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Title:Employee Communication and Its Relation to Work Creativity: The Role of Relational Demography in Egocentric Networks
Author(s):Jimeno-Ingrum, Diana I.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Oldham, Greg R.
Department / Program:Human Resources and Industrial Relations
Discipline:Human Resources and Industrial Relations
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations
Abstract:A number of theorists have argued that the exchange of knowledge and information through communication can enhance employee creativity. However, previous research has yielded inconsistent and inconclusive results with some studies suggesting that communication has positive effects on employee creativity and other studies suggesting negative effects. I examine three possible causes for this lack of consistency in findings. First, I make a distinction between work and nonwork communication and argue that communication involving work-related issues should make a positive contribution to employee creativity while communication involving nonwork issues should have a negative effect. Next, I examine the functional form of these relations and posit that the work communication-creativity relation should be curvilinear in nature while the relation between nonwork communication and creativity is negative and linear. Finally, I argue that the characteristics of the communicators amplify these relations. That is, I expect stronger effects when individuals communicate with demographically different others than with those who are demographically similar. I collected data for my dissertation from a large law enforcement organization. Results indicated that employees exhibited high levels of creativity when they communicated at moderate levels about work-related topics. At high and low levels of work communication, creativity was lower. I also found that when employees communicated with others about nonwork-related topics their creativity suffered. Finally, nonwork communication had the strongest negative effects on creativity when individuals communicated with others who were demographically similar to them.
Issue Date:2007
Description:116 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3269929
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2007

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