Promoting creativity at work: the role of problem-solving demand

Qin Zhou, Giles Hirst, Helen Shipton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We propose that problem-solving demand (PSD) is an important job attribute for employees' creative performance. Applying job design theory, we examined the relationship between PSD and employee creativity. The theorised model was tested with data obtained from a sample of 270 employees and their supervisors from three Chinese organisations. Regression results revealed that PSD was positively related to creativity, and this relationship was mediated by creative self-efficacy. Additionally, intrinsic motivation moderated the relationship between PSD and creative self-efficacy such that the relationship was stronger for individuals with high rather than low intrinsic motivation. We discuss our findings, implications for practice, and future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-80
Number of pages25
JournalApplied Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date5 Jun 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • problem-solving demand
  • PSD
  • employees' creative performance
  • job design theory
  • employee creativity
  • Chinese organisations
  • creative self-efficacy
  • intrinsic motivation


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