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Subdimensions of total rewards satisfaction and creativity among R&D employees: a moderated mediation model

Zhenyuan Wang (Faculty of Economics and Management, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China)
Jianghong Du (School of Education, Suzhou University of Science and Technology – Shihu Campus, Suzhou, China) (Faculty of Economics and Management, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China)
Herman H.M. Tse (Monash Business School, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
Jun Gu (Macquarie Business School, Macquarie University, North Ryde, Australia)
Hui Meng (School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China)
Qiuwen Zhao (Faculty of Economics and Management, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 13 September 2021

Issue publication date: 13 December 2022

416

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the relative importance of the subdimensions of total rewards satisfaction in predicting research and development (R&D) employee creativity. In addition, the study examines the indirect effects of the subdimensions of total rewards satisfaction on creativity via work engagement and the moderating role of challenge-related work stress in the first stage.

Design/methodology/approach

A two-wave design was used, in which total rewards satisfaction and challenge-related work stress were measured in the first wave. Work engagement and creativity were measured in the second wave. Dominance analysis and the latent moderated mediation model were used for the data analyses.

Findings

The analyses show that nonfinancial rewards satisfaction completely dominates indirect and direct financial rewards satisfaction when predicting creativity. Indirect financial rewards satisfaction completely dominates direct financial rewards satisfaction when predicting creativity. Work engagement mediates the relationships between the subdimensions of total rewards satisfaction and creativity. Challenge-related work stress moderates the relationships between the subdimensions of total rewards satisfaction and work engagement and the indirect effects of the subdimensions of total rewards satisfaction on creativity via work engagement.

Practical implications

The results imply that managers should set challenge demands for R&D employees and try to improve their total rewards satisfaction, especially their nonfinancial and indirect financial rewards satisfaction, for them to be more creative.

Originality/value

This empirical study contributes to the literature by comparing the relative importance of the different dimensions of total rewards satisfaction in predicting creativity. The study also clarifies how (through work engagement) and when (based on challenge-related work stress) the subdimensions of total rewards satisfaction are positively related to R&D employees' creativity.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Jianghong Du and Zhenyuan Wang contributed equally to this work.

Conflict of interest: There were no conflicts of interest in the study.

This research is supported by grants from National Natural Science Foundation of China (71672060, 72072057, 71974140), Young College Teacher Project supported by Suzhou University of Science and Technology (342022906), and General Project of Philosophy and Social Science Research for universities of Jiangsu Province (2021SJA1376).

Citation

Wang, Z., Du, J., Tse, H.H.M., Gu, J., Meng, H. and Zhao, Q. (2022), "Subdimensions of total rewards satisfaction and creativity among R&D employees: a moderated mediation model", Personnel Review, Vol. 51 No. 9, pp. 2312-2327. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-12-2019-0656

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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