PROBLEM SOLVING - DEMAND                                  HOME                                 AM GOV                     ...
Use the Weis flyer (or other provided store flyer) to locate examples of eachof the following demand concepts. Cut out the...
PSD was positively related to creativity, and this relationship was mediated bycreative self-efficacy. Additionally, intrin...
(Oldham & Cummings, 1996; Unsworth, Wall, & Carter, 2005). Thesestudies illustrate that the cognitive requirements of a jo...
stretch their capabilities. We propose that PSD may promote creative selfefficacy in several ways.First we propose, consist...
First, the study extends a promising and growing body of literature thatapplies learning derived from job design theory to...
Gustafson, 1988).According to Amabile (1996), when tasks are complex and intellectuallydemanding, employees are likely to ...
IntrinsicmotivationFIGURE 1. Hypothesised model for the relationship between PSD andcreativity.PROBLEM-SOLVING DEMAND AND ...
promote flexibility and creativity in analyzing and identifying solutions,employees working in high PSD situations will be ...
Theorists have suggested that self-efficacy constitutes an indispensabledimension of the motivational process important for...
2002, 2004).As discussed, PSD prompts employees to develop and apply problemsolving knowledge and skills bydirectly dealin...
strong evidence that when individuals are intrinsically as opposed toextrinsically motivated they are more willing to tack...
motivation.If creative self-efficacy mediates the relationship between PSD and creativity, as predicted inHypothesis 2b, an...
Association of Applied Psychology.Republic of China satisfied the preceding requirements and wereinvited toparticipate in t...
per cent were male. Respondents reported an average age of 28.35 years(SD = 5.25) and average job tenure of 2.93 years (SD...
“To what extent do the problems you deal with require a thorough knowledge of the work process inyour area?” and “To what ...
Association of Applied Psychology.tively, i.e. intrinsic motivation to know (three items), toaccomplish things(three items...
which has been related to individual creativity (Amabile, 1983; Woodman,Sawyer, & Griffin, 1993). Education level was measu...
acceptance (Bentler & Bonett, 1980), whereas for RMSEA, a value of .08 orless is indicative of a good model fit (Browne & C...
= 537.72,df = 246, p < .001, TLI = .91, CFI = .93, RMSEA=.07), suggesting support forthe distinctiveness of the variables ...
centered all the variables used in the interaction analysis. In Model 4 creativeself-efficacy was regressed on the control ...
1 Org1a–– – –2 Org2a– – – -.81** –3 Job typeb– – – -.82** .65** –4 Genderc– – – .24** -.27** -.29** –5 Education – – – -.3...
© 2011 The Authors. Applied Psychology: An International Review © 2011 InternationalAssociation of Applied Psychology.furt...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Problem solving

372 views

Published on

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
372
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
4
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Problem solving

  1. 1. PROBLEM SOLVING - DEMAND HOME AM GOV ECONOMICS AP GOV AP ECON SPECIAL EVENTS ASSIGNMENT BOARDHaving studied the concepts behind demand, it’s time to apply them to realdecisions. With a small group, work through each of the following problemsolving activities - but, in all you do, make sure that the concepts are usedappropriately to arrive at your answers.A. Demand at the Grocery Store
  2. 2. Use the Weis flyer (or other provided store flyer) to locate examples of eachof the following demand concepts. Cut out the portion of the flyer (pictureor actual ad) that provides the appropriate example, post it on the givenpaper, and write a brief explanation on the paper of how it exemplifies theconcept. When each have been completed, staple the the posted examplestogether as a packet. (15 points total - accurate examples & completeexplanations)1. Change in price of a substitute 2. 2. Change in price of a complement3. Diminishing marginal utility4. Change in income (inferior vs. normal goods)5. Greater concern for health 2. B. Sell More Tickets - For the Same PriceYour group has become the officers for the Econ Club. You are sellingtickets ($10) for an upcoming fundraising dance and sales are not what youhoped. How can you sell more tickets without dropping the price of theticket? Create a plan that can be used to increase sales considering theconcepts of demand. Explain your plan in a paragraph as a group and beable to share the idea.We propose that problem-solving demand (PSD) is an important job attribute for employeescreative performance. Applying job design theory, we examined the relationship between PSDand employee creativity. The theorised model was tested with data obtained from a sample of270 employees and their supervisors from three Chinese organisations. Regression resultsrevealed that PSD was positively related to creativity, and this relationship was mediated bycreative self-efficacy. Additionally, intrinsic motivation moderated the relationship between PSDand creative self-efficacy such that the relationship was stronger for individuals with high ratherthan low intrinsic motivation. We discuss our findings, implications for practice, and futureresearch.We propose that problem-solving demand (PSD) is an important job attributefor employees’ creative performance. Applying job design theory, we examinedthe relationship between PSD and employee creativity. The theorised modelwas tested with data obtained from a sample of 270 employees and theirsupervisors from three Chinese organisations. Regression results revealed that
  3. 3. PSD was positively related to creativity, and this relationship was mediated bycreative self-efficacy. Additionally, intrinsic motivation moderated the relationship between PSD andcreative self-efficacy such that the relationship wasstronger for individuals with high rather than low intrinsic motivation. Wediscuss our findings, implications for practice, and future research.INTRODUCTIONIncreasing global competition, financial crises, job restructuring, and theflattening of organisational hierarchies have dramatically increased the creative problem-solvingrequirements of employees’ jobs (Shalley, Gilson, &Blum, 2009). These trends have increased the velocity and frequency ofchange (Eisenhardt & Tabrizi, 1995), reducing structure, predictability, andsupervision within the work environment (Moreland & Argote, 2003). As aconsequence, there has been a greater need for creativity at all levels andacross different types of jobs (Shalley et al., 2009). Reflecting the significanceof employee creativity, a growing body of literature has investigated individual and contextualinfluences on employee creativity (Oldham & Cummings, 1996; Shalley, Zhou, & Oldham, 2004). Yetdespite these advances,* Address for correspondence: Qin Zhou, ISCTE Business School, ISCTE-Instituto Universitário deLisboa, 1649-026 Lisboa, Portugal. Email: qin.zhou@iscte.ptAPPLIED PSYCHOLOGY: AN INTERNATIONAL REVIEW, 2012, 61 (1), 56–80doi: 10.1111/j.1464-0597.2011.00455.x© 2011 The Authors. Applied Psychology: An International Review © 2011 InternationalAssociation of Applied Psychology. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 9600 GarsingtonRoad, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA.few studies haveexamined how basic elements of an employee’s job designinfluence his or her creativity. There has, however, been an increasing recognition that creative ideasmay be stimulated by employees’ workexperiences—and in particular aspects of job design (e.g. Mumford, Whetzel,& Reiter-Palmon, 1997; Ohly, Sonnentag, & Pluntke, 2006; Oldham & Cummings, 1996; Tierney &Farmer, 2002). Further, a small but promising line ofresearch has found that a job’s design may be a potent source of creativity
  4. 4. (Oldham & Cummings, 1996; Unsworth, Wall, & Carter, 2005). Thesestudies illustrate that the cognitive requirements of a job, in combinationwith individual characteristics, predict creative performance.Extending previous research, the present study seeks to understand howand when a job’s problem-solving demands influence employee creativity.Drawing upon job design theory (Hackman & Oldham, 1975) and research(Dean & Snell, 1991; Wall, Corbett, Clegg, Jackson, & Martin, 1990), thisstudy introduces and applies the concept of problem-solving demand (PSD)to examine its influence on employee creativity. PSD refers to the extent towhich a job requires employees to actively utilise their knowledge and skillsto “diagnose and solve problems” at work (Wall et al., 1990, p. 208),thereby challenging employees to develop new solutions to problemsstretching their knowledge and skill bases. PSD is a specific aspect of jobcomplexity (Campbell, 1988; Dean & Snell, 1991). Job complexity refers tothe level of stimulating and challenging demands associated with a particular job (Valcour, 2007) andencompasses many different facets. Complexjobs may require individuals to juggle different tasks, learn a great deal ofprocedural knowledge, as well as engage in challenging problem-solving toprovide solutions to applied problems. It is this latter aspect, involving fluidcognitive functioning (Horn & Noll, 1997), that we are most interested in,since it captures the extent to which the job requires the individual todevelop new and useful solutions to problems. In our view, PSD differsfrom the extent to which employees are motivated to engage in creativeprocesses. Such “creative engagement” refers to an employee’s motivationto develop creative problem solutions, while PSD pertains to the extent towhich the job design “stretches” the individual to develop skills and newsolutions to problems.PSD provides employees with opportunities to apply their skills and
  5. 5. stretch their capabilities. We propose that PSD may promote creative selfefficacy in several ways.First we propose, consistent with social learningperspectives (e.g. Bandura, 1986; Davis & Luthans, 1980; Sims, 1983;Wood & Bandura, 1989), that employees develop and acquire new skillsand insights about their tasks through this experience. In turn, as a consequence of skill acquisitionand potentially mastering new tasks, employeesdevelop confidence and a greater belief that they are able to solve problemscreatively (i.e. creative self-efficacy; Gong, Huang, & Farh, 2009; Tierney &PROBLEM-SOLVING DEMAND AND CREATIVITY 57© 2011 The Authors. Applied Psychology: An International Review © 2011 InternationalAssociation of Applied Psychology.Farmer, 2002). Thus, we propose and test whether PSD is relatedto creativity through creative self-efficacy.When seeking to understand the effects of PSD on employee beliefs andbehavior, it is important to understand the individual’s motivation, as not allemployees will respond similarly to challenging job demands. Theory(Amabile, 1996) and research (Tierney, Farmer, & Graen, 1999) highlightthat the extent to which an individual is intrinsically motivated to perform aparticular task plays an important role in understanding how the individualreacts to PSD (as evidenced by the extensiveness of problem-focused strategies adopted to resolvethese challenges). Intrinsic motivation is one’s interestin activities because of the inherent learning, stimulation, and enjoyment ofthese activities (Deci & Ryan, 1985). Individuals who are intrinsically motivated will be morepredisposed to invest effort and persist when they facedifficulties, thereby leveraging the knowledge-related benefits of challengingwork conditions. Furthermore, they are more likely than those low in intrinsic motivation tocapitalise on the opportunities provided by PSD anddevelop higher levels of creative self-efficacy. Thus a further objective of thisresearch is to examine the moderating effects of intrinsic motivation on therelationship between PSD and creative self-efficacy.This research contributes to the creativity literature in at least three ways.
  6. 6. First, the study extends a promising and growing body of literature thatapplies learning derived from job design theory to the creativity literature.Second, by testing the mediating influence of creative self-efficacy, we specifythe processes by which a job’s design stimulates creativity. Further, we shedlight on the inconsistent association between intrinsic motivation and creativity, by testing Shalleyand colleagues’ prediction that motivation may bea necessary but not sufficient condition to promote creativity (Shalley et al.,2004). Consistent with our focus that creativity is increasingly important in awide array of jobs, we obtained data from a multi-organisational samplecomprising a variety of work functions and job types in the People’s Republicof China. This sampling strategy also allowed us to examine the predictiveutility of European/American theory in a different cultural context—a keydirection for future research (Drazin & Shoonhoven, 1996; Farmer, Tierney,& Kung-McIntyre, 2003; Shalley et al., 2004). Figure 1 depicts the relationships examined in thisstudy.LITERATURE REVIEW AND HYPOTHESESPSD and CreativityWe define creativity as employees’ generation of novel and useful ideasconcerning products, procedures, and processes at work (Amabile, 1988;Oldham & Cummings, 1996; Shalley et al., 2004). Reflecting calls by scholars58 ZHOU ET AL.© 2011 The Authors. Applied Psychology: An International Review © 2011 InternationalAssociation of Applied Psychology.that creativity research should focus not just on contexts wherecreativity isanticipated (e.g. R&D teams) but also on contexts where creativity is notnecessarily expected as a matter of course (Ford & Gioia, 2000; Mumford &Gustafson, 1988; Tierney & Farmer, 2002), we examine creative performancethat involves incremental developments or adjustments, which are commonin a context where creativity is not an expected outcome (Mumford &
  7. 7. Gustafson, 1988).According to Amabile (1996), when tasks are complex and intellectuallydemanding, employees are likely to experience “interest, involvement, curiosity, satisfaction, orpositive challenge” (p. 115). This, in turn, leads tocreativity. The positive relationship between complex job demands, such asjob complexity, and creativity has received some empirical support in extantliterature (see Shalley et al., 2004, for a review). PSD (Jackson, Wall, Martin,& Davids, 1993; Wall et al., 1990; Wall, Jackson, & Mullarkey, 1995) isdefined as the extent to which individuals perceive their work to be challenging, exposing them tonovel and unexpected events. PSD also relates towhether the job requires the individual to apply job-specific accumulatedknowledge as well as adopting new approaches to develop solutions to problems. More importantly,however, we propose that PSD stands out as aparticularly important job attribute for creativity within a work context wherecreativity is not explicitly required. It is arguable that creativity is not anatural option in such a context. Employees may prefer familiar and routineoptions and forsake novel creative options (Ford, 1996). While we acknowledge employees’motivation as important in influencing their response tochallenging situations, we expect that on average PSD will “jolt” employeesout of their routines and point them in new directions (Csikszentmihalyi,1993). When PSD is high, employees have to deal with problems that theyhave not encountered before. In order to diagnose and solve these newproblems, employees are prompted to seek new information, knowledge, andskills. Thus, PSD provides opportunities for employees to be open to possibilities and to let go oftheir usual ways of doing things. At the same time, theCreativityProblemsolving demandCreativeself-efficacy
  8. 8. IntrinsicmotivationFIGURE 1. Hypothesised model for the relationship between PSD andcreativity.PROBLEM-SOLVING DEMAND AND CREATIVITY 59© 2011 The Authors. Applied Psychology: An International Review © 2011 InternationalAssociation of Applied Psychology.extended knowledge base of jobs where PSD exists is likely to leadto creativeperformance (Amabile, 1996). In contrast, when PSD is low, employees haveeasy access to solutions. They will resort to routine approaches which consequently inhibit creativeperformance. Therefore, we hypothesised that:Hypothesis 1: PSD is positively related to creativity.The Mediating Influence of Creative Self-EfficacyReacting to the notion that one’s judgment of capability is domain specific(Bandura, 1997), Tierney and Farmer (2002) developed the construct ofcreative self-efficacy for applicability in a creativity context. Creative selfefficacy refers to “the beliefthat one has the ability to produce creativeoutcomes” (Tierney & Farmer, 2002, p. 1138). It is a relatively new theoretical construct; even so,research evidence suggests that creative self-efficacy isan important source of creativity (Gong et al., 2009; Tierney & Farmer, 2002,2004). We hypothesise that creative self-efficacy is also a mediator of theassociation between PSD and employee creativity.PSD seems conducive to the formation and maintenance of employeecreative self-efficacy for several reasons. First, the experience of grapplingwith complex problems will provide employees with greater confidence intheir capacity to deal with obstacles (Wood & Bandura, 1989), promotingresilience and a sense of belief in one’s ability. Compared with low PSD tasks,high PSD tasks stimulate employees to try new approaches to reducedemands rather than follow established methods. Since these processes
  9. 9. promote flexibility and creativity in analyzing and identifying solutions,employees working in high PSD situations will be more likely to experienceincreased creative self-efficacy. Furthermore, challenging work offers opportunities to acquire newskills and task-related knowledge, enhancing thearsenal of skills an individual possesses (cf. McCauley, Ruderman, Ohlott, &Morrow, 1994). This, in turn, promotes self-belief, as well as the capacity todevelop creative solutions to problems. Further, researchers have concludedthat employees are unlikely to learn new skills and knowledge in repetitiveand restricted jobs (e.g. Frese, 1982) . When PSD is high, employees do nothave easy access to solutions. Rather, employees need to undergo extendedsearches to obtain relevant information. For example, they may need to getto know the operations of other work areas in order to diagnose and generatesolutions to problems that occur in their work area. PSD, therefore, engenders useful learningexperiences which eventually lead to individuals’ belief intheir work abilities.Finally, the definition and measurement of PSD in terms of the cognitiveproblem-solving requirements of the task relates directly to an employee’sperception of the extent to which the job encourages skill acquisition and60 ZHOU ET AL.© 2011 The Authors. Applied Psychology: An International Review © 2011 InternationalAssociation of Applied Psychology.ultimately mastery of particular activities (as opposed to anevaluation oftheir difficulty or non-job-related obstacles such as organisational politics).In turn, development promotes a greater sense of capability. Empiricalresearch supports this hypothesised association, illustrating that morebroadly defined challenging job attributes such as task complexity have beenshown to be conducive to creative self-efficacy, in turn enhancing employeecreativity (Tierney & Farmer, 2002). Thus we hypothesised that:Hypothesis 2a: PSD is positively related to creative self-efficacy.
  10. 10. Theorists have suggested that self-efficacy constitutes an indispensabledimension of the motivational process important for individual creativity(Bandura, 1997; Ford, 1996). As Bandura stated, “Effective personal functioning is not simply amatter of knowing what to do and be motivated todo”. Rather, one needs to have efficacy beliefs which “activate cognitive,motivational and affective processes that govern the translation of knowledge and abilities intoproficient action” (1997, pp. 36–37). Only when individuals are confident about their ability to becreative will they engage in theactivities leading to creative performance (Bandura, 1997; Ford, 1996) .Tierney and Farmer (2002) provide two reasons why creative self-efficacymay be related to employee creativity. First, they argue that creative selfefficacy constitutes amotivational mechanism important for creativity. Creative performance involves challenges, risks,and potential failures. It isimportant for one to be persistent in the face of difficulties (Amabile, 1983).When individuals have high levels of creative self-efficacy, they hold astrong belief in their ability to be successful in spite of difficulties. Thisbelief will help them to set creative goals, to be persistent, and to put inmore effort in their creative endeavors (Bandura, 1997). Second, creativeself-efficacy also serves as a cognitive mechanism important for creativity.Creativity requires creativity relevant processes as well as domain-relevantknowledge (Amabile, 1983, 1996). When individuals have high levels ofcreative self-efficacy, they will sustain effort at seeking work-related information (Bandura, 1997),leading to a better understanding of work-relatedknowledge. Furthermore, individuals who hold a strong belief in their creativity abilities will not besatisfied with ordinary and routine ideas or solutions (Ford, 1996). Rather, they will put in moreeffort to use cognitiveresources (e.g. knowledge, memory, analytic skills) to come up with uniqueideas. This is consistent with the notions of “divergent thinking” andbreaking “mental set”, which are inherent in creativity relevant processes(Amabile, 1983). Such notions are consistent with research evidence thatcreative self-efficacy is positively related to creativity (Tierney & Farmer,
  11. 11. 2002, 2004).As discussed, PSD prompts employees to develop and apply problemsolving knowledge and skills bydirectly dealing with work-related problems.PROBLEM-SOLVING DEMAND AND CREATIVITY 61© 2011 The Authors. Applied Psychology: An International Review © 2011 InternationalAssociation of Applied Psychology.The resulting attainments or mastery experiences will lead toelevated creative self-efficacy. Since creative self-efficacy is related to creativity (Tierney& Farmer, 2002, 2004), it constitutes an underlying motivational mechanismthrough which PSD is related to creativity. Accordingly, we hypothesisedthat:Hypothesis 2b: Creative self-efficacy mediates the relationship between PSD andcreativity.The Moderating Influence of Intrinsic MotivationIntrinsic motivation relates to whether individuals are internally driven tocomplete a task due to a personal interest in the task itself. Thus, intrinsicmotivation refers to the motivational state in which employees are attractedto and energised by the task itself, rather than the external outcomes thatdoing the task might yield (Deci & Ryan, 1985). Intrinsic motivation isrelated to other stable personality traits, such as learning goal orientation(Dweck & Leggett, 1988), mastery orientation (Kagan, 1972), and growthneed strength (GNS; Hackman & Oldham, 1975). However, intrinsic motivation is conceptuallydistinct from these individual differences. For sometasks, individuals may have an orientation to learn, grow, and achieve (i.e.high learning goal orientation, high mastery orientation, or high GNS), andyet they may not enjoy working on the task (i.e. low intrinsic motivation)(Shalley et al., 2009).To date, to our knowledge no study has examined the moderatinginfluence of intrinsic motivation on the relationship between demanding job attributes (e.g. PSD)and individual outcomes. However, there is
  12. 12. strong evidence that when individuals are intrinsically as opposed toextrinsically motivated they are more willing to tackle difficult tasks orgoals (cf. Meyer, Becker, & Vandenberghe, 2004), and persist at these (Vallerand, Pelletier, Blais,Briere, Senecal, & Vallieres, 1992; Ryan & Connell,1989). Therefore, they are less likely to be affected by the failure and dif-ficulties entailed by challenging tasks, e.g. PSD. We argue that the relationship between PSD andcreative self-efficacy may be a function of anindividual’s intrinsic motivation: those with higher levels of intrinsic motivation will respond morefavorably to PSD situations. Individuals high inintrinsic motivation are more likely to accept difficult problems and bepersistent when they encounter difficulties and challenges in looking forsolutions.Furthermore, individuals high in intrinsic motivation are likely to seePSD in terms of the opportunities it presents for them to fully apply capabilities and develop betterproblem-solving skills. Such positive attitudestowards PSD will help them achieve better learning outcomes and higher62 ZHOU ET AL.© 2011 The Authors. Applied Psychology: An International Review © 2011 InternationalAssociation of Applied Psychology.creative self-efficacy. In contrast, low intrinsic motivationindividuals mayfeel threatened by PSD situations. Instead of trying to overcome problemsituations and develop problem-solving skills, individuals low in intrinsicmotivation are likely to avoid problems or not take advantage of opportunities to apply and developtheir knowledge and skills. Consequently,individuals low in intrinsic motivation are less likely to experience increasedcreative self-efficacy. On the basis of these arguments, we hypothesisedthat:Hypothesis 3a: Intrinsic motivation will moderate the relationship between PSDand creative self-efficacy such that the relationship between PSD and creativeself-efficacy will be stronger for individuals with high rather than low intrinsic
  13. 13. motivation.If creative self-efficacy mediates the relationship between PSD and creativity, as predicted inHypothesis 2b, and the impact of PSD on creative selfefficacy is dependent on intrinsic motivation,as predicted in Hypothesis 3a,it is likely that intrinsic motivation may moderate the strength of the mediated relationship betweenPSD and creativity via creative self-efficacy, suchthat the mediated relationship will be stronger for individuals high ratherthan low in intrinsic motivation. This effect pattern is referred to as moderated mediation (Muller,Yzerbyt, & Judd, 2005; Preacher, Rucker, &Hayes, 2007).Hypothesis 3b: Intrinsic motivation will moderate the mediated effect of PSD oncreativity via creative self-efficacy such that the mediated effect will be stronger forindividuals with high rather than low intrinsic motivation.METHODSample and ProcedureThree issues were considered in the selection of participating organisations.First, this study aims to examine creativity in an environment where therequirements for creativity are not salient. This is different from creativitystudies that focus on R&D teams, where creativity is the expected outcome(e.g. Amabile, Conti, Coon, Lazenby, & Herron, 1996; Scott & Bruce, 1994;Tierney et al., 1999). Second, it is important to have participants from different functional groups. Byso doing, a representative sample (of a generalwork environment) can be achieved. Lastly, like many other creativitystudies, supervisor ratings were used to measure employee creativity. Therefore, it is important toidentify supervisor–subordinate dyads, whereby thesupervisor is in an appropriate position to observe subordinates’ creativeperformance. Three organisations located in the city of Wuxi, the People’sPROBLEM-SOLVING DEMAND AND CREATIVITY 63© 2011 The Authors. Applied Psychology: An International Review © 2011 International
  14. 14. Association of Applied Psychology.Republic of China satisfied the preceding requirements and wereinvited toparticipate in this study. In meetings with Human Resources (HR) managersof each of the companies, the first and second authors explained the aims ofthe study and asked them to identify individual work units within thecompany for possible participation in the research. We made it clear that wewere not focusing specifically on work units with high creative performance,but instead examining job-related characteristics across all or most functional areas of the business.Units were selected in order to be representativeof the organisation as a whole.Employees in the identified units were informed of this survey throughthe HR department of each company before the questionnaires were distributed. A surveycoordinator was assigned by each HR department tohelp the first author distribute questionnaire packages to respondents.Separate questionnaires were administered to subordinates and supervisors.Subordinate questionnaires were distributed to 320 employees whilesupervisor questionnaires were distributed to 60 immediate supervisors ofthe subordinates. Employees completed a questionnaire that includedmeasures of PSD, creative self-efficacy, intrinsic motivation, and demographics variables. Separately,each supervisor was asked to rate the creativity of an average of five subordinates. A cover letterattached to each ofthe questionnaires informed respondents of the purpose of the survey.Respondents were assured of the confidentiality of their responses and theirpersonal ID (provided at the top right hand corner of the questionnaire)would only be used to match their responses to the ratings provided bytheir supervisors.Completed and usable questionnaires from 270 supervisor–subordinatedyads were received. This represented a response rate of 84 per cent forsubordinates and 90 per cent for supervisors. Of the 270 respondents, 66
  15. 15. per cent were male. Respondents reported an average age of 28.35 years(SD = 5.25) and average job tenure of 2.93 years (SD = 3.03). In terms ofhighest level of education achieved, 23 per cent (62) respondents had completed high school (12years of education), 50 per cent (135) college degree(15 years of education), 25.2 per cent (68) Bachelor’s degree (16 years ofeducation), and 1.9 per cent (5) Master’s degree (19 years of education). Itshould be noted that in China a college degree, “Da Zhuan”, is a qualifi-cation lower than a bachelor degree, “Ben Ke”. The duration of a collegedegree is normally three years whereas that of a bachelor degree is normallyfour years. Participants were from different functions of the companies:administration and HR (88 respondents, 33.1%), production (78 respondents, 29.3%),finance/accounting department and quality control (57respondents, 21.4%), logistics (20 respondents, 7.5%), and sales and marketing and othersaccounted for 23 respondents (8.7%). Four respondentsdid not indicate their job function.64 ZHOU ET AL.© 2011 The Authors. Applied Psychology: An International Review © 2011 InternationalAssociation of Applied Psychology.MeasuresFollowing procedures suggested by Brislin (1980), the questionnaire wasdeveloped originally in English and translated into Chinese. The Chineseversion of the questionnaire was back-translated into English. A thirdperson, an English native speaker, compared the original version with theback-translation.PSD. A five-item scale originally developed by Jackson et al. (1993) andlater improved and validated by Wall et al. (1995) was used to measure PSD.Items include “To what extent are you required to deal with problems whichare difficult to solve?” “To what extent do you have to solve problems whichhave no obvious correct answer?” “To what extent do you need to use yourknowledge of work processes to help prevent problems arising in your job?”
  16. 16. “To what extent do the problems you deal with require a thorough knowledge of the work process inyour area?” and “To what extent do you comeacross problems in your job you have not met before?” Response optionsranged from (1) “not at all” to (5) “a great deal”. The scale’s alpha reliabilityis .76.Creative Self-Efficacy. A three-item scale developed by Tierney andFarmer (2002) was used to measure creative self-efficacy. A sample item is “Ihave confidence in my ability to solve problems creatively”. Responseoptions ranged from (1) “strongly disagree” to (7) “strongly agree”. Thescale’s alpha reliability is .87.Intrinsic Motivation. A 12-item scale originally developed by Vallerandand his colleagues in an academic context (see Vallerand, 1997), and lateradapted by Van Yperen and Hagedoorn (2003) to a work context, was usedto measure intrinsic motivation. It represents three types of intrinsic motivation: intrinsic motivationto know (items 1–4), to accomplish things (items5–8), and to experience stimulation (items 9–12). Respondents were asked,“Why do you do this job?” Sample items are: “for the pleasure it gives me toknow more about my job” (intrinsic motivation to know); “because I feel alot of personal satisfaction while mastering certain difficult job skills” (intrinsic motivation toaccomplish things); “for the excitement I feel when I amreally involved in my job” (intrinsic motivation to experience stimulation).Response options ranged from (1) “strongly disagree” to (7) “stronglyagree”. We conducted both exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA)to test: (1) whether a three-factor structure holdsfor intrinsic motivation; and (2) whether the three factors attributed to onefactor. EFA illustrated that two items displayed cross-loading. They weretherefore deleted. The remaining 10 items loaded onto thee factors, respecPROBLEM-SOLVINGDEMAND AND CREATIVITY 65© 2011 The Authors. Applied Psychology: An International Review © 2011 International
  17. 17. Association of Applied Psychology.tively, i.e. intrinsic motivation to know (three items), toaccomplish things(three items), and to experience stimulation (four items). The CFA resultsconfirmed that three first-order latent variables loaded onto one secondorder latent factor (c2= 97.39, df = 32, p < .001, CFI = .97, TLI = .96, RMSEA= .08). Consequently, we combined the three subscales to create a compositeindex for intrinsic motivation. The scale’s alpha reliability is .94.Creativity. A 13-item scale developed by Zhou and George (2001) wasused to measure creativity. Supervisors rated the creative performance foreach of their subordinates who participated in the survey. A sample item is:“This employee is a good source of creative ideas”. Response options rangedfrom (1) “not at all” to (5) “to a great extent”. The scale’s alpha reliability is.96. Since supervisors rated more than one employee, there was a risk that thecreativity rating scores received by individual employees were dependent onrater identity. Following Dansereau and Yammarino (2000), we conductedwithin and between analysis (WABA) (Dansereau, Alutto, & Yammarino,1984) to test the assumption of independence of creativity ratings that eachsupervisor provided for multiple subordinates. The E ratio (tests of practicalsignificance) for creativity was .96, less than 1.0, and therefore indicated thatthe variation within groups was significantly greater than the variationbetween groups. Furthermore, the corrected F-test (tests of statistical signifi-cance) was statistically nonsignificant (1/F = .28). Together, these WABAresults supported the assumption of independence for creativity and theappropriateness of conducting the analysis at the individual rather than thegroup level.Control Variables. We controlled for education level and job tenure,because both reflect individual knowledge level (Tierney & Farmer, 2002),
  18. 18. which has been related to individual creativity (Amabile, 1983; Woodman,Sawyer, & Griffin, 1993). Education level was measured on a 4-point scale(1 = “high school and below”, 2 = “college degree”, 3 = “Bachelor’s degree”, 4= “Master’s degree”). Job tenure was measured in years. Age has been associated with creativity(Amabile, 1983) and self-efficacy (Bandura, 1997). Thereare gender differences in perceptions of capabilities to do a certain type of job.For instance, compared with men, women generally perceived themselves tobe less efficacious in doing some types of jobs, such as scientific jobs (Matsui &Tsukamoto, 1991). Consequently, we also controlled for age and gender. Twodummy variables (org 1 and org 2) were created to control for the differencein creativity receptivity or perceived expectation for creativity (Ford, 1996)that might exist among the three organisations. Finally, we controlled for jobtype. Following Tierney and Farmer (2002), we distinguished two job types:production versus operations (including administration and HR, finance/66 ZHOU ET AL.© 2011 The Authors. Applied Psychology: An International Review © 2011 InternationalAssociation of Applied Psychology.accounting, logistics, sales and marketing, and others). A dummyvariable wascreated for job type: production = 0 and operations = 1.Data Analysis ProceduresWe conducted CFA to test the distinctiveness of the variables. The overallmodel chi-square measure (c2), the Tucker-Lewis index (TLI; Tucker &Lewis, 1973), the comparative fit index (CFI; Bentler, 1990), and the rootmean square error of approximation (RMSEA; Browne & Cudeck, 1993)were used as key indicators of overall model fit (Hoyle & Panter, 1995). ForTLI and CFI, a value of .90 is seen as a reasonable minimum for model
  19. 19. acceptance (Bentler & Bonett, 1980), whereas for RMSEA, a value of .08 orless is indicative of a good model fit (Browne & Cudeck, 1993).To test for mediation (Hypothesis 2b), we followed procedures suggestedby Baron and Kenny (1986). According to Baron and Kenny (1986), thefollowing conditions must be met to demonstrate a mediating effect: (1)independent variable (PSD) must be related to mediator (creative selfefficacy); (2) independentvariable (PSD) must be related to dependent variable (creativity); (3) mediator (creative self-efficacy)must be related todependent variable (creativity); and (4) independent variable (PSD) musthave no effect on dependent variable (creativity) when mediator (creativeself-efficacy) is held constant (full mediation) or should become significantlysmaller (partial mediation).Hypothesis 3b proposes moderated mediation. To test for this possiblerelation, we followed the procedures described by Muller et al. (2005),Edwards and Lambert (2007), and Preacher et al. (2007). Specifically, weexamined four conditions: (1) significant effect of PSD on creativity; (2)significant interaction effect between PSD and intrinsic motivation in predicting creative self-efficacyand creativity; (3) significant effect of creativeself-efficacy on creativity; and (4) indirect effect of PSD on creativity signifi-cantly differs at high and low levels of intrinsic motivation.RESULTSWe compared the fit of our hypothesised four-factor model to a number ofnested alternative models: (1) a three-factor model where two motivationalconstructs, intrinsic motivation and creative self-efficacy were loaded on onefactor; (2) a two-factor model where all self-report variables, PSD, intrinsicmotivation, and creative self-efficacy were loaded on one factor; and (3) aone-factor model where all variables loaded on one factor. The fit indicesindicate that our hypothesised four-factor model fit the data best (c2
  20. 20. = 537.72,df = 246, p < .001, TLI = .91, CFI = .93, RMSEA=.07), suggesting support forthe distinctiveness of the variables in this study.PROBLEM-SOLVING DEMAND AND CREATIVITY 67© 2011 The Authors. Applied Psychology: An International Review © 2011 InternationalAssociation of Applied Psychology.Descriptive statistics and zero-order correlations are presented inTable 1.PSD was significantly and positively correlated with creativity (r = .21,p < .01) and creative self-efficacy (r = .32, p < .01), while creative self-efficacywas significantly and positively correlated with creativity (r = .20, p < .01),indicating preliminary support for the relationships suggested in Hypotheses1, 2a, and 2b.To test the hypotheses, we conducted hierarchical regression analysis.Table 2 shows the results for the tests of mediation as suggested in Hypotheses 1, 2a, and 2b. Theresults supported Hypotheses 1, 2a, and 2b as follows:(1) PSD was significantly related to creative self-efficacy in model 1. (2) PSDwas significantly related to creativity in model 2. (3) The regression coefficientfor creative self-efficacy was significantly related to creativity and the coeffi-cient for PSD became non-significant (b = .13, p = .06) in Model 3, indicatingthe mediating effect of creative self-efficacy on the relationships between PSDand creativity (Baron & Kenny, 1986). We also conducted a Sobel test (Sobel,1982) with “Calculation for the Sobel Test” provided by Preacher andLeonardelli (2004). The results revealed that PSD had significant indirecteffects on creativity through creative self-efficacy (Sobel = 2.08, p < .05),providing support for Hypothesis 2b.Table 3 displays the regression results for testing the moderating effect ofintrinsic motivation on the relationship between PSD and creative selfefficacy (Hypothesis 3a) andthe mediated effect of PSD on creativity viacreative self-efficacy (Hypothesis 3b). Following Aiken and West (1991), we
  21. 21. centered all the variables used in the interaction analysis. In Model 4 creativeself-efficacy was regressed on the control variables, PSD, intrinsic motivation, and the interactionterm of PSD and intrinsic motivation. In Model 5,creativity was regressed on the control variables, PSD, intrinsic motivation,and the interaction term of PSD and intrinsic motivation. In Model 6,creativity was regressed on the control variables, PSD, intrinsic motivation,creative self-efficacy, the interaction term of PSD and intrinsic motivation,and the interaction term of intrinsic motivation and creative self-efficacy(Muller et al., 2005). In support of Hypothesis 3a, the change of the multiplesquared correlation coefficient (DR2) for the interaction term of PSD andintrinsic motivation was statistically significant, explaining a significantamount of variance in creative self-efficacy (DR2= .02, p < .05). To interpretthe nature of this interaction, we calculated regression equations for therelationship between PSD and creative self-efficacy at the high and low levelsof intrinsic motivation. Following Cohen and Cohen (1983) we defined thehigh and low values as plus and minus one standard deviation from the mean.Figure 2 shows that the form of the interaction was as predicted in that therelationship between PSD and creative self-efficacy was stronger for individuals with high intrinsicmotivation. For those with low intrinsic motivation, the link between PSD and creative self-efficacywas not as significant. A68 ZHOU ET AL.© 2011 The Authors. Applied Psychology: An International Review © 2011 InternationalAssociation of Applied Psychology.TABLE 1Means, Standard Deviations, and Correlationsa Mean SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
  22. 22. 1 Org1a–– – –2 Org2a– – – -.81** –3 Job typeb– – – -.82** .65** –4 Genderc– – – .24** -.27** -.29** –5 Education – – – -.36** .17** .45** -.20** –6 Age – 28.35 5.25 .02 -.04 .05 -.08 .01 –7 Job tenure – 2.93 3.03 .06 -.03 -.04 -.13* -.04 .41** –8 PSD .72 3.03 0.60 -.14* .04 .09 .20** .16* .02 .06 –9 Creative self-efficacy .87 5.00 1.02 .16* -.15* -.08 .19** .08 .03 .01 .32** –10 Intrinsic motivation .94 5.47 1.12 .11 -.11 -.09 .09 -.08 .01 -.15** .22** .28** –11 Employee creativity .96 2.97 0.66 .07 -.13 -.02 .06 .04 .12 .19** .21** .20** .01 –aDummy variablebProduction = 0, Operations = 1cFemale = 0, Male = 1* p < .05; ** p < .01.PROBLEM-SOLVING DEMAND AND CREATIVITY 69
  23. 23. © 2011 The Authors. Applied Psychology: An International Review © 2011 InternationalAssociation of Applied Psychology.further simple slope analysis revealed that when intrinsicmotivation washigh (i.e. one standard deviation above the mean), the slope was significantand the relationship between PSD and creative self-efficacy was positive(simple slope = .64, p < .001). However, when intrinsic motivation waslow (i.e. one standard deviation below the mean), the slope was insignificant(simple slope = .17, p = ns), indicating that the relationship between PSDand creative self-efficacy became insignificant when intrinsic motivationwas low.To test Hypothesis 3b, i.e. moderated mediation effects, we examinedfour conditions (described in the data analysis section). PSD was positivelyrelated to creativity in Model 5 (b = .20, p < .05), showing an overall effectof PSD on creativity, demonstrating that condition one was present. Asdescribed in the results previously, the interaction effect between PSD andintrinsic motivation was positively related to creative self-efficacy (Model

×