Organizational encouragement and creativity of gem and jewelry firms in Thailand.

Author:Ussahawanitchakit, Phapruke

    Creativity is the source of all innovation, and innovation as the successful implementation of creativity ideas within an organization (Amabile et al, 1996). Accordingly, creativity is important for a long-term survival of organizations (Oldham and Cummings, 1996), and it is more important now than ever before (Runco, 2004). According to Runco (2004)'s account, the creativity is understood by various perspectives (e.g. person, process, product, or press), and it might be drawn from a very wide range of perspectives as well as level of analysis about creativity in organizations that needs to focus on multilevel analysis (Drazin, Glynn and Kazanjian, 1999), for both organization and individuals (i.e. organizational encouragement and creative behavior).

    We are convinced that creativity has become the key concerns of business. Similarly to previous research, current study is built on the assumption of individual inclusiveness in a work units embedded in organization, and organizational creativity has been considered to be the accumulation of individual creativity and group (Taggar, 2002). Therefore, we need to assess not only the extent to which organization encouragement but also the utilization of knowledge at work, enthusiasm, and working inspiration of individual, As a consequence, they lead to creative outcome. Therefore, the fit of organizational encouragement and creative outcome is studied in the current study. Moreover, few previous studies (Amabile et al., 1996: Andriopoulos, 2001; Aube, Rousseau and Morin, 2007) have examined antecedents of creative outcomes. Besides overall of organizational creativity and the effectiveness creativity model are still unclear about dimensions of organizational encouragement and creative behavior of organization as the mediator lead to creative outcome. To address these limitations, we will attempt to extant understanding and investigate the relevance of important factors leading to creative outcomes that reflect the essential elements of the conceptualization of organizational encouragement and effectiveness post-encouragement. Thus, the purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of organizational encouragement on creative outcomes through creative behavior as the mediator.

    To address this objective, this paper is organized as follows. The first section presents the literature reviews on the organizational encouragement linking behavior view (i.e. utilization, enthusiasm, and inspiration) which provides the model and purpose a set of research hypothesis. Next, the method and results are showed. Consequently, conclusion, contribution, and future direction are presented.


    The organizational creativity is defined as a subset of innovation. Innovation is characterized as a subset of construct of organizational change. Although organizational change can include innovation, much of organizational change is not innovation. Moreover, creativity may produce the new products, services, ideas, or processes implemented through innovation (Woodman, Sawyer and Griffin, 1993). It is a contribution to change and evolution (Runco, 2004). Therefore, creative outcome is viewed as creative of organization. It relies on the encouragement in which employee work is similar to Rice (2006)'s who addresses that support interaction and consultation in organization can encourage creativity. Furthermore, organizational sciences can benefit from systematic investigations of creative behavior from individuals and organizations to create knowledge or something new (Woodman, Sawyer and Griffin, 1993) which in turn providing the understanding of knowledge utilization, employee enthusiasm, working inspiration and ultimately, creative outcome or organizational effectiveness (Woodman, Sawyer and Griffin, 1993). Thus, an understanding of organizational creativity will necessarily involve understanding of the creative situation (i.e. relationship in organization), and the way in which each of these components interacts with the others. We postulate that organizational encouragement (i.e. mentoring activity, employee training, and supervisory support) influences on creative behavior of employee and organization (i.e. knowledge utilization, employee enthusiasm, and working inspiration), contributes to creative outcome. Therefore, the conceptual and linkage model present the relationship between organizational encouragement, creative behavior, and creative outcome. This relationship must be determined for the answer to how organizational encouragement affects creative outcomes, and how creative behavior mediates the organizational encouragement and creative outcome relationship, as shown in figure 1.


    2.1 Organizational Encouragement

    The encouragement of organization refers to all organizational support, including financial support and mind support or concerning of the value of employees that give contributions to the organization (Aube, Rousseau and Morin, 2007). In previous research, organizational encouragement refers to only two dimensions (i.e. supervisory encouragement and group encouragement). Later, reward is added (Amabile et al., 1996). It is likely that organizational encouragement consists of all supports including reward. In this study, we propose three dimensions: of mentoring activity, employee training, and supervisory support. We define organizational encouragement as the belief that has the ability to produce creative behavior.

    Mentoring Activity. Mentoring activity helps the employee to succeed. It improves career development including: sponsorship, exposure and visibility, coaching and protection (Booth, 1996). Dawley, Andrews and Bucklew (2008) review previous study and address that mentoring is described as an interpersonal exchange between an experienced employee(mentor), believed to be especially important in the organizational context to enhance personal learning (Lankau and Scandura, 2002). It can be viewed as the process where employees acquire behaviors and knowledge necessary. Because psychosocial support (e.g. affirmation and friendship) from a mentor engenders trust, guidance, encouragement, and help resolve problems (Lankau and Scandura, 2002), and role modeling is related to imitating the work behavior of the mentor (Brown, Zablah and Bellenger, 2008). Thus, mentoring activity is an effective way to improve organizational creativity through creative behavior (i.e. enthusiasm, used knowledge and inspiration). It also contributes to creative outcomes. This leads to the hypothesis as below:

    Hypothesis 1: Mentoring activity will have positive relationship to (a) knowledge utilization (b) employee enthusiasm (c) working inspiration.

    Employee Training. Employee training is to increase the productivity of employee by influencing their behavior, and supportive of creativity (Woodman, Sawyer and Griffin, 1993). The types and popularity of training being offered by organization today are the learning from the future though dynamic situations where multiple scenarios by the use of technology (Baird, Griffin and Henderson, 2003) and on the job training. Many studies found that managing the development of employee can improve learning by doing and firm performance. It implies that individuals in the diversified firm can obtain the experience with each other as the training by learning activities of the firm (Hatch and Dyer, 2004; Kor and Leblebici...

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