Public sector creativity is the origin of innovation and crucial to public sector organizations’ ability to serve the public’s interest. Factors affecting public servants’ creativity, however, remained unexplored. This longitudinal qualitative digital diary study (N = 142) explores these factors. Our findings indicate that public servants’ creativity appears affected by four salient factors: public servants’ realistic evaluations of ideas, bureaucratic dimensions, out-of-balance work demands and (lack of) social contact. The underlying mechanics indicate that the public sector context demotivates public servants to be creative. These findings indicate avenues for practitioners to carefully consider when aiming to improve creativity within their organization.
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© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.