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Mere-listening effect on creativity and the mediating role of psychological safety

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dotan R Castro, Frederik Jacques C Anseel, Avraham N Kluger, Karina J Lloyd, Yaara Turjeman Levi

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-502
JournalPsychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
Issue number4
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 Dec 2017


King's Authors


While research suggests that individuals may increase their own creativity by listening to other’s ideas, the effects of being listened to by others have remained understudied to date. We hypothesized that listening behavior of superiors may positively impact employees to explore new ideas flexibly, leading to higher levels of creativity. We further hypothesized this link to be mediated by psychological safety. Therefore, we developed and tested a mediated model of listening behavior, psychological safety and creativity at the individual level. In a series of five complementary studies, we found evidence for the hypothesized effects using self-report, supervisor-report, and objective measures of creativity, while excluding alternative explanations such as reversed causality with experimental designs. A meta-analysis of all our studies provided compelling evidence that listening was related to creativity, N = 744, k = 5, ¯r = .39, 95% CI [.13; .60]. Together, our results suggest that supervisor listening may be an underrated aspect of management that fosters creativity.

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