Employee creativity in war zones: empirical evidence from small firms in Afghanistan

Asghar Afshar Jahanshahi*, Alexander Brem, Dominik Hoerauf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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The major concern of employees during times of war and conflict is apparently physical survival. But how are top managers of small-sized companies enhancing the generation of novel and useful ideas by their employees in such physically dangerous business environments? In Afghanistan, as a war-torn country, this research examined for the first time how getting closer to employees—which is conceptualized as internal marketing orientation culture in our study—directly affects the generation of novel and useful ideas by employees in the workplace. Our analysis is based on survey data from 81 newly established small-sized companies in Afghanistan. Results indicate a mediating role of employees' perceived psychological safety on the relationship between internal market orientation culture and employees' creative work involvement. Moreover, we discuss the impact of employees' creative work involvement on small-sized firm competitiveness improvement in general. Finally, we extend our implications in the context of the componential theory model of creativity, which might also serve as a framework for future research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCreativity and Innovation Management
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)465-480
Publication statusPublished - 1. Sep 2020


  • Afghanistan
  • competitiveness improvement
  • creativity
  • employees' creative work involvement
  • entrepreneurs
  • idea generation
  • psychological safety
  • small-sized companies

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