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Rewards and employee creative performance: Moderating effects of creative self-efficacy, reward importance, and locus of control


  • This work was partially supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2011-327-250-20130030) granted to Jin Nam Choi.


The effects of extrinsic rewards on creative performance have been controversial, and scholars have called for the examination of the boundary conditions of such effects. Drawing upon expectancy theory, we attend to both reinforcement and self-determination pathways that reveal the informational and controlling functions of creativity-related extrinsic rewards. We further identify the individual dispositions that moderate these two pathways. Specifically, we propose that extrinsic rewards for creativity positively predict creative performance only when employees have high creative self-efficacy and regard such rewards as important. We likewise propose that extrinsic rewards positively affect the intrinsic motivation of employees with an internal locus of control, thus enhancing their creative performance. Results based on a sample of 181 employee–supervisor dyads largely supported these expectations. The current analysis enriches the creativity literature by combining different perspectives in a coherent framework, by demonstrating the positive effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation, and by demonstrating that the rewards–creativity relationship varies across employees depending on their individual differences. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.