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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1820/6278
Title: Age and Creativity on the workfloor In search of ways to optimize Creativity in the light of an aging workforce
Authors: Gryson
Issue Date: 22-Sep-2015
Publisher: Open Universiteit Nederland
Abstract: AGE AND CREATIVITY ON THE WORK FLOOR: IN SEARCH OF WAYS TO OPTIMIZE CREATIVITY IN THE LIGHT OF AN AGING WORKFORCE; To remain competitive in a global market, companies increasingly need to innovate. Therefore they need their employees to be creative. An additional challenge is presented by the aging workforce, due to rising life expectations and higher pension age. An important change that comes with advancing age is change in cognitive abilities: Fluid intelligences (Gf) diminishes, but Crystallized intelligence (Gc) grows. Another major change when people get older is motivational: the work motives of older people shift from gaining information to obtaining affective rewards. Career motivation makes place for a will to help, parent and care for the next generation. Interest in job variety and in reaching external goals is replaced by a preference for security, skill utilization, and to construct a strengthened sense of identity. The main aim of this study is to identify some of the factors that might be regulating or moderating the relationship between age and creativity, or that might help keeping creativity high when people age. Insight into such factors might help to nurture employee creativity in spite of changes that occur when people age, or perhaps to refute existing prejudices concerning the creativity of older people. In this study I try to establish whether the following factors are positively related to creativity, and whether these factors could be moderating the relation between age and creativity: Coworker Support, Supervisor Support, Job Control, Learning goal orientation, and Job experience. I choose these factors because they seem to have an effect on the cognitive and motivational changes that occur when people in a working environment are aging. Also previous research is making it very likely that these factors have a positive effect on creativity and are moderating the relation between age and creativity. But previous research was unanimous on none of those factors so an additional study is not obsolete. A survey is conducted among 155 employees (and their supervisors) of the Belgian Ministry of Finance, in which employees score themselves on the five named factors, and their supervisors score them on their creativity. The results are not confirming any of the hypotheses: none of the chosen factors has a positive or a negative relationship with creativity, and none of the factors are moderating the relationship between age and creativity. Only when the participants are devised in a female and a male group, and the results of the survey are analyzed separately per group, a significant relation is found: Coworker support for creativity proves to be beneficial for creativity in the female group, while it is detrimental creativity in the male group. The study suffers a lot from a skewed “age” variable: 93 % of the participants is older than 39 years. Also, the Job experience variable was skewed, since only 8 % of the participants had a relevant experience of less than 10 years. Still one can conclude that age does not need to be detrimental for creativity, and that nor job control, nor a learning orientation, nor supervisor support are necessary to enhance creativity. Concerning job experience, since this variable is extremely skewed, it is not prudent to draw conclusions from my study. As for support from colleagues: this could be positive for creativity in a female population and rather negative in a male population. AGE AND CREATIVITY ON THE WORK FLOOR: IN SEARCH OF WAYS TO OPTIMIZE CREATIVITY IN THE LIGHT OF AN AGING WORKFORCE; To remain competitive in a global market, companies increasingly need to innovate. Therefore they need their employees to be creative. An additional challenge is presented by the aging workforce, due to rising life expectations and higher pension age. An important change that comes with advancing age is change in cognitive abilities: Fluid intelligences (Gf) diminishes, but Crystallized intelligence (Gc) grows. Another major change when people get older is motivational: the work motives of older people shift from gaining information to obtaining affective rewards. Career motivation makes place for a will to help, parent and care for the next generation. Interest in job variety and in reaching external goals is replaced by a preference for security, skill utilization, and to construct a strengthened sense of identity. The main aim of this study is to identify some of the factors that might be regulating or moderating the relationship between age and creativity, or that might help keeping creativity high when people age. Insight into such factors might help to nurture employee creativity in spite of changes that occur when people age, or perhaps to refute existing prejudices concerning the creativity of older people. In this study I try to establish whether the following factors are positively related to creativity, and whether these factors could be moderating the relation between age and creativity: Coworker Support, Supervisor Support, Job Control, Learning goal orientation, and Job experience. I choose these factors because they seem to have an effect on the cognitive and motivational changes that occur when people in a working environment are aging. Also previous research is making it very likely that these factors have a positive effect on creativity and are moderating the relation between age and creativity. But previous research was unanimous on none of those factors so an additional study is not obsolete. A survey is conducted among 155 employees (and their supervisors) of the Belgian Ministry of Finance, in which employees score themselves on the five named factors, and their supervisors score them on their creativity. The results are not confirming any of the hypotheses: none of the chosen factors has a positive or a negative relationship with creativity, and none of the factors are moderating the relationship between age and creativity. Only when the participants are devised in a female and a male group, and the results of the survey are analyzed separately per group, a significant relation is found: Coworker support for creativity proves to be beneficial for creativity in the female group, while it is detrimental creativity in the male group. The study suffers a lot from a skewed “age” variable: 93 % of the participants is older than 39 years. Also, the Job experience variable was skewed, since only 8 % of the participants had a relevant experience of less than 10 years. Still one can conclude that age does not need to be detrimental for creativity, and that nor job control, nor a learning orientation, nor supervisor support are necessary to enhance creativity. Concerning job experience, since this variable is extremely skewed, it is not prudent to draw conclusions from my study. As for support from colleagues: this could be positive for creativity in a female population and rather negative in a male population. AGE AND CREATIVITY ON THE WORK FLOOR: IN SEARCH OF WAYS TO OPTIMIZE CREATIVITY IN THE LIGHT OF AN AGING WORKFORCE; To remain competitive in a global market, companies increasingly need to innovate. Therefore they need their employees to be creative. An additional challenge is presented by the aging workforce, due to rising life expectations and higher pension age. An important change that comes with advancing age is change in cognitive abilities: Fluid intelligences (Gf) diminishes, but Crystallized intelligence (Gc) grows. Another major change when people get older is motivational: the work motives of older people shift from gaining information to obtaining affective rewards. Career motivation makes place for a will to help, parent and care for the next generation. Interest in job variety and in reaching external goals is replaced by a preference for security, skill utilization, and to construct a strengthened sense of identity. The main aim of this study is to identify some of the factors that might be regulating or moderating the relationship between age and creativity, or that might help keeping creativity high when people age. Insight into such factors might help to nurture employee creativity in spite of changes that occur when people age, or perhaps to refute existing prejudices concerning the creativity of older people. In this study I try to establish whether the following factors are positively related to creativity, and whether these factors could be moderating the relation between age and creativity: Coworker Support, Supervisor Support, Job Control, Learning goal orientation, and Job experience. I choose these factors because they seem to have an effect on the cognitive and motivational changes that occur when people in a working environment are aging. Also previous research is making it very likely that these factors have a positive effect on creativity and are moderating the relation between age and creativity. But previous research was unanimous on none of those factors so an additional study is not obsolete. A survey is conducted among 155 employees (and their supervisors) of the Belgian Ministry of Finance, in which employees score themselves on the five named factors, and their supervisors score them on their creativity. The results are not confirming any of the hypotheses: none of the chosen factors has a positive or a negative relationship with creativity, and none of the factors are moderating the relationship between age and creativity. Only when the participants are devised in a female and a male group, and the results of the survey are analyzed separately per group, a significant relation is found: Coworker support for creativity proves to be beneficial for creativity in the female group, while it is detrimental creativity in the male group. Met opmaak: Lettertype: 12 ptMet opmaak: Lettertype: 12 pt
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1820/6278
Appears in Collections:MSc Management Science

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