Leadership, Creativity & Innovation: Introduction

Leadership, Creativity & Innovation in small and medium Enterprises

 

 

Abstract

A preliminary effort was made to integrate the mediating role of the intrinsic motivation approach to understanding the sources of innovative behavior in a business environment. According to previous researches, supervisor developmental feedback has predictive power for innovative behavior. In this research we suggested that employees’ motivation mediates the supervisors’ developmental feedback effects on innovative behavior, and that supervisor developmental feedback can affect employees’ intrinsic motivation and shape innovative behavior. It was also predicted that intrinsic motivation mediates creative self-efficacy effects in leading to innovative behavior. Results of bivariate correlation and multiple-regression analysis provided support for both for the predictor and mediator variables that influence innovative behavior

 

INTRODUCTION

Nowadays creativity and innovation have become crucial for organizational success and survival since organizations have to confront to ever- increasing competition in businesses (Tierney, Farmer & Grean, 1999). In order to find the incentives for creativity and innovative behavior in business environment researchers have investigated existing factors that affect creativity and innovative behavior.

Those identified factors are mainly leadership style, organizational climate, culture and group processes (Kaemmerer, 1978; Scott & Bruce, 1994; Zaccaro, Rittman & Marks, 2001; Tierney, Farmer & Graen, 1999).  At the same time all of the factors were classified in different levels, such as: individual, organizational and joint condition (Oldham & Cummings, 1996; Scott & Bruce, 1994; Tierney & Farmer, 1999; Zaccaro, S., J., Rittman, A., L., Marks, A. M., 2001).

To explore the creativity and innovation tendencies in small and medium enterprises we  have investigated certain organizational and individual factors, specifically: leadership style (supervisor developmental feedback), intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy.  We find the supervisors’ role very important in coordinating and inspiring employees to creativity by their efforts at increasing employees’ intrinsic motivation.

This is in consideration of the fact that they can be initiators to establish an appropriate climate and culture where employees can find an appropriate level of support and freedom to come up with new ideas, suggestions and proposals.  

We examined also how creative self-efficacy, in the context of the theoretical background, affects employee’s intrinsic motivation, as recognized by Bandura (1977) as a very strong factor for creativity and innovative behavior. It is related to the notion that unless employees believe that their actions can produce the results they desire, they won’t have enough incentives to confront to difficulties. We reasoned that in this process their intrinsic motivation as inner desire may have a mediating role in leading to the innovative behavior, since self-efficacy beliefs can reinforce and boost the intrinsic motivation as real incentives for innovative behavior.

 

The present research is preceded by a discussion of the appropriate theoretical background under which the research took place, mainly about the concept of creativity and innovation, two main theoretical frameworks related to creativity and innovation, and psychological theories related to individual characteristics in the context of creative behavior.