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Leadership and individual innovation: A cross-cultural study of mediating psychological processes

Conference paper
Authors Leif Denti
Sven Hemlin
Michael D. Mumford
Published in Academy of Management Conference, 9-13 aug, 2013, Orlando
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Psychology
Language en
Keywords Leadership, innovation, cross-cultural, creative self-efficacy, personal initiative, conservation
Subject categories Applied Psychology


How is leadership connected with team member innovation? This cross-cultural study models the psychological processes by which leadership is related to individual innovation. Altogether, 269 R&D team members, 60 team leaders, and 20 department managers in a multi-national automotive company answered our surveys in USA, Sweden, France and India. We measured innovation in two ways. First, innovative outcomes were measured using quantitative indicators (new or improved products, new patent applications, and scientific and other publications). Second, innovative individual behavior was measured using team leaders’ assessments. Leadership (conceptualized by leader-member exchange theory) was positively associated with individual innovation. Creative self-efficacy and personal initiative mediated this relationship to innovative outcomes. We also found that the culturally bound value of conservation was negatively related to individual innovation. We discuss implications for organizations when selecting and leading a highly skilled workforce of engineers in R&D environments, and future research of the mechanisms by which leaders can influence innovation in R&D.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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