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date: 28 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a review of individual creativity at work from a person-in-situation perspective. Trait activation theory and related frameworks are used to ground this review and show how individual characteristics―most notably creative personality and cognitive style, Big Five personality factors, and goal orientation―interact with situational influences. This analysis organizes the current literature to more clearly identify both consistencies and apparent inconsistencies between studies. To address these inconsistencies, future research should consider not only trait-activating and -inhibiting person × situation interactions but also interactions in which situational influences substitute for trait-based creative drive or channel a trait toward either a positive or a negative influence, as well as trait’s potential buffering effect against the influence of situational factors. The study of such influences as cross-level rather than individual-level interactions is promoted on both methodological and conceptual grounds.

Keywords: creativity, personality, trait activation, multilevel theory, cross-level theory, person-in-situation

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