The Effect of Autonomy on Team Creativity and the Moderating Variables
Author: Kai Wang
Issue: 2016, Vol. 2
Autonomy, the freedom to choose how to accomplish tasks, is shown to have positive impact on individual creativity. The literature suggests that this positive effect is mediated by intrinsic motivation. It may seem reasonable to assume that autonomy would benefit team creativity as well. However, the literature does not provide consistent support for this latter notion. The purpose of this research is to theorize on the effect of autonomy on team creativity in more detail and shed some light on the inconsistency in the literature. The article first reviews relevant concepts and recent research. Based on the review, individual autonomy and team autonomy are differentiated. Task interdependence and team level creative self-efficacy are proposed to be moderating variables for individual and team autonomy. Some new research possibilities are discussed. In addition, some cautions are laid out for managers who want to promote team creativity by giving high levels of autonomy.
Keywords: autonomy, team creativity, task interdependence, creative self-efficacy.
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