The purpose of this paper is to explore how visionary leadership influences employees’ creativity in R&D teams in China, and the role of employee knowledge sharing and goal orientation.
A survey was conducted on 331 professional technical engineers in R&D departments of 62 high-tech corporations in China. Hierarchical regression was used to model the relationships between visionary leadership style, employee goal orientations, knowledge sharing and employee creativity.
The results show that visionary leadership is positively associated with employee creativity in Chinese organizations and the relationship is positively mediated by employee knowledge sharing. Furthermore, employee “learning goal” orientation strengthens the relationship between visionary leadership and employee knowledge sharing, whereas employee “performance-avoid goal” orientation weakens the relationship between visionary leadership and employee knowledge sharing.
This study contributes to the literature on the effects of leadership on employee creativity by showing that, contrary to western organizations, where a less directive leadership style is generally recommended to enhance employee creativity, in Chinese organizations, visionary leadership is positively associated with employee creativity, but the effect is contingent on employees’ goal orientations and knowledge sharing.
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project Nos 71402024, 71332002, 71502085, 71702077, 71772133), and the Ministry of Education of Humanities and Social Science Project of China (Project No. 16YJA630042).
Zhou, L., Zhao, S., Tian, F., Zhang, X. and Chen, S. (2018), "Visionary leadership and employee creativity in China", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 39 No. 1, pp. 93-105. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJM-04-2016-0092Download as .RIS
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