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How authentic leadership affects green creativity: the role of self-reflection and psychological capital

Zhining Wang (School of Economics and Management, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou, China)
Chunjie Guan (School of Business, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China)
Shaohan Cai (Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada)

Chinese Management Studies

ISSN: 1750-614X

Article publication date: 30 November 2022




Based on social cognitive theory, this study aims to explore the effect of authentic leadership on employee green creativity by studying the mediating role of reflection and rumination and the moderating role of psychological capital.


This study used experience sampling methodology to test hypothesis. Specifically, this study applied two-level path analysis to analyze 1,290 observations from 129 employees.


The results show that authentic leadership positively influences reflection but negatively influences rumination, which in turn impact employees’ green creativity. Psychological capital positively moderates the effects of authentic leadership on reflection and negatively moderates the effects of authentic leadership on rumination. Furthermore, psychological capital moderates the linkages between authentic leadership, self-reflection and employee green creativity.

Practical implications

Organizations should make efforts in promoting authentic leadership and recruiting employees who possess high psychological capital. Moreover, managers can make effective efforts to stimulate employees’ reflection and mitigate rumination, thereby facilitating organizational sustainable development.


In investigating green issues related to employees’ daily cognitive processes, this study focuses on within-personal reaction mechanism to authentic leadership, concerning the moderating effect of individual psychological capital.



Thanks to the editors and referees for their insightful comments and suggestions, which led to significant improvements in the paper.

Funding: The authors received National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 72271231) support for the publication of this article.

Disclosure statement: No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.


Wang, Z., Guan, C. and Cai, S. (2022), "How authentic leadership affects green creativity: the role of self-reflection and psychological capital", Chinese Management Studies, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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