Does participation generate creativity? A dual-mechanism of creative self-efficacy and supervisor-subordinate guanxi

Wenjing Cai, Li Lin, Chun Yang, Xueling Fan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Although past research has acknowledged that participative leadership enhances creativity, how and when this link develops remain an underexplored topic. Based on social cognitive theory and social exchange theory, our study explores two mechanisms, i.e., creative self-efficacy as a motivational mechanism and supervisor-subordinate guanxi as an exchange-based mechanism, which simultaneously mediates the relationship between participative leadership and employee creativity. Using multisource and time-lagged data from 409 employees and 97 supervisors in China, we find that participative leadership affects creativity by simultaneously influencing creative self-efficacy and supervisor-subordinate guanxi. We also propose a moderated mediation model of employee identification with leader on both mechanisms; however, the moderation effect is found only for the exchange-based mechanism (i.e., supervisor-subordinate guanxi as the mediator). Our study sheds light on how (through both motivational and exchange-based mechanisms) and when (conditioned on employee identification with leader) participative leadership is positively related to creativity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • creative self-efficacy
  • creativity
  • identification with leader
  • Participative leadership
  • supervisor-subordinate guanxi

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