Tough Love and Creativity : How Authoritarian Leadership Tempered by Benevolence or Morality Influences Employee Creativity

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

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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationBritish Journal of Management
Publication statusAccepted/In press/Filed - 22 Jan 2019

Abstract

Influenced by Amabile's views on the intrinsic nature of creative motivation (T. M. Amabile (1988). A model of creativity and innovation in organizations’. In B. M. Staw and L. L. Cummings (eds), Research in Organizational Behavior, Vol. 10, pp. 123–167. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press), researchers have focused primarily on supportive leadership, with authoritarian leadership known to negatively influence employee creativity. Arguing from social information processing theory, the authors show that low levels of authoritarian leadership act as a stressor encouraging creativity, while high levels discourage creativity. Authoritarian leadership is one component of a larger constellation of leader behaviours known as paternalistic leadership. Under paternalistic leadership, authoritarian leadership is combined with benevolence and morality and these interact with authoritarianism. The authors argue that the presence of benevolence and moral leadership causes subordinates to view the leader's authoritarian actions as serving a positive purpose, and show that both benevolence and moral leadership act to offset the negative effects of authoritarian leadership on creativity.