Effects of Leadership Style, Creativity Technique and Personal Initiative on Employee Creativity



Transformational leadership is assumed to enhance employees' creativity. However, results of meta-analytic research on the relations between transformational leadership and creativity have fallen short of expectations. The authors argue that, besides leadership style, the creativity technique that a leader employs is an important means of stimulating employees' creativity. In addition, it is assumed that leadership styles and creativity techniques may have different effects, depending on the measure of creativity output (quantitative vs qualitative). Therefore, in an experimental setting, the effects of different creativity techniques (provocation technique vs brainwriting) and leadership styles (transformational vs transactional) on both quantitative and qualitative creativity were examined. Results showed that transformational leadership and provocation technique led to higher levels of qualitative creativity than transactional leadership and brainwriting, respectively. Conversely, transactional leadership and brainwriting were more effective for quantitative creativity. The additional benefit of the provocation technique in qualitative creativity was found to be higher in the transactional leadership condition than in the transformational leadership condition. Moreover, personal initiative made a significant and independent contribution to both qualitative and quantitative creativity. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.