Creating a creative state of mind: Promoting creativity through proactive vitality management and mindfulness

Emma M. Op den Kamp, Maria Tims, Arnold B. Bakker, Evangelia Demerouti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Most research on employee creativity has been focused on relatively distal antecedents, such as personality or job characteristics, which has resulted in top-down organizational approaches to promote employee creativity. However, such approaches overlook the self-regulating potential of employees and may not explain intraindividual fluctuations in creativity. In the present research, we build on proactive motivation theory to examine how employees may promote their own creativity on a daily basis through the use of proactive vitality management (PVM). To better understand the PVM-creativity link, we zoom in on this process by examining the role of mindfulness as an underlying mechanism. In two daily diary studies, employees from the United States (N = 133 persons, n = 521 data points) and the creative industry in Germany (N = 62 persons, n = 232 data points) reported on their use of PVM and states of mindfulness for five consecutive workdays. Additionally, participants completed a daily creativity test (brainstorming task) in Study 1, whereas supervisors rated participants' daily creative work performance in Study 2. In both studies, multilevel analyses showed that daily PVM was positively related to creative performance through daily mindfulness, supporting our hypotheses. These replicated findings suggest that individuals may bring themselves in a cognitive, creative state of mind on a daily basis, emphasizing the importance of proactive behavior in the creative process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-768
Number of pages26
JournalApplied Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • attention
  • creativity
  • mindfulness
  • proactive vitality management
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology


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