Stress and its moderating effect on the relationship between workload and creativity

Wen Ma, Hao Cheng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book


The effects of workload and work-related stress on creativity has been demonstrated in several contexts. Recent research has pointed that workload and creativity or creative moments have a non-linear relationship. Those studies tried to explain whether the relation was influenced by work-related stress. Yet, how workload influence creativity is still not clear. This article extends the literature of stress and creativity by using the Challenge stressor-Hindrance stressor framework to explore how stress could influence the relation between workload and creativity in high-tech industry and whether job satisfaction could influence the link between stress and creativity. In a study measuring stress, job satisfaction, creativity and workload, we expected the relation between creativity and workload can be moderated by stress, and also job satisfaction cannot mediate the association between stress and creativity. Our findings did support these hypotheses and suggest that the effects of workload on creativity is due to stress, and the impact of stress on creativity is not due to job satisfaction. We explained out findings by suggesting challenge-related workload leads to creative behaviours because workload can become the motivator to creativity when stress is challenge-related. We call for future research to explore this possibility and to consider other variables, such as organizational factors (i.e. coworker helping behaviours, harmonious atmosphere, ambitious-related personality traits) and human influence (i.e. personality) that might alter the relationship between stress and creativity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICEME 2021
Subtitle of host publicationThe 2021 12th International Conference on E-business, Management and Economics
Place of PublicationNew York, NY.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781450390064
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2021

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


  • workload management
  • creativity
  • job satisfaction
  • stress

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