Optimizing employee creativity in the digital era: Uncovering the interactional effects of abilities, motivations, and opportunities

Wenjing Cai, Svetlana Khapova, Bart Bossink, Evgenia Lysova, Jing Yuan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


An increasing digitalization in all aspects of life and work reshapes traditional assumptions about human creativity. Both scholars and practitioners raise many questions with regards to how to stimulate employee creativity in the digital work context. While there are many studies that examine predictors of employee creativity, little effort has been made thus far to synthesize these findings in way that would provide meaningful guidance to organizations and to provide bases for future research. With this paper we aim to contribute to filling this gap. We systematically review empirical studies on predictors of employee creativity published in the past 30 years and organize findings following an established human resources management framework: Ability–Motivation–Opportunity (AMO) theory. This organizing framework enables us to clearly depict how contextual factors (a) separately and (b) jointly influence individual employee creativity. Specifically, it enables us to depict two possible models—combination and multiplicative models—through which contextual factors interact with individual factors in predicting employee creativity. Through synthesizing evidence for each of the models, we demonstrate to scholars and practitioners what is known about the interactional effects of contextual and personal factors on employee creativity, and what still needs to be studied if we are to take the field of research on creativity in the digital era forward.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1038
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2020


  • AMO theory
  • Creativity
  • Digital era
  • HRM
  • Interactions


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimizing employee creativity in the digital era: Uncovering the interactional effects of abilities, motivations, and opportunities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this