We developed and tested a model of employee creativity based on achievement goal theory and role identity theory. Examining the relationship between the three dimensions of goal orientation and employee creativity, we explored the mediating effect of creative role identity. Data were collected from 197 employees and their supervisors from several industries in China. The results indicated that employee learning orientation was positively related to employee creativity, but that no such positive relationship existed between approach performance orientation and employee creativity. Interestingly, we found that avoidance performance orientation was positively related to employee creativity. Learning orientation, approach performance orientation and avoidance performance orientation were all found to have significant effects on creative role identity. In turn, creative role identity fully mediated the relationship between learning orientation and employee creativity, and the relationship between avoidance performance orientation and employee creativity. These findings contribute to the advancement of role identity theory, and their theoretical and practical implications are discussed.