A cross-level perspective on creativity at work: person-in-situation interactions

Daan Van Knippenberg, Giles Hirst

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
EditorsChristina Shalley, Michael A. Hitt, Jing Zhou
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780199927678
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

Publication series

NameOxford Library of Psychology
PublisherOxford University Press


  • creativity
  • personality
  • trait activation
  • multilevel theory
  • cross-level theory
  • person-in-situation

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