טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentYaniv Hadas
SubjectLearning from Creative Experience: The Effect of
Procedural Justice and Learning Orientation on
Creativity
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisors Professor Ella Miron-Spektor
Dr. Dana Vashdi
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

The importance of individual learning and creativity for organizational prosperity and growth has been widely accepted. However, little is known about the ability of employees to learn from their creative experience. In the present study, we aimed to develop and test the idea  that engagement in creativity and observation of its outcomes provides employees valuable information about what is considered novel and appropriate in that specific context, which enables them to adjust their future creative performance.

Drawing on an organizational learning framework, we suggest that the individuals differ in their ability to learn from creative experience, and examine personal and contextual characteristics that explain the ability to learn from creative experience.  Specifically, we suggest that learning from creative experience will depend on the extent to which employees experience procedural justice in regard to the evaluation of creative ideas in the organization. When employees perceive the creativity evaluation procedures as fair, they have a clear sense of what is expected in terms of creative performance and they are motivated to exert efforts into the learning process. We propose that the relationship between procedural justice and learning from creative experience will be moderated by learning orientation, such that procedural justice will be positively associated with learning from creative experience only among individuals with low learning orientation, but not among individuals with high learning orientation.

We tested our predictions with 109 employees in a manufacturing plant (22 women, 87 men, average age=50.03, SD age=10.54) using questionnaires  and longitudinal data from the years 2007-2013. This data was established as part of an innovation program through which employees can submit creative ideas concerning a product, work processes, or procedures. A forum of 8-10 experts and managers evaluate the overall creativity of the submitted ideas on a 1-10 scale and decides whether or not to implement them. For each employee, we have created measures that reflect his or her linear trend of creative evaluation and idea implementation. These two measures represent learning from creative experience at the individual level.

 In terms of creative evaluation, we found that procedural justice was positively associated with learning from creative experience only among employees with low learning orientation but not among employees with high learning orientation. This effect was not found on the change in implementation over time.  Our findings suggest that over time employees are able to learn how to generate ideas with more creative value for their organization.

This study makes several theoretical and practical contributions. We integrate theory on organizational learning and creativity, address individual differences in learning from creative experience, and offer an explanation for these differences.

 Our study advances prior research on creative experience by clarifying the role of experience in creativity. We also extend literature on procedural justice by demonstrating that perceived fairness of the creativity evaluation procedures interacts with employees' learning orientation to influence learning from creative experience. Furthermore, our results suggest that learning from creative experience can take place where it is the least expected, among manufacturing employees.