Information system users’ creativity: A meta-analysis of the link between IT use and creative performance

Darius Pacauskas*, Risto Rajala

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
198 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Information technology has been recognized as one of the keys to improved productivity in organizations. Yet, existing research has not paid sufficient attention to how information systems (ISs) influence the creative performance of individual users. The paper aims to discuss this issue. Design/methodology/approach: This study draws on the theories of flow and cognitive load to establish a model of the predicted influences. The authors hypothesize that the information technology supports creativity by engaging individuals in a creative process and by lowering their cognitive load related to the process. To test these hypotheses, the authors employ a meta-analytical structural equation modeling approach using 24 previous studies on creativity and ISs use. Findings: The results suggest that factors that help the user to maintain an interest in the performed task, immerse the user in a state of flow, and lower a person’s cognitive load during IS use can affect the user’s creative performance. Research limitations/implications: The findings imply that a combination of the theories of flow and cognitive load complements the understanding of how ISs influence creativity. Originality/value: This paper proposes an explanation on why ISs affect creativity, which can be used by scholars to position further research, and by practitioners to implement creativity support systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-116
Number of pages36
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Cognitive theories
  • Creativity management
  • Information overload
  • Structural equation modelling


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