Journal Article

Symmetrical and asymmetrical analysis of the complex relationship between perceived environmental uncertainty and creative performance: Exploring a competency formula


Purpose: In a dynamic and complex environment, employees’ creative performance (CP) can  be essential in developing a distinguished and competitive strategy for an organization. Using  the lens of competency management, this research examines how employees perceived environmental uncertainty (PEU) and competency formula relate to employee CP, with a focus  on the hospitality industry.  Design/methodology/approach: The data were collected from employees in the hospitality  sector. Both symmetrical (PLS-SEM) and asymmetrical (fuzzy-set qualitative comparative  analysis [fsQCA]) tests were performed to gain in-depth knowledge of how individual,  organizational, and environmental factors can be configured to explain employees’ CP.    Findings: The symmetrical analysis shows that competency formula mediates the negative  impacts of PEU on two dimensions of creativity—that is, novelty and utility. The fsQCA testing  generated contrasting findings and revealed that uncertainty, along with the formula elements, is a unique antecedent condition and opportunity for employees' CP. The inconsistent findings  indicate asymmetrical and complex relationships between the proposed antecedents and outcomes in the case of employee creativity.  Originality/value: This study is the first to employ symmetrical and asymmetrical testing to  address the inadequacy of explaining employee CP in complex and uncertain environments, and highlight the crucial role of the competency formula in enhancing novelty and utility dimensions of CP. This research examines the impact of various internal and external factors  (i.e., individual, organizational, contextual) on employee creativity within the hospitality industry.  Implications: A combination of symmetrical and asymmetrical approaches is necessary to  uncover the complex relationships among employees, organizations, and the environment. The  study shows that organizational agility, competency strategies, and comprehensive strategic  management processes can be configured to explain positive outcomes for organizations during  uncertain circumstances. The findings can be used by HR practitioners to maximize employee  creativity and enhance organizational performance.

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Darvishmotevali, Mahlagha
Prentice, Catherine
Altinay, Levent

Oxford Brookes departments

Oxford Brookes Business School


Year of publication: 2024
Date of RADAR deposit: 2024-01-22

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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