Motivating creativity through a computer-mediated employee suggestion management system

James F. Fairbank, William E. Spangler, Scott David Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


This paper describes the requirements for an automated employee suggestion management system (ESMS) based on expectancy theory and computer-mediated communications. Although research has found that suggestion systems can be a useful way to obtain and utilize employees' creative ideas, effective suggestion management systems must also motivate employees to think creatively and to participate in the suggestion process. According to expectancy theory, employees are most strongly motivated to participate when they believe that they can do so successfully and when they know that their participation will result in an outcome that they value. The system proposed here addresses the requirements of expectancy theory, and the weaknesses of existing suggestion systems, by establishing a communications infrastructure and protocol similar to those used in group decision support systems. The system motivates employees to submit suggestions by providing an interactive networked forum within which employees and interested stakeholders can openly debate their merits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-314
Number of pages10
JournalBehaviour and Information Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Social Sciences
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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