Barratt, Clare Louise (2015-07). Do Creative Employees Engage in More Citizenship and Counterproductive Work Behaviors?. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Since the turn of the century, research examining the creative process and its predictors has blossomed in organizational research. However, despite the widely accepted notion that creativity is good and leads to great advances in the business world, the outcomes of organizational creativity are relatively unknown and unexplored. While research has started to tackle this gap by examining creativity's positive role in task performance, creativity's potential relationship with non-task performance is relatively unknown. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the potential relationships between creativity, organizational citizenship behavior (OCB), and counterproductive work behavior (CWB). It was hypothesized that creativity would be positively related to both OCB and CWB (and their facets) based on its non-predefined and divergent nature. Further, organizational constraints were examined as a potential moderator of the creativity-non-task performance relationship. Amazon's Mechanical Turk (MTurk) crowdsourcing internet marketplace was used to recruit working adults throughout the United States. Participants (N = 300) completed 2 online surveys containing measures of creativity (subjective and objective), OCB, CWB, organizational constraints, and general demographics. Results from separate path analytic models found support for a positive relationship between creativity and OCB. The more creative an individual was, the more they performed OCBs. Although creativity was significantly related to all facets of OCB, its prediction of engagement in change-oriented OCB was significantly stronger than prediction of OCBs targeting specific individuals or the organization. In contrast, creativity had a significant, but negative, relationship with CWB. This negative relationship significantly differed between dimensions of CWB, where creativity only predicted (negatively) engagement in CWB-O, theft, production deviance, and withdrawal. Additionally, the current study demonstrated how the work environment (e.g., organizational constraints) could impact creative employees and their behaviors. As organizational constraints (e.g., lack of resources) increased in the workplace, the positive creativity-OCB relationship weakened while the negative creativity-CWB relationship strengthened, indicating organizational constraints might reduce the beneficial behaviors of creative employees in the workplace, but will not increase their negative behaviors.

publication date

  • July 2015