An analytical study of motivation for creative workers in China's creative industries

  • Yuet Kai Chan

Student thesis: PhD


The rapid economic development of China in recent years leads to a number of challenges for China's economic growth. Due to increases in labor cost, heavy consumption of natural resources, and the threat of foreign competition, the government is considering a structural change in the industrial sector. Creative industries that emphasize human creativity and intellectual abilities are the sectors that the government promotes to maintain sustained economic growth. However, one study that analyzes the current development of China's creative industries found that most of the organizations in the creative sector fail to establish an environment conducive to creative performance. This study aims to investigate the relationships between various motivators and the performance of creative workers in China's creative industries. It will reveal the current motivation methods that organizations are using to motivate the performance of creative workers. It will also identify the preferred motivators for creative workers, and determine the perceived effectiveness of current motivation methods by analyzing the similarities and differences of the motivators that managers and creative workers view as important in China's creative industries. This study includes 40 in-depth interviews and 396 valid online questionnaires conducted with managers and creative workers in China's creative industries. This study reveals the important motivators required by creative workers, as well as some management problems in motivating workers of creative organizations in China. The findings indicate that the effective methods preferred by the managers and the creative workers in China are similar, but the execution and management of these motivation strategies does not meet employee expectation. These research findings should enrich knowledge in the field of motivating creative workers in China's creative industries. Management and policy makers in China's creative industries would benefit from better insight into how to motivate creative employees through appropriate management skills.
Date of Award2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
SupervisorChi Fai Henry Ma (Chief supervisor) & Man Yee Sandy Ng (Co-supervisor)


  • Motivation
  • Creativity
  • Creative industries

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