Motivated or Demotivated to Be Creative: The Role of Self-Regulatory Focus in Transformational and Transactional Leadership Processes

Ronit Kark, Dina Van Dijk, Dana Rachel Vashdi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Numerous studies have recognised the importance of transformational leadership style for encouraging employees’ creativity. Self-regulation studies have highlighted the influence of a promotion focus on employees’ creative behaviours. Yet both leadership and self-regulation theories have paid less attention to the role transactional leadership style and situational prevention regulatory focus may play in affecting employees’ creativity. In this article we present a theoretical model which examines transformational and transactional leadership styles and both promotion and prevention situational self-regulatory focus (SRF). The model suggests that while transformational leadership promotes creativity, at least partially by enhancing follower's situational promotion SRF, transactional leadership style (transactional active) is aligned with followers’ prevention situational SRF, which is associated with leaders’ hindering of followers’ creativity. Findings from two studies, an experimental study (N = 189) and a field study (N = 343 employees and 75 managers), support this model, showing that the relationship between different types of leadership and creativity are more complex than previously regarded. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-224
Number of pages39
JournalApplied Psychology
Volume67
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
* Address for correspondence: Ronit Kark, Department of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel, 52900. Email: karkronit@gmail.com This study was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant No. 254/07).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 International Association of Applied Psychology.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology

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