Joint effects of creative self-efficacy, positive and negative affect on creative performance

Tomas G. Thundiyil, Dan S. Chiaburu, Ning Li, Dave T. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to test a model connecting Chinese employees’ positive and negative affect and creative self-efficacy with supervisor-rated creative performance in Chinese business. Building on the cognitive tuning theory, this paper answers several calls for research to examine the joint effects of positive and negative affects on creative performance in the China business environment. Design/methodology/approach: The participants were drawn from one of the largest petrochemical companies in China. We drew 459 leader-subordinate dyads across different jobs situated in multiple divisions to complete our surveys. The authors used hierarchical linear modeling to test the hypotheses. Findings: The findings suggest that creative self-efficacy has a positive influence on creative performance during low PA scenarios. The authors also demonstrated that for employees in China, creative self-efficacy has a positive influence on creativity when employees experience both low levels of positive affect and high levels of negative affect. Originality/value: As the findings suggest, Chinese employees who experience positive affect may engage in heuristic, top-down cognitive processes. Furthermore, findings from the present study also serve to extend the scope of the cognitive tuning model by testing the informational roles of positive and negative affects in self-regulatory processes rather than focusing directly on the main effects of employee affect. An important finding in this study is the three-way interaction indicating that individuals experiencing low positive affect and high negative affect will see a strong connection between creative self-efficacy and creative performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-745
Number of pages20
JournalChinese Management Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016


  • Affect and cognition
  • Creative performance
  • Creative self-efficacy
  • Negative affect
  • Positive affect


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