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《Acta Psychologica Sinica》 2009-10
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Person-Environment Fit and Creativity:The Moderating Role of Collectivism

DU Jing1,WANG Dan-Ni2 (1Economics and Management School,Wuhan University,Wuhan 430072,China) (2Guanghua School of Management,Peking university,Beijing 100871,China)  
Prior studies have demonstrated the positive effects of congruent personal and environmental characteristics on creativity. None of them,however,has explicitly and systematically tested the formal theory of person–environment fit for predicting creativity in the context of collectivism. This study examined the effects of two versions of person–environment fit (supplies–values and demands–abilities fit) on creativity in China,taking into account the moderating role of collectivism. Data were collected from 305 undergraduate students among 25 classes in a university of China. With the supports of their supervisors,students completed the questionnaire regarding desired climate for creativity,current climate for creativity,required creativity abilities,actual creative abilities,collectivism,and individual creativity. All questionnaires were returned back to authors directly. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was employed to analyze data. The results showed that creativity was significantly influenced only by current climate for creativity (supplies) and actual creative abilities (abilities). Collectivism moderated the effects of person-environment fit on creativity:creativity by individuals with high collectivism was almost exclusively predicted by environmental characteristics (current creative climate and required creative abilities),whereas creativity by individuals with low collectivism was influenced by optimal two versions fit between person and environment. Most western scholars think that collectivism is an impediment for creativity because collectivists tend to maintain conformity in group and then hinder the generation of unique and novel ideas. However,the present study clearly indicates that collectivism may have a positive effect on creativity under certain situations,that is,individuals with high collectivism will show higher creative performance when organizational supports and demands for creativity are presented. This implicates that managers should pay more attention to environmental characteristics for collectivistic employees in order to enhance their creativity.
【CateGory Index】: B841
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