The impact of personality traits and knowledge collection behavior on programmer creativity

Aamir Amin*, Shuib Basri, Mobashar Rahman, Luiz Fernando Capretz, Rehan Akbar, Abdul Rehman Gilal, Muhammad Farooq Shabbir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: Creativity is one of the essential ingredients in successful software engineering. However, majority of the work related to creativity in software engineering has focused on creativity in requirement engineering. Furthermore, there are very few studies that examine programmer creativity and the impact of individual and contextual factors on it. 

Objective: The objective of the study is to analyze the impact of the big five personality traits including extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experience, as well as knowledge collection behavior on a programmer's creativity intention. 

Method: A quantitative survey was conducted and data from 294 programmers, working in offshore software development projects, was collected. The data was later analyzed using Smart-PLS (3.0). 

Results and Conclusions: The results indicated that openness to experience, extraversion, conscientiousness and knowledge collection behavior positively predicted a programmer's creativity intention. On the other hand, neuroticism negatively predicts creativity intention of the programmer. The study also concluded that all of the independent variables, except the agreeableness trait, significantly predict creativity intention which in turn significantly predicts creativity. As a result, our conclusions indicate that programmer's personality traits and knowledge collection behavior play a key role in shaping their intention to be creative. Hence, personality traits and knowledge collection behavior should be given due attention during the hiring process of creativity-oriented software companies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106405
Number of pages14
JournalInformation and Software Technology
Early online date3 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Big five
  • Creativity
  • Creativity intention
  • Knowledge collection behavior
  • Personality traits
  • Programmer
  • Software engineering


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