Leveraging employee creativity through high performance work systems
: a multilevel perspective

  • Ieva Martinaityte

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Research has looked at single rather than a configuration of human resource management (HRM) practices to influence creativity so it is not yet clear how these practices synergistically facilitate creativity and organisational performance. I address this significant but unanswered question in a three-part study. In Study 1, I develop a high performance work system (HPWS) for creativity scale. I use Study 2 sample to test the validity of the new scale. In Study 3, I test a multilevel model of the intervening processes through which branch HPWS for creativity influences creativity and branch performance. Specifically, at the branch level, I draw on social context theory and hypothesise that branch HPWS for creativity relates to climate for creativity which, in turn, leads to creativity, and ultimately, to profit. Furthermore, I hypothesise environmental dynamism as a boundary condition of the creativity-profit relationship. At the individual level, I hypothesise a cross-level effect of branch HPWS for creativity on employee-perceived HPWS. I draw on self-determination theory and argue that perceived HPWS for creativity relate to need satisfaction and the psychological pathways of intrinsic motivation and creative process engagement to predict creativity. I also hypothesise climate for creativity as a cross-level moderator of the intrinsic motivation-creativity and creative process engagement-creativity relationships. Results of hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) indicate that ten out of the fifteen hypotheses were supported. The findings of this study respond to calls for HPWS to be designed around a strategic focus by developing and providing initial validity evidence of an HPWS for creativity scale. The results reveal the underlying mechanisms through which HPWS for creativity simultaneously influences individual and branch creativity leading to profit. Lastly, results indicate environmental dynamism to be an important boundary condition of the creativity-profit relationship and climate for creativity as a cross-level moderator of the creative process engagement-creativity.
Date of Award10 Jun 2014
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorSamuel N Aryee (Supervisor) & Claudia Sacramento (Supervisor)


  • human resource management
  • creativity climate
  • need satisfaction
  • organisational performance

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