Building on the work design for cognition perspective, the present study aimed at developing and testing a moderated mediation model of problem-solving, in which learning through experimentation serves as a mediating mechanism linking problem-solving with idea generation, and organizational tenure moderates the indirect relationship between problem-solving and idea generation via learning through experimentation. Results of a study of 212 workers from a manufacturing organization operating in central Italy offered support for the hypothesized model. Problem-solving was related to idea generation and learning through experimentation significantly mediated the association. In addition, organizational tenure interacted with problem-solving showing a stronger association for longer-tenured employees. This research sheds light on learning as a mechanism explaining the effects of job characteristics on creative/innovative outcomes and tenure as an intervening contextual feature. It also provides information on managerial practices to design jobs to maximize informal learning and employees’ generation of ideas.
- idea generation
- learning through experimentation
- organizational tenure