Sen Xu

Sen Xu

PhD Thesis Title: The role of benevolence and trust in fostering employee creativity.

Supervisor: Dr. Ian Walsh

External Examiner : Professor Nada K. Kakabadse, Northampton Business School


Sen’s dissertation aims to address an important but yet under-explored question: to what extent do co-workers positively influence employee creativity? Drawing on the other-focused perspective, Sen introduces the concept of co-worker benevolence, which refers to the extent to which a co-worker is believed to do good to a focal employee, in creativity research. Specifically, he develops a conceptual framework of how co-worker benevolence positively relates to a focal employee’s radical and incremental creativity through the mediating roles of cognition-and affect-based trust. He also justify that the effects of both co-worker benevolence and trust on incremental creativity are stronger than on radical creativity. He tests the hypotheses through a self-report survey with a sample of 199 working professionals in Ireland. Results show that cognition-based trust fully mediates the positive effects of co-worker benevolence on radical and incremental creativity. He concludes the dissertation by discussing implications for research and managerial practices.

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