A Blessing in Disguise. Comparing the Effects of Leadership Styles on Individual Creativity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Recent organizational trends and foregoing research evidence have been revamping the importance of both creativity and high-quality leaders, prompting the reconsideration of the multifaceted relationships among different leadership styles and individual creativity. Drawing on creativity literature and leadership theories, the study compares three leadership styles (i.e. transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership), examining their complex and, sometimes, surprising relationships with individual creativity. It also considers the moderating effect of intrinsic motivation and better clarifies the controversial role of positive and negative moods within the leader-creativity relationship. Three between-subject laboratory experiments were performed involving more than 400 participants overall. The results confirm the positive relationship between laissez-faire leadership and creativity – even though this is not generally taken for granted – and suggest that transactional leaders are the least supportive of their followers’ creativity. Findings also demonstrate a beneficial role of negative mood for individual creativity and give some suggestions on the discordance of previous evidence; moreover, they support the underestimated moderating effect of intrinsic motivation in the leader-creativity relationship. Theoretical and practical implications, as well as suggestions for future research, are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEURAM 2019 Proceedings
Number of pages40
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventEURAM (European Academy of Management) 2019 - Lisbona, Portogallo
Duration: 26 Jun 201928 Jun 2019


ConferenceEURAM (European Academy of Management) 2019
CityLisbona, Portogallo


  • Creativity
  • Experimental design
  • Leadership styles


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