Motivating workplace creativity in the Chinese context

Lin, H., 2016. Motivating workplace creativity in the Chinese context. DBA, Nottingham Trent University.

Lin_DBA Document 5 final submission.pdf - Published version

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Executive Summary.
As Innovation begin to play an increasingly strategic role in the national economic development of China (McGregor, 2010), there’s a growing push to create innovation hubs in life sciences and biotech (Orr, 2012). Between 2004 and 2011, I had been in corporate management position in China, and personally experienced challenges when motiving employees to be creative and innovative, even after introducing "Western" management techniques. This DBA study seeks to extend the findings from my previous research in Document Three and Four, and examines the impact of Chinese cultural values on employee's level of motivation to be creative. There are four research questions, and the results uncovered new knowledge in three of the four areas. Searching through existing literature, it appears that most quantitative studies on workplace contextual factors that motivate creativity tend to assume the respondents (employees) are motivated equally. The framework of Document 5 examines the creative process from the creator's perspective. The study was designed to include the individual's level of preference or indifference towards each contextual factor. The result first showed that not only are different people motivated differently to be creative, it also indicated that management can better predict and manage employees' creative behavior by taking into account the latters' "motivational preferences".
Furthermore, the study hypothesized that certain Chinese cultural values would result in employees feeling differently about each contextual factors. The analysis tested twelve sets of correlations between a specific cultural value and a specific contextual factors. For example, between Collectivism and Organizational Encouragement. Five sets showed statistical correlation, and seven did not. There is another area explored by the study. Because Chinese employees all faced challenge of the rigid education system, the effect of formal education on the creative self-efficacy and indirectly to creative behavior was also analyzed. Results showed that creativity related training from formal education has only a minor correlation to creative self-efficacy at work, especially compared to the on-the-job training. This implies that management should focus less about the past—in terms of recruiting, and focus the resources on domain-specific, job-related creativity related training. The final area of the study addresses the high level of imitation in Chinese employee's creativity. Document Five attempted to find a link between Kirton's Adaptor Innovator framework and Chinese cultural values. Might culture be related to whether employees prefer adaptive (small step incremental) or innovative (big step breakthrough) thinking? The results showed no support for correlation. Based on the supported hypothesis, I described contribution to theory as well as business practice. In this study, I furthermore included considerable reflections on the rejection of my hypothesis. I described some methodological shortcomings so that future research can be conducted.

Item Type: Thesis
Description: Document Five of DBA thesis
Creators: Lin, H.
Date: May 2016
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 16 Mar 2017 11:28
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2017 11:28

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