Leader Positivity and Follower Creativity: An Experimental Analysis

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Department or Administrative Unit


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Using an experimental research design, 191 working adults were randomly assigned to two experimental conditions in order to test a theoretical model linking leader and follower positive psychological capital (PsyCap). Multiple methods were used to gather information from the participants. We found when leader PsyCap was manipulated experimentally, it was positively related to follower PsyCap. Subsequently, follower PsyCap was significantly related to employee's originality of ideas; one important component of creativity in the workplace. We discuss the theoretical contributions of linking leader and follower PsyCap in what emerges as a directional contagion effect, and the mediating role of follower PsyCap in enhancing follower creative task performance. Further, employee selection and development as well as leadership development practical implications are discussed. We conclude with a discussion of limitations and future research directions.


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The Journal of Creative Behavior