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Examining The Drivers And Performance Implications Of Boundary Spanner Creativity

R. Agnihotri, Adam Rapp, J. Andzulis, Colin B. Gabler
Published 2014 · Psychology

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For organizations implementing a value-added model, creative boundary spanners can improve service behaviors and overall performance. Advancing Amabile’s componential framework, which underscores the importance of contextual factors and their interaction with individual factors in generating creative responses in a service environment, we develop a model of boundary spanners’ creativity. Outlining how boundary spanner skills and abilities influence performance and service outcomes via creativity, we paint a more complete picture of the creativity process and offer meaningful contributions to service research and practice. Testing the model using employee and manager data matched with archival performance metrics, we find that knowledge, emotional intelligence (EI), and managerial feedback predict boundary spanner creativity. We also uncover a significant interaction between knowledge and EI, and evidence that creativity significantly impacts performance and customer problem solving, a key component of overall service quality. Finally, we underscore the importance of managerial feedback in strengthening the link between creativity and performance.
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