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The impacts of within-task and between-task personal Internet usage on employee creative performance: the moderating role of perceived organisational support

Yunyu Qian (Department of Management Science, School of Management, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China)
Hemin Jiang (School of Management, International Institute of Finance, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 16 June 2023

293

Abstract

Purpose

Employees' personal Internet usage (PIU) has become increasingly common at work. It is important for both researchers and managers to understand how PIU affects employee creative performance. This study aims to examine what kind of PIU is likely to increase or decrease employee creative performance and why. The authors also examine a potential boundary condition for the effect of PIU on employee creative performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on conservation of resource (COR) theory and broaden and build theory, the authors investigated the impact of two types of PIU, namely within-task PIU and between-task PIU, on the creative performance of knowledge workers. The authors conducted a daily diary study and surveyed 107 knowledge workers in China over 10 consecutive working days (n = 1,070) to test the model.

Findings

The authors find that within-task PIU reduces knowledge workers' creative performance by decreasing the workers' positive emotion, whereas between-task PIU promotes the performance by increasing positive emotion. The above relationships become stronger when knowledge workers perceive a higher level of organisational support.

Originality/value

The authors' study makes theoretical contributions by advancing researchers' understanding of the situations in which PIU may decrease or increase employee creative performance. The findings are also useful for developing organisational policies to take advantage of the positive side of PIU whilst avoiding PIU's negative side.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China grants #71901201, #72025402, #71921001 and #72293573.

Citation

Qian, Y. and Jiang, H. (2023), "The impacts of within-task and between-task personal Internet usage on employee creative performance: the moderating role of perceived organisational support", Internet Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-09-2022-0751

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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