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Transformation leadership and creativity: Effects of employees pyschological empowerment and intrinsic motivation

Jaithen Abdullah Al Harbi (Department of Management and Marketing, College of Business and Economics, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar)
Saud Alarifi (Independent Writer, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
Aissa Mosbah (Faculty of Business Management and Professional Studies, Management and Science University, Shah Alam, Malaysia)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 20 June 2019

Issue publication date: 22 July 2019




The purpose of this paper is to examine empirically the effect of transformational leadership on followers’ inventiveness and organizational innovation. It studies transformational leadership and innovation at the organizational level and creativity at the individual level.


A theoretical model was created, which entailed the development of variables and hypotheses. A survey instrument was used to obtain data, through a self-completion questionnaire. The final sample was made up of 503 individuals, recruited using a random sampling technique.


The results showed that transformational leadership has a significant positive relationship with both followers’ creativity and organizational innovation. Furthermore, a significant positive relationship was found between followers’ creativity and organizational innovation. In addition, the relationship between transformational leadership and followers’ creativity, through the mediating role of employees’ psychological empowerment, support for innovation, workplace relationships and employee learning, was also found to be both positive and significant. However, the data showed that intrinsic motivation does not significantly affect the relationship between transformational leadership and creativity.

Practical implications

The study provides guidance to organizations that need to change their leadership style and approach, as well as their innovation and creativity mechanisms, at a strategic level. The resulting guidance provides organizations with insight into how they can improve the creativity of their employees through motivating, supporting and inspiring them.


This study is an attempt to illustrate the extent to which transformational leadership can affect organizational innovation in Saudi Arabia, specifically in the public sector, and to explore how employees’ creativity can be improved. This research is beneficial for academics, organizations and policy makers, especially in the Gulf countries.



Al Harbi, J.A., Alarifi, S. and Mosbah, A. (2019), "Transformation leadership and creativity: Effects of employees pyschological empowerment and intrinsic motivation", Personnel Review, Vol. 48 No. 5, pp. 1082-1099.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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