The influence of leadership on creativity: A systematic review of experimental studies

LG Tummers, PM Kruyen

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Various studies argue that leaders can stimulate the creativity of their followers. However, many of these studies rely on survey or case studies methods, which generally suffer from endogeneity threats, such as reverse causality or omitted variables. In order to provide robust evidence on the cause-and-effect relationship of leadership on creativity, this paper systematically reviews the published experimental studies available on this topic. Findings show that – contrary to expectation – we did not an unequivocal positive influence of general leadership styles such as transformational leadership. On the other hand, leadership strategies such as letting followers participate (related to empowering leadership) and increasing self-efficacy of followers (related to authentic leadership) did increase creativity across various studies. Furthermore, when leaders set creativity goals, this can positively influence creativity. Based upon the review, future research directions are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2014
EventPAR Conference - Guangzhou (China)
Duration: 17 Nov 201419 Nov 2014


ConferencePAR Conference
CityGuangzhou (China)


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