Pro-Creativity Leadership: An Exploratory Study on the Mediating Role of Intrinsic Motivation

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Conference Paper

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Many scholars believe in the critical role leaders play in fostering creativity at the workplace (e.g. Amabile, 1998; Amabile, Conti, Coon, Lazenby, & Herron, 1996; Jung, 2000-2001; Mumford & Gustafson, 1988). Leaders have been described to occupy a boundary role position in organizations (Katz & Kahn, 1978) where they are tasked with influencing subordinate behavior in order to attain organizational goals (Fleishman, 1973; Mumford, 1986). As such, they are in the position to influence subordinate behavior considerably, including subordinates’ creative behavior. Yet to date, not much research has been done on the effect of leadership on employee creativity (Jung, 2000-2001; Mumford, Scott, Gladdis, & Strange, 2002). Past research exploring the linkage between leadership and employee creativity is largely based on existing leadership frameworks, such as, transformational leadership (Chen, Li, & Tang, 2009; Gumusluoglu & Ilsev, 2009; Shin & Zhou, 2003). There is a need to explore alternative theoretical frameworks on the types of leadership behaviors that directly affect employee creativity. This is in line with Tierney, Farmer, & Graen’s (1999) call to have a more accurate portrayal of leadership’s role in promoting employee creativity, as well as Waldman and Bass’s (1991) observation that traditional leadership approaches are more relevant to the explanation and prediction of productivity outcomes than to innovation outcomes. Although our literature review identified many studies relating intrinsic motivation to employee creativity (e.g. Amabile, 1983; 1996; Oldham & Cummings, 1996), there were a few studies which investigated the efficacy of intrinsic motivation as a mediator. Also, the findings on the mediating role of intrinsic motivation between leadership and employee creativity are inconclusive (Chen et al., 2009; Gumusluoglu & Ilsev, 2009; Shin & Zhou, 2003). Therefore, in this study we will develop an instrument to measure the Pro-Creativity Leadership, and use it to test the validity of the construct of pro-creativity leadership by showing the linkage between the procreativity leadership and employee creativity through the mediating effects of intrinsic motivation.


employee creativity, leadership, intrinsic motivation, positive expectation, empowerment, intellectual stimulation, supportiveness, role modeling


Organizational Behavior and Theory

Research Areas

Strategy and Organisation

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City or Country

Pecs, Hungary

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