Creative frontline service employees may be crucial in ensuring organizational performance. However, scant research has investigated the antecedents of service employee creativity. This research applies Role Theory to enlighten this issue. The findings reveal that: role conflict and role ambiguity have opposing effects on creativity; Role Theory complements Cognitive Evaluation Theory as a mediational mechanism for the influence of contextual factors on creativity; and, against current thinking, contextual factors also affect creativity directly. The results underscore the need to reconceptualize the mechanisms by which contextual factors influence creativity, and suggest how managers can promote creativity through the work environment.
- Contextual factors
- Frontline employees