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date: 26 June 2022

Leadership and Creativity in Organizational Behaviorlocked

Leadership and Creativity in Organizational Behaviorlocked

  • G. James LemoineG. James LemoineSchool of Management, University at Buffalo

Summary

Because leadership and creativity represent two of the most popular topics in the fields of management and organizational behavior, it should not be surprising that a large body of literature has emerged in which the two are jointly examined. Leadership is a commonly studied independent variable, whereas creativity is an outcome of paramount importance for organizations, and the two are also theoretically connected in several ways, suggesting that leadership could precipitate followers’ creative outcomes. This relationship pattern, called “creative leadership,” is the most common way leadership and creativity interact in the extant scholarship. Most of the existing work has focused on “facilitating” creative leadership, in which followers (but not leaders) generate creative outputs, often as a result of leadership behaviors and styles, relationships, or the characteristics of their leader. This work generally finds that positive leadership precipitates positive creative outcomes, although some findings have emerged suggesting that considerable nuance may exist in these relationships, a promising area for future research. Much less scholarship has examined how leaders might direct others to implement their own creative visions, or how leaders might integrate their own creative efforts with those of their followers to enhance overall creativity. Research on these forms of creative leadership is often limited to specific creativity-relevant industries, such the culinary field and the arts, but there is opportunity to examine how they might operate in more general organizational fields.

Other phenomena linking leadership and creativity are plausible but less understood. For instance, leaders may assemble creative contexts, engage in unconventional behavior, or emerge as leaders regardless of their hierarchical positions. Least explored of all is the idea of an opposite causal order—that of creativity affecting leadership, such that creative acts or experiences by an organizational member might drive or alter leadership emerging from themselves, their managers, or their followers. After review of the extant literature in these areas, potential topics for future scholarship are identified within and among the different research streams.

Subjects

  • Organizational Behavior

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