled in one of the four sections of an introductory management course at a large southeastern university. 1963). Some researchers even claimed that.26%). until he had solved it. 1964).7). should not be minimized. economics. 1999). especially in work-related activities. or weeks.1%). on the contrary. intrinsic motivation is said to be more effective with respect to the creativity of the individual (Amabile.7%). and training. The program was a huge success. HR management. we hypothesized the moderating role of extrinsic motivation in creativity. extrinsic motivation was positively related to creativity (Amabile. Runco.65%).58). & Strange. Because our study focused on the domain-general trait. criminology. Hence. Hypothesis 8: Extrinsic motivation will moderate the relationship between perseverance and creativity. but on developing the expertise a person is more likely to enjoy the task. logistics. METHOD Data Collection Procedure and Participants MODERATING ROLE OF EXTRINSIC MOTIVATION IN CREATIVITY Although Crutchfield (1962) suggested that both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation stimulate creative activity. motivational factors were largely from extrinsic sources.

Because this definition was appropriate for the present research we measured perseverance by using one of the four subscales of the UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale (Whiteside & Lynam. Each item refers to successful coping and implies an internal-stable attribution of success (Jerusalem & Schwarzer. and factor analysis. and criterion-related validity was determined by establishing relations with measures of creative thinking. A truly creative achievement is almost never the result of a sudden flash of insight. 1992) It contains 12 items that were summed to obtain an overall score for openness to experience.77. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The manual for the WKOPAY instrument reported construct. Each item for both the intrinsic and extrinsic scale was followed by a four-point scale where 1 ¼ Never or almost never true of you. The UPPS impulsivity scale is a 45-item inventory designed to measure four distinct personality pathways to impulsive behavior: Urgency. ‘‘(a) I prefer tasks that challenge me. The WKOPAY asked individuals to choose between two descriptors of personality. construct validity was determined in terms of attitude patterns. Internal consistency (coefficient alpha) obtained in the current study was . and criterion-related validity. & Schwarzer. The total creativity score was calculated by summing up those items that were typically chosen by creative people. The Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale was used in this study for measuring self-efficacy. with . the four-point scale was reverse coded with 4 (agree strongly) to 1 (disagree strongly) so that the sum of the responses measured perseverance and not the lack of it.47. The pathway. and descriptive statistics). especially in the face of challenges that are a part and parcel of creative work (Shalley & Gilson.83). Respondents indicated the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with each of the items on a five-point scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). the greater an individual’s characteristics or qualities associated with a creative personality.’’ Cronbach’s alpha for the extrinsic scale was 0. Sud.81. i. for tables and extensive reporting of reliability. Whiteside and Lynam. personality characteristics. 1992). and Sensation Seeking. but comes after years of hard work (Csikszentmihalyi. and it could range from 0 to 50. standard deviations. Content validity was supported by the findings of studies on the creative personality and on the judgments of experts. SAUSER 1976).50 to . General self-efficacy aims at a broad and stable sense of personal competence to deal effectively with a variety of stressful ~a. and 4 ¼ Always or almost always true of you. Extrinsic motivation was also measured with a 15-item scale. Sample items are ‘‘I enjoy tackling problems that are completely new to me’’ and ‘‘I enjoy trying to solve complex problems. & Tighe. I’m not that concerned about exactly what grades or awards I can earn. (lack of) Premeditation. 1996). pp. Hill.71 to . Openness to experience was measured by using the subscale of the NEO–Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI. ranging from . creativity requires individuals to be perseverant.97.07 and a maximum value of . Because the scale measured lack of perseverance. It is a 10-item psychometric scale that is designed to assess perceived self-efficacy. The scale had a strong reliability (Cronbach’s alpha ¼ . Correlations among the independent and mediator=moderator variables had a median value of . The Work Preference Inventory was used to measure intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (Amabile. content. 2001). validity. Costa & McCrae. Gutie 2002). assesses an individual’s ability to persist in completing jobs or obligations despite boredom and=or fatigue.’’ Cronbach’s alpha for the intrinsic scale was 0. 2004). The WKOPAY inventory demonstrated adequate test–retest reliabilities. 3 ¼ Often true of you.99.58 PRABHU. ‘‘Perseverance refers to an individual’s ability to remain focused on a task that may be boring or difficult. We found a rather modest reliability with Cronbach’s alpha measuring . (2001) stated that.. Perseverance. Self-efficacy. biographical reports.’’ The higher the total scores on WKOPAY. 1994). Hennessey. SUTTON. Individuals low in (lack of) perseverance are able to complete projects and to work under conditions that require resistance to distracting stimuli’’ (p. (lack of) Perseverance. This scale includes items such as ‘‘I am strongly motivated by the grades I can earn’’ and ‘‘As long as I can do what I enjoy. RESULTS Table 1 displays means. The intrinsic motivation scale includes 15 items that assess the degree to which respondents enjoy the challenge of the work at hand. As mentioned earlier. and rating scales (see Khatena & Torrance. 2 ¼ Sometimes true of you.e.71. 685).68. (b) I do work on time. Openness to experience. in line with that reported in the NEO-FFI manual (Costa & McCrae. (lack of) Perseverance. Respondents indicated the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with each of the 10 items on a four-point scale. 35–57. 1992). Cronbach’s alpha measured . ´ rrez-Don situations (Scholz. Khatena and Torrence (1976) reported spilthalf and test–retest reliabilities for the WKOPAY ranging from . 1976.65. and correlations among all the variables. personality inventories.

01. TABLE 2 Summary of Regression Analyses Predicting the Mediating Role of Intrinsic Motivation in the Relation between Creativity and Openness to Experience Sobel Test ß Regression 1 a D R2 . Table 3 shows a significant regression coefficient for intrinsic motivation. p ¼ . Formula for the test was drawn from MacKinnon.45.001). p ¼ . p ¼ .02. To test for mediation. multicollinearity was not a severe problem that would preclude interpretation of the regression analyses (Neter.55 .39 Ã À .8 3.33Ã .20. ÃÃÃp < .2 3. a Dependent variable is Intrinsic Motivation. p ¼ . ns). .30. ÃÃ p < .3 2. which signified that intrinsic motivation partially mediated the relationship between creativity and openness to experience.28 .33.00.11 .05.28. followed by step two wherein openness was controlled and intrinsic motivation was introduced. p ¼ . & Dwyer. The results supported hypotheses 3 and 4.03 . However. The significance of openness to experience decreased in step 2. A formal test of the significance of mediation was provided by the Sobel test (Sobel. intrinsic motivation (r ¼ . was not supported. Warsi. (c) the dependent variable was regressed on both the independent variable and on the mediator. N ¼ 124.08ÃÃ . N ¼ 124. For testing Hypothesis 3. Hypothesis 2. p ¼ . Creativity was significantly and positively related to self-efficacy (r ¼ . a simple regression was performed for step one. Wasserman. 1983).002).28.31ÃÃ 2. p ¼ .11ÃÃ z p Openness to experience Regression 2b Step 1 Openness to experience Step 2 Openness to experience Intrinsic motivation . to test for complete mediation. which suggested that intrinsic motivation mediated the relationship between openness and creativity. As expected.023). Warsi. perseverance. p ¼ .ÃÃ p < .03 1 . 2001). 1982. Finally we cal- culated the Sobel’s test (Preacher & Leonardelli.31.33ÃÃ . 1995).25ÃÃ .45ÃÃ . which contributed to creativity when self-efficacy was controlled. The same procedure was repeated for testing the mediating role of intrinsic motivation between creativity and self-efficacy as mentioned in hypothesis 4.33 .08. which predicted a positive relation between creativity and perseverance. as perseverance was not correlated to creativity.00. M 25.44 1 1 ÃÃ . In step one. Barron and Kenny (1986) suggested a three-step procedure: (a) the mediator was regressed on the independent variable.CREATIVITY.3ÃÃ À .001).00) and openness to experience (r ¼ . self-efficacy.005. As shown in Table 2.12 À .32. & Kutner. In addition. This suggested complete support for Hypothesis 1. Hence. This was followed by a twostep hierarchical linear regression (see Table 2).37 . r ¼ .18Ã .35. but for steps two and three a hierarchical linear regression was employed. hence. indicating the mediating role of intrinsic motivation (b ¼ .6 .00) were both significantly and positively correlated to creativity. which was further tested by regressing creativity on self-efficacy (R2 ¼ . the independent variable needs to be controlled in the third step. p ¼ . and Dwyer (1995). p ¼ .39. This was further confirmed by regressing creativity on perseverance (R2 ¼ . the regression coefficient for intrinsic motivation was significant in contributing to creativity when openness to experience was controlled. and finally. Intrinsic motivation was also significantly related to all three personality traits (openness to experience.01.07 2 1 .02 Note. PERSONALITY. R2D ¼ . this again indicated the mediating role of intrinsic motivation (b ¼ .12ÃÃ . p ¼ . Table 3 summarizes the results of the regression analyses.09.2 3. The Sobel test revealed significant evidence of partial mediation by intrinsic motivation.2 .001. see MacKinnon. extrinsic motivation exhibited a negative association with creativity (r ¼ À . z ¼ 2.001).28ÃÃ 3 4 5 59 6 1 À . However.3 SD 5. creativity was regressed on openness to experience. r ¼ . (b) the dependent variable was regressed on the independent variable. r ¼ .12 1 .35ÃÃ . b Dependent variable is Creativity. AND MOTIVATION TABLE 1 Descriptive Statistics and Zero-Order Correlations Among Variables Variables 1 2 3 4 5 6 Creativity Intrinsic motivation Extrinsic motivation Openness to experience Self-efficacy Perseverance Note. Ã p < .32 .47ÃÃ 1 a maximum variance-inflation factor less than 2. M.001.9 2.35ÃÃÃ . R. we first regressed intrinsic motivation on openness.

SAUSER TABLE 3 Summary of Regression Analyses Predicting the Mediating Role of Intrinsic Motivation in the Relation Between Creativity and Self-Efficacy Sobel Test b Regression 1 a DR .86 t 4. R2D ¼ .28ÃÃà 3. Table 6 shows that the regression coefficient for the interaction term between perseverance and extrinsic motivation is significant. We found support for the moderating role of extrinsic motivation in self-efficacy and perseverance but not in openness to experience.32Ãà 2. As seen in Figure 4. Self-efficacy was statistically insignificant in step 2.01.89 . However. N ¼ 124. SUTTON.001). Intrinsic motivation was also significantly and positively related to perseverance. a two-way interaction was observed between perseverance and extrinsic motivation.003 Note.07Ãà 3. p ¼ .001.08. thereby confirming the moderating role of extrinsic motivation between creativity and perseverance. Table 5 indicates that the slopes for extrinsic motivation are significant at low and mean levels. Table 4 shows that the regression coefficient for the interaction term between self-efficacy and extrinsic motivation was significant. perseverance was not significantly related to creativity. This suggests that extrinsic motivation completely moderates this relationship. Slopes 7. p ¼ . Note that in the absence of the interaction term. which suggested that intrinsic motivation completely mediated the relationship between creativity and self-efficacy.001.93 .14Ãà moderating role of extrinsic motivation between creativity and self-efficacy. To test Hypotheses 6–8.06 . we carried out moderated regression analyses.21ÃÃà D R2 .66ÃÃà À 3. thereby confirming the TABLE 4 Summary of Hierarchical Regression Analyses Predicting the Moderating Role of Extrinsic Motivation in the Relation Between Creativity and Self-Efficacy b Step 1 Self-efficacy Extrinsic motivation Step 2 Self-efficacy Extrinsic motivation Self-efficacy  Extrinsic motivation Note. Ãà p < . p ¼ .19 2 z p ÃÃà Self-efficacy Regression 2b Step 1 Self-efficacy Step 2 Self-efficacy Intrinsic motivation . Ãà p < .08Ãà . was not supported. FIGURE 3 Creativity predicted by the two-way interaction between self-efficacy and extrinsic motivation.01Ãà À 11. N ¼ 124.96 2. The Sobel test (1982) revealed significant evidence of complete mediation by intrinsic motivation.09Ãà .89. ÃÃÃp < . Thus. thereby suggesting that self-efficacy interacted with extrinsic motivation such that the positive relationship between creativity and self-efficacy was significant at low and mean levels of extrinsic motivation. N ¼ 124. ÃÃà p < .47 1.01. there is no significant relationship between perseverance and creativity.16 . 4. Ãà p < . a Dependent variable is intrinsic motivation. Table 7 indicates that the slope for extrinsic motivation is significant only at the high level.27 1. As seen in Figure 3. which suggested the mediating role of intrinsic motivation between perseverance and creativity.76Ãà .12 SE 1. z ¼ÃÃà .70Ãà .001. but not at high levels of extrinsic motivation. related to the moderating role of extrinsic motivation. Hypothesis 5. thereby suggesting that perseverance interacted with extrinsic motivation such that in the presence of high levels of extrinsic TABLE 5 Regression Slopes Depicting the Association Between Creativity and Self-Efficacy at Different Levels of Extrinsic Motivation Interaction Self-efficacy  Extrinsic motivation Low Mean High Note.30Ãà . a two-way interaction was observed between self-efficacy and extrinsic motivation. b Dependent variable is creativity.70Ãà À 4.60 PRABHU. ÃÃÃp < .001.

will be rewarded’’ (p. Limitations and Future Research Intrinsic motivation has been considered as the key ingredient in creativity (Amabile. It is interesting to note that at low and mean levels of extrinsic motivation. 1983). DISCUSSION Creativity is indispensable for progress in any given field.05.05Ãà À . ÃÃp < . First it empirically tested the influence of three personality traits (openness to experience.19à SE 1. 1989). but at high levels of extrinsic motivation. Slopes 2. and more importantly. Imagine life without novelty and originality. For future research. À . we found that extrinsic motivation undermined creativity. Additionally. we tested the moderating role of extrinsic motivation and found that it completely moderated the relationship between creativity and perseverance.57 1.09 motivation there is a negative relationship between creativity and perseverance. ‘‘Unfortunately little is known about the conditions that promote the creative performance of individual employees in organizations’’ (p.48 À 3.51Ãà D R2 .13 1. . things are not that simple and found that. self-efficacy. Although earlier research had suggested that perseverance is one of the important traits of a creative individual (Csikszentmihalyi. As anticipated. in the presence of high FIGURE 4 Creativity predicted by the two-way interaction between Perseverance and extrinsic motivation.05. However. which may not hold true in a field experiment. 2001). PERSONALITY. Similarly Amabile (1993) pointed out that. the results revealed no empirical support for such a relationship. Neither of these conditions were present in this study setting. 196). as Choi (2004) pointed out.42 À .48 À 3. à p < . creativity was closely related to openness to experience and selfefficacy. à p < . 1996). Instead people with high extrinsic motivation may display high creative performance when reward criteria involve creativity. many of the extrinsic motivators did appear to undermine creativity in settings such as a research and development laboratory (Amabile & Gryskiewicz. Finally. as participation in this study was voluntary. in the real world.42 À 2. Second. and perseverance) on creativity.76Ãà À 8. AND MOTIVATION TABLE 6 Summary of Hierarchical Regression Analyses Predicting the Moderating Role of Extrinsic Motivation in the Relation Between Creativity and Perseverance b Step 1 Perseverance Extrinsic motivation Step 2 Perseverance Extrinsic motivation Perseverance  Extrinsic motivation Note.CREATIVITY. In fact.23 À .56 À 3. N ¼ 124. Intrinsic motivation partially mediated the relationship between creativity and openness to experience and completely mediated the relationship between creativity and self-efficacy. perseverance had a negative association with creativity. The present study adds to the creativity literature in several ways.04 61 TABLE 7 Regression Slopes Depicting the Association Between Creativity and Perseverance at Different Levels of Extrinsic Motivation Interaction Perseverance  Extrinsic motivation Low Mean High Note. Also. this same study could be replicated in an organizational setting. but not at low or mean levels of extrinsic motivation. ‘‘Extrinsic motivation per se may neither increase nor decrease creativity. extrinsic motivation partially moderated the relationship between self-efficacy and creativity. We also did not find a positive relation between perseverance and creativity.01. N ¼ 124. 607). the potential mediating role of intrinsic motivation was empirically tested. One of the reasons could be the lack of a field setting. whereas the same people may stick to conventional approaches when the situation signals that efficiency. indeed. 1988). rather than creativity. It is now also well-documented that extrinsic motivation has an incremental effect on creativity (Eisenberger & Rhoades. Oldham and Cummings (1996) stated.53 T 1. which form the basis of creativity (Amabile. perseverance was not related to creativity.48à .

the mediational model of intrinsic motivation could be extended to include the antecedents of the personality traits..e. but not on another. Several longitudinal studies have found that the distinguishing traits of creative people do not change considerably over time (Camp.62 PRABHU. Although this does not completely eradicate the problem of common method bias. such as poor recall. given the theoretical importance of perseverance in creativity. It also seems possible that perseverance and intrinsic motivation may have a two-way relationship. 1995). The creativity literature suggests that an individual’s background characteristics affect his or her cognitive and noncognitive behavior (Ai. given that the respondent sample was undergraduate students. People who are intrinsically motivated are found to be more persevering and flexible (McGraw & Fiala. In spite of all this evidence in favor of self-report questionnaires in creativity.. with gender being one of the most important characteristics in educational and psychological literature (Fennema & Carpenter. rather than a luxury. & Agronick. thereby narrowing the scope of generalizablility of this study. especially for self-efficacy and perseverance. the responses were completely anonymous. 1982) as they are motivated because of the challenge and pleasure of the work itself. Another limitation was related to common method variance. and Podsakoff (2003) mentioned that one of the most common variables assumed to cause common method variance is the tendency for participants to respond in a socially desirable manner. common method variance was not a significant threat while testing moderating effects relating to extrinsic motivation. and potential validity issues (Azar. Schwarz. i. and Martin (1997) noted that if common method variance explains significant relationships. Given the importance of creativity. 1999). but also claimed that such self-report scales were ‘‘perhaps the most easily defensible way to identify creative talent’’ (p. while the use of self-report questionnaires directed to a more general-oriented notion of creativity. both intentional and unintentional distortions by participants. However. Another interesting future study would be to replicate this study using teams. Additionally. he or she may become too focused on the goal. Plucker (1998) pointed out that performance-based evaluations provided results favoring a domain-specific view of creative behaviors. perseverance was found to be negatively associated with creativity. 1994. especially if carried out in an organizational setting. one cannot ignore the inherent limitations of self-report data. it is plausible that it may be related to creativity in a different form of relationship. 1999). Brockner. However. Dudek & Hall. which in turn leads to creativity (Hennessey & Amabile. It is important for a creative person to know when it is time to give up an idea that is not resulting in anything and accept that the idea was flawed. They argued that respondents may have less evaluation apprehension and. Siegel. Helson. Finally. it will be their perseverance that will sail them through the difficult patch. 9). 1990). suggesting that an alternative measure should be used in future research. It would be interesting to test the role of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in creativity across gender. losing sight on the creative work itself.e. A product that may be a huge success today could be extinct tomorrow. there is no rationale why there should be a significant relationship at one level. Daly. the only thing that is constant is change. Also. Hocevar (1981) noted that self-report questionnaires were not only one of the most commonly used tools in creative personality. an inverted-U shaped relationship between motivation and creativity emanating from the fact that when a person exhibits very high level of motivation. as the data were collected from a single source. In today’s competitive world. Psychologists still have a long way to go before they come anywhere close to understanding creativity in women and minorities (Helson. SUTTON. 1998). ‘‘Selfassessments offer a window into the ways that people conceptualize creativity’’ (p. Following are some ideas for future research into the elusive construct of creativity. However. 1997. 1997. it would still be interesting to observe if the present results would differ in a longitudinal study. the creativity measure had disappointingly low reliability (b) ¼ . But when they are faced with obstacles and constant failures. Finally. It will be interesting to further test such a relationship. Roberts. new ideas and new products have become a necessity. a natural extension of this study would be to expand the dispositions studied to determine whether they add incremental variance beyond those included in the present study. 1991. A similar relationship was suggested by Lubart and Sternberg (1995). 1998).68 in this study. it is becoming a topic of ever-increasing interest to managers. therefore. To be . but lower or higher levels of perseverance would not have the same impact on creativity. are less likely to edit their responses to be more socially desirable when anonymity is assured. 2004). it does alleviate it. Rowe. a curvilinear relationship such that moderate levels of perseverance lead to creativity. External validity could be low. Kaufman and Baer (2004) argued that. self-report questionnaires and performance-based evaluations have been two of the main assessment methods used for measuring creativity (Lubart & Guignard. Tyler. thereby protecting the respondent’s identity. Podsakoff. In the backdrop of such fierce competition. 455). Lee. i. MacKenzie. In the present study. Additionally. One of the major limitations of this study is that all measures are self-reported. SAUSER levels of extrinsic motivation.

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