Emma Op den Kamp is a PhD candidate in the Psychology department at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
In her research she aims to apply a bottom-up perspective on creativity enhancement by examining self-initiated employee behaviors that may enable their creativity. Most research on employee creativity examined personal or contextual factors that predict employee creativity, such as personality or job characteristics. Managers are then encouraged to select people who are likely to be creative or to design jobs that enable employee creativity. Although very relevant, it is striking that so little research has examined what employees might do themselves to enhance their creativity.
She proposes that employees may enhance their chances of generating good and useful ideas (i.e., being creative) by mobilizing resources in different domains. First, employees may change aspects of their work, such as increasing variety in their workday. Second, employees may increase their social resources, for example by building a social network. Third, she extends prior research by examining off-work behaviors that may affect creative performance, and by including the environment into my research. Employees may for example seek for inspiration in their free time, or work on different locations for different tasks.
Her research may advance the literature by moving from a top-down to a bottom-up view in which employees themselves engage in behaviors that may enhance their creativity. In doing so, she follows the idea that employees have become increasingly responsible for their own (work) outcomes. Insights on how employees may mobilize resources that benefit their well-being and creativity can be used in interventions aimed at increasing employees’ self-awareness or to stimulate other employees to mobilize similar resources, in accordance with personal preferences.