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The impact of authentic leadership on individual and team creativity: a multilevel perspective

Shen Lei (Glorious Sun School of Business and Management, Donghua University, Shanghai, China)
Cuijuan Qin (Glorious Sun School of Business and Management, Donghua University, Shanghai, China)
Muhammad Ali (School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai, China) (Hailey College of Banking and Finance, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan)
Susan Freeman (Business School, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)
Zheng Shi-Jie (Glorious Sun School of Business and Management, Donghua University, Shanghai, China)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 1 April 2021

Issue publication date: 2 June 2021

1022

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop and test a multilevel conceptual model which explains how authentic leadership (AL), through an innovative team atmosphere and promotion of self-efficacy, influences creativity. The study delineates two pathways from AL to creativity. The first pathway is an indirect effect through an innovative atmosphere at the team level and self-efficacy at the individual level, while the second pathway focuses on the moderating effect of AL between self-efficacy and individual creativity.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 58 team leaders and 283 employees in a creative industry park in the Yangtze River Delta region from China. Path analysis was conducted to test the proposed hypotheses using the statistical package M-plus (v. 7).

Findings

The results reveal that AL is an important antecedent of creativity. Furthermore, an innovation-based atmosphere at the team level mediates the theorized relationship between AL and individual creativity. However, creative self-efficacy at the individual level does not mediate this relationship. Finally, the study found that AL moderates the relationship between creative self-efficacy and individual creativity.

Originality/value

The implications of this study highlight important considerations for enterprises in creative industry parks within and beyond China. This study provides industry leaders with a clearer and more insightful and coherent means of understanding the mediating mechanism between AL and creativity, and the moderating effects of AL between individual self-efficacy and creativity through a new linkage model.

Keywords

Citation

Lei, S., Qin, C., Ali, M., Freeman, S. and Shi-Jie, Z. (2021), "The impact of authentic leadership on individual and team creativity: a multilevel perspective", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 42 No. 4, pp. 644-662. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-12-2019-0519

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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