Authentic leadership and creativity in China : The role of students’ regulatory-focused behaviors and supervisors’ power sources

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

6 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Article number100592
Journal / PublicationThinking Skills and Creativity
Online published21 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


The topics of leadership and creativity have attracted considerable interest from both practitioners and academics in recent years. While this linkage has been examined, few studies have investigated how other contextual factors may affect this relationship. This paper tests a mediation model where authentic leadership influences student creativity through students’ regulatory-focused behaviors (promotion/ nourishment vs. prevention/protection). In addition, the study also examines the moderating roles of three leadership power sources in the relationship between authentic leadership and promotion-/prevention-focus, and tests a moderated mediation model with all study variables. Based on 298 supervisor-student dyads, we found that: (1) students’ promotion-focused behavior mediates the relationship between authentic leadership and their creativity; (2) all leadership power sources (position, personal and relational) moderate the relationship between authentic leadership and promotion-focused behavior and the position power also moderates the relationship between authentic leadership and prevention-focused behavior; (3) for the moderated mediation model, all power sources moderate the mediation model of promotion-focus, but not prevention-focus. This paper provides theoretical implications to researchers and practical hints to educators on how to nurture promising creative behavior at work.

Research Area(s)

  • Authentic leadership, Creativity, Power sources, Promotion- and prevention-focus, Regulatory focus theory

Citation Format(s)