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Linking transformational leadership with employees’ engagement in the creative process

Mohammad Tahlil Azim (Department of Business Administration, King Abdulaziz University, Faculty of Economics and Administration, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Luo Fan (Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, China)
Md. Aftab Uddin (Department of Human Resource Management, University of Chittagong, Chittagong, Bangladesh)
Munshi Muhammad Abdul Kader Jilani (School of Management, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, China and Department of Human Resource Management, Bangladesh Institute of Governance and Management (BIGM), Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Sumayya Begum (Department of Management, Bangladesh University of Professionals, Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 2 May 2019

Issue publication date: 12 July 2019




Given that individual creativity is a critical element to achieving organizational competitiveness, the purpose of this study is to attempt to investigate how transformational leadership (TL) drives employee creative process engagement (CPE) by improving their creative self-efficacy (CSE).


Analysis has been performed based on 194 responses from information and communication technology firms using a cross-sectional survey design. The study follows a deductive research approach to test the hypotheses. It uses SmartPLS2 and IBM SPSS 21 for a structural equation model.


The investigation finds that TL significantly predicts CPE, and CSE partially mediates the TL–CPE relationship. The result demonstrates that TL shapes an organizational climate conducive to the employees’ CPE by building employees’ self-efficacy.

Research limitations/implications

The study sample was drawn from a single sector of the Bangladeshi economy. The sampling design represents a limitation, for which the findings cannot be broadly generalized. Replications and augmentations of the study in various industrial areas will help test the robustness and generalizability of the discoveries.

Practical implications

TL and CPE are desirable organizational outcomes across all cultures. From a practical standpoint, the outcomes demonstrate that TL is linked to CPE and CSE among information and communication technology employees. This study extends the appropriateness of CSE into Asian countries. Notably, it provides additional insight into a contemporary TL model that can unequivocally impact leadership development in the Bangladeshi information and communication technology firms. Managers or chief executive officers in the small and medium enterprises are expected to exhibit TL attributes by designing a supportive organizational climate that will motivate employees to exhibit creative activities.

Social implications

TL transforms employees’ psychological state to get them to engage in creative processes, benefiting the organizational stakeholders by their unconventional creative behavior. The TL-driven innovative outcome through employees’ CPE contributes to the development of social well-being.


This paper adds significance to the extant literature regarding the determinants of the mediating impact of CSE on TL and CPE from the viewpoints of information and communication technology firms, particularly from developing countries, such as Bangladesh. It also contributes to reconcile the findings of the previous studies around the globe in both developed and developing countries.



Azim, M.T., Fan, L., Uddin, M.A., Abdul Kader Jilani, M.M. and Begum, S. (2019), "Linking transformational leadership with employees’ engagement in the creative process", Management Research Review, Vol. 42 No. 7, pp. 837-858.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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