Comet Calendar

Dr. Nan Jia
Dean's Associate Professor in 
Business Administration
School of Business
University of Southern California

Friday, September 30, 2022
10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., JSOM 2.902

Unleashing Employee Creativity:   Evidence on AI Assistance and Employee Job Performance

Abstract:   Can artificial intelligence (AI) complement the work of human employees, particularly by increasing employee creativity? We examine AI assistance in the form of a sequential division of labor within organizations, wherein AI handles the initial portion of a task that is repetitive and well-codified, and employees focus on subsequent higher-level problem-solving. First, we provide causal evidence from a field experiment conducted at a telemarketing firm. We find that AI assistance with generating sales leads can significantly increase employee creativity in answering customer questions during subsequent sales presentations. This effect is more pronounced for highly skilled employees. Enhanced creativity leads to an increase in employee performance and sales success. Subsequently, we conducted a qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews with employees. We find that AI assistance enables highly skilled employees to generate innovative scripts and develop positive emotions at work that are conducive to promoting creativity. Conversely, with AI assistance, lower-skilled employees make limited improvements to scripts and experience greater stress at work. Nevertheless, both types of employees profess a strong appreciation and support of the firm for its AI adoption strategy. These findings help organizations design augmented intelligence and achieve optimal performance from AI and human collaboration.

Naveen Jindal School of Management
Dr. Jason Kautz

Lectures & Workshops


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