Fun, Friends, and Creativity: A Social Capital Perspective

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

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Although creativity research has devoted considerable effort toward identifying the antecedents of creativity, there remain important questions about how organizations can foster creativity through social processes. Drawing from social capital theory, we hypothesize a moderated mediation model that investigates the influence of employee participation in fun activities on individual creativity through workplace friendships. We further hypothesize that the strength of this positive indirect effect is weaker for managers compared with non-managers. Our analysis of data collected from a multi-source, three-wave field study (n = 163 employees) reveals a positive mediation between participation in fun activities and incremental creativity (but not radical creativity) via workplace friendships. The results further support our prediction that this positive indirect effect on incremental creativity is weaker for managers compared with non-managers. Our findings not only highlight the practical and theoretical importance of fun activities in generating novel and useful ideas, but the results also reveal that the benefits derived from fun activities (i.e., strengthened friendships, incremental creativity) are particularly salient for non-managers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)970-983
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Creative Behavior
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec. 2021


  • fun activities
  • individual creativity
  • managers
  • social capital
  • workplace friendships
  • workplace fun


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