chapter  5
16 Pages

Leader Behaviors and Employee Creativity

Taking Stock of the Current State of Research
WithChristina E. Shalley, G. James Lemoine

Our review of the literature connecting leadership behaviors to creativity illuminate a wide range of effects, with leadership predicting creativity across styles and both broad and specific behaviors. We find that participative, transformational/charismatic, moral, and general approaches all positively predict creativity, whereas more authoritarian, directive, and abusive behaviors suppress employee creativity. Overall, this review indicates that virtually every style of leadership examined has some relationship with creativity—a somewhat non-intuitive finding given the supposed rarity of creativity and challenges in facilitating it. We suggest that methodological issues in how we measure both creativity and leadership may contribute to this phenomenon, but also consider the possibility that leadership and creativity may be naturally aligned such that the basic theoretical outcomes of leadership are similar to the established theoretical antecedents of creativity. Implications for theory are discussed.