Management Papers

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Journal Article

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Publication Source

Journal of Applied Psychology





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Research has not explored the extent to which seeking help from teammates positively relates to a person's own creativity. This question is important to explore as help seeking is commonly enacted in organizations and may come with reciprocation costs that may also diminish creativity. Results based on 291 employees in a single division of a large multinational organization revealed that seeking help predicted creativity and mediated the relationship between intrinsic motivation and creativity. However, help seekers also incurred reciprocation costs in that they tended to give more help to teammates, and giving help to teammates was negatively related to creativity. In general, giving higher levels of help attenuated the positive relationship between help seeking and creativity. We also tested an integrated model to show that help giving moderated the mediated relationship between intrinsic motivation and creativity via help seeking, such that higher levels of help giving attenuated this mediated effect. We discuss theoretical and practical implications recommending additional research regarding the interpersonal creative process in team contexts.

Copyright/Permission Statement

©American Psychological Association, 2011. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at:


creativity, help seeking, help giving, intrinsic motivation



Date Posted: 19 February 2018

This document has been peer reviewed.