Creativity During Threat to Organizational Survival: The Influence of Employee Creativity on Downsizing Survival Selection

Michael Halinski, Janet A. Boekhorst, David Allen, Jessica R.L. Good

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

Abstract

Although research consistently shows that employee creativity contributes to positive outcomes for teams and organizations, we have limited insight into how employee creativity shapes the outcomes of those employees who demonstrate such creativity, particularly in the context of environmental uncertainties. Drawing from event system theory and threat rigidity theory, we argue that under a threat to organizational survival, incremental creativity has a positive, and radical creativity has a negative, indirect effect on downsizing survival selection via manager evaluations of employee job performance. Study 1 uses a unique three-wave, three-source field study (n1= 186) to provide support for our hypotheses. Studies 2 and 3 use experimental data (n2= 410, n3= 565) involving different scenarios of threats to organizational survival (i.e., organization's innovation failure, competitor's successful innovation) that provide further support for the hypothesized effects of radical creativity on manager evaluations of employee job performance. Post-hoc analyses reveal novel insights into how managers’ creativity preferences can influence their evaluation of the job performance of employees who demonstrate incremental creativity during threatening events.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Management
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • employee downsizing
  • event system theory
  • incremental creativity
  • job performance
  • radical creativity
  • survivor
  • threat rigidity theory

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