Despite the importance to researchers and organizations of how creativity contributes to effective leadership and how leadership contributes to group and organizational creativity, our knowledge regarding this interrelationship remains largely limited. A review of the literature based on both theoretical grounds and empirical evidence reveals that studies examining the intersection between creativity and leadership in organizations are divergent in terms of how they conceptualize this relationship. A multi-level framework is used to synthesize the knowledge in both creativity and leadership disciplines, with multiple themes having been found at each level of the framework.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
Achrol R. S. (1991). Evolution of the marketing organization: New forms for turbulent environments. Journal of Marketing 55(4) 77-93.
Ahuja G. & Katila R. (2001). Technological acquisitions and the innovation performance of acquiring firms: A longitudinal study. Strategic Management Journal 22 197-220.
Amabile T. M. Schatzel E. A. Moneta G. B. & Kramer S. J. (2004). Leader behaviors and the work environment for creativity: Perceived leader support. The Leadership Quarterly 15 5-32.
Amabile T. M. (1983). The social psychology of creativity: A componential conceptualization. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 45 357-376.
Amabile T. M. (1997). Motivating creativity in organizations: On doing what you love and loving what you do. California Management Review 40(1) 39-58.
Amabile T. M. Conti R. Coon H. Lazenby J. & Herron M. (1996). Assessing the work environment for creativity. Academy of Management Journal 39 1154-1184.
Amabile T. M. & Gryskiewicz N. D. (1989). The creative environment scales: Work environment inventory. Creativity Research Journal 2 231-253.
Amabile T. M. Schatzel E. A. Moneta G. B. & Kramer S. J. (2006). Corrigendum to ‘leader behaviors and the work environment for creativity: Perceived leader support’ [the leadership quarterly 15 (2004) 5-32]. The Leadership Quarterly 17 679-680.
Antes A. L. & Schuelke M. J. (2011). Leveraging technology to develop creative leadership capacity. Advances in Developing Human Resources 13 318-365.
Avolio B. J. (2007). Promoting more integrative strategies for leadership theory-building. American Psychologist 62 25-33.
Basadur M. (1995). Optimal ideation-evaluation ratios. Creativity Research Journal 8 63-75.
Basadur M. (2004). Leading others to think innovatively together: Creative leadership. The Leadership Quarterly 15 103-121.
Basadur M. Pringle P. & Kirkland D. (2002). Crossing cultures: Training effects on the divergent thinking attitudes of Spanish-speaking South American managers. Creativity Research Journal 14 395-408.
Basadur M. Wakabayashi M. & Takai J. (1992). Training effects on the divergent thinking attitudes of Japanese managers. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 16 329-345.
Bass B. M. (1996). A new paradigm of leadership: An inquiry into transformational leadership. Alexandria VA US: US Army Research Institute for the Behavioral & Social Sciences.
Begley T. M. & Boyd D. P. (1987). Psychological characteristics associated with performance in entrepreneurial firms and smaller businesses. Journal of Business Venturing 2 79-93.
Berghman L. A. (2012). Strategic innovation in established companies: An empirical study of appropriate ambidexterity strategies. International Journal of Innovation Management 16(1) 1250007-1 – 1250007-30
Bono J. E. & Judge T. A. (2004). Personality and transformational and transactional leadership: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology 89 901-910.
Bouty I. (2000). Interpersonal and interaction influences on informal resource exchanges between R&D researchers across organizational boundaries. Academy of Management Journal 43 50-65.
Brown J. S. & Duguid P. (2001). Knowledge and organization: A social-practice perspective. Organization Science 12 198-213.
Brown S. L. & Eisenhardt K. M. (1997). The art of continuous change: Linking complexity theory and time-paced evolution in relentlessly shifting organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly 42 1-34.
Budner S. (1962). Intolerance of ambiguity as a personality variable. Journal of Personality 30 29-50.
Castro F. Gomes J. & de Sousa F. C. (2012). Do intelligent leaders make a difference? the effect of a leader’s emotional intelligence on followers’ creativity. Creativity and Innovation Management 21 171-182.
Chen Y. (2003). High school principals’ managerial perceptions and Their Tolerance of ambiguity. Unpublished Master Thesis Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.
Clapham M. M. (2011). Testing/measurement/assessment. In M. A. Runco & S. R. Pritzker (Eds.) Encyclopedia of creativity (2nd ed. pp. 458-464). London: Elsevier Inc.
Couger J. D. (1996). Press: Measurement of the climate for creativity in IS organizations. Creativity and Innovation Management 5 273-279.
Cropley A. (2006). In praise of convergent thinking. Creativity Research Journal 18 391-404.
Danneels E. (2002). The dynamics of product innovation and firm competences. Strategic Management Journal 23 1095-1121.
Day D. V. (2000). Leadership development: A review in context. The Leadership Quarterly 11 581-613.
Dollinger M. J. & Saxton T. (1995). Intolerance of ambiguity and the decision to form an alliance. Psychological Reports 77 1197-1198.
Drazin R. Glynn M. A. & Kazanjian R. K. (1999). Multilevel theorizing about creativity in organizations: A sensemaking perspective. Academy of Management Review 24 286-307.
Droge C. Calantone R. & Harmancioglu N. (2008). New product success: Is it really controllable by managers in highly turbulent environments? Journal of Product Innovation Management 25 272-286.
Egbu C. O. (1999). Skills knowledge and competencies for managing construction refurbishment works. Construction Management & Economics 17 29-43.
Eisenhardt K. M. & Schoonhoven C. B. (1996). Resource-based view of strategic alliance formation: Strategic and social effects in entrepreneurial firms. Organization Science 7 136-150.
Ekvall G. I. & Ryhammar L. (1998). Leadership style social climate and organizational outcomes: A study of a Swedish university college. Creativity and Innovation Management 7 126-130.
Ekvall G. (1987). The climate metaphor in organization theory. In B. M. Bass P. J. D. Drenth & P. Weissenberg (Eds.) Advances in organizational psychology (pp. 177-190). Thousand Oaks CA: Sage Publications Inc.
Ekvall G. & Ryhammar L. (1999). The creative climate: Its determinants and effects at a Swedish university. Creativity Research Journal 12 303-310.
Eysenck H. J. (1997). Creativity and personality. In M. A. Runco (Ed.) Creativity research handbook (pp. 41-66). Cresskill: Hampton Press.
Feist G. J. (1998). A meta-analysis of personality in scientific and artistic creativity. Personality and Social Psychology Review 2 290-309.
Gardner H. (1995). Leading minds: An anatomy of leadership. New York NY US: Basic Books.
George J. M. (2000). Emotions and leadership: The role of emotional intelligence. Human Relations 53 1027-1055.
George J. M. (2008). Creativity in organizations. In J. P. Walsh & A. P. Brief (Eds.) The Academy of Management Annals (Vol. 1 pp. 439-477). New York NY: Taylor & Francis Group/Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Gerstner C. R. & Day D. V. (1997). Meta-analytic review of leader–member exchange theory: Correlates and construct issues. Journal of Applied Psychology 82 827-844.
Gibson C. & Mumford M. D. (2013). Evaluation criticism and creativity: Criticism content and effects on creative problem solving. Psychology of Aesthetics Creativity and the Arts 7 314–331.
Gong Y. Huang J. & Farh J. (2009). Employee learning orientation transformational leadership and employee creativity: The mediating role of employee creative self-efficacy. Academy of Management Journal 52 765-778.
Graen G. B. & Uhl-Bien M. (1991). Leadership-making applies equally well to sponsors competence networks and teammates. Journal of Management Systems 3 375-380.
Graen G. B. & Uhl-Bien M. (1995). Relationship-based approach to leadership: Development of leader-member exchange (LMX) theory of leadership over 25 years: Applying a multi-level multi-domain perspective. The Leadership Quarterly 6 219-247.
Grant R. M. (1996). Toward a knowledge-based theory of the firm. Strategic Management Journal 17(S2) 109-122.
Grant R. M. (2003). Strategic planning in a turbulent environment: Evidence from the oil majors. Strategic Management Journal 24 491-517.
Grønhaug K. & Haukedal W. (1995). Experts and novices in innovative unstructured tasks: The case of strategy formulation. Creativity and Innovation Management 4 4-13.
Guilford J. P. (1963). Intellectual resources and their values as seen by scientists. In C. W. Taylor & F. Barron (Eds.) Scientific creativity its recognition and development (pp. 101-118). New York: Wiley.
Gumusluoglu L. & Ilsev A. (2009). Transformational leadership creativity and organizational innovation. Journal of Business Research 62 461-473.
Halpern D. F. (2003). Thinking critically about creative thinking. In M. A. Runco (Ed.) Critical creative processes (pp. 189-207). Cresskill NJ: Hampton Press.
Hansen E. & Crespell P. (2008). Work climate innovativeness and firm performance in the US forest sector: In search of a conceptual framework. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 38 1703-1715.
Hennessey B. A. & Amabile T. M. (2010). Creativity. Annual Review of Psychology 61 569-598.
Hitt M. A. Keats B. W. Harback H. F. & Nixon R. D. (1994). Rightsizing: Building and maintaining strategic leadership and long-term competitiveness. Organizational Dynamics 23 18-32.
Hitt M. A. Hoskisson R. E. Johnson R. A. & Moesel D. D. (1996). The market for corporate control and firm innovation. Academy of Management Journal 39 1084-1119.
Hunter S. T. Cassidy S. D. & Ligon G. S. (2011). Planning for innovation: A process oriented perspective. In M. D. Mumford (Ed.) Handbook of organizational creativity (pp. 515-545). Burlington: Elsevier Science.
Hunter S. T. & Cushenbery L. (2011). Leading for innovation: Direct and indirect influences. Advances in Developing Human Resources 13 248-265.
Isen A. M. & Daubman K. A. (1984). The influence of affect on categorization. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 47 1206-1217.
Iyer L. R. Doboli S. Minai A. A. Brown V. R. Levine D. S. & Paulus P. B. (2009). Neural dynamics of idea generation and the effects of priming. Neural Networks 22 674-686.
Janssen O. & Van Yperen N. W. (2004). Employees’ goal orientations the quality of leader-member exchange and the outcomes of job performance and job satisfaction. Academy of Management Journal 47 368-384.
Judge T. A. Bono J. E. Ilies R. & Gerhardt M. W. (2002). Personality and leadership: A qualitative and quantitative review. Journal of Applied Psychology 87 765-780.
Judge T. A. & Piccolo R. F. (2004). Transformational and transactional leadership: A meta-analytic test of their relative validity. Journal of Applied Psychology 89 755-768.
Kahai S. S. Sosik J. J. & Avolio B. J. (2003). Effects of leadership style anonymity and rewards on creativity-relevant processes and outcomes in an electronic meeting system context. The Leadership Quarterly 14 499-524.
Kajs L. T. & McCollum D. L. (2009). Examining tolerance for ambiguity in the domain of educational leadership. Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal 15(2) 1-16.
Kajs L. T. & McCollum D. L. (2010). Dealing with ambiguity: Assessment of tolerance for ambiguity in the context of school leadership. Academy of Educational Leadership Journal 14 77-91.
Kaufman J. C. Plucker J. A. & Baer J. (2008). Essentials of creativity assessment. Hoboken NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Kerr R. Garvin J. Heaton N. & Boyle E. (2006). Emotional intelligence and leadership effectiveness. Leadership & Organization Development Journal 27 265-279.
Liden R. C. Wayne S. J. & Sparrowe R. T. (2000). An examination of the mediating role of psychological empowerment on the relations between the job interpersonal relationships and work outcomes. Journal of Applied Psychology 85 407-416.
Lonergan D. C. Scott G. M. & Mumford M. D. (2004). Evaluative aspects of creative thought: Effects of appraisal and revision standards. Creativity Research Journal 16 231-246.
Martinsen Ø. (1995). Cognitive styles and experience in solving insight problems: Replication and extension. Creativity Research Journal 8 291-298.
Mathisen G. E. & Einarsen S. (2004). A review of instruments assessing creative and innovative environments within organizations. Creativity Research Journal 16 119-140.
Mathisen G. E. Einarsen S. Jørstad K. & Brønnick K. S. (2004). Climate for work group creativity and innovation: Norwegian validation of the team climate inventory (TCI). Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 45 383-392.
McCauley C. D. Moxley R. S. & Van Velsor E. (1998). The center for creative leadership handbook of leadership development. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
McCrae R. R. (1987). Creativity divergent thinking and openness to experience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52 1258-1265.
McCrae R. R. & John O. P. (1992). An introduction to the five-factor model and its applications. Journal of Personality 60 175-215.
Mischel W. & Shoda Y. (1995). A cognitive-affective system theory of personality: Re-conceptualizing situations dispositions. Psychological Review 102 246-268.
Mumford M. D. Connelly S. & Gaddis B. (2003). How creative leaders think: Experimental findings and cases. The Leadership Quarterly 14 411-432.
Mumford M. D. Scott G. M. Gaddis B. & Strange J. M. (2002). Leading creative people: Orchestrating expertise and relationships. The Leadership Quarterly 13 705-750.
Mumford M. D. Zaccaro S. J. Harding F. D. Jacobs O. T. & Fleishman E. A. (2000). Leadership skills for a changing world: Solving complex social problems. The Leadership Quarterly 11 11-35.
Mumford M. D. & Connelly M. S. (1991). Leaders as creators: Leader performance and problem solving in ill-defined domains. The Leadership Quarterly 2 289-315.
Mumford M. D. & Gustafson S. B. (1988). Creativity syndrome: Integration application and innovation. Psychological Bulletin 103 27-43.
Mumford M. D. Hunter S. T. Eubanks D. L. Bedell K. E. & Murphy S. T. (2007). Developing leaders for creative efforts: A domain-based approach to leadership development. Human Resource Management Review 17 402-417.
Mumford M. D. Marks M. A. Connelly M. S. Zaccaro S. J. & Johnson J. F. (1998). Domain-based scoring of divergent-thinking tests: Validation evidence in an occupational sample. Creativity Research Journal 11 151-163.
Murray N. Sujan H. Hirt E. R. & Sujan M. (1990). The influence of mood on categorization: A cognitive flexibility interpretation. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology 59 411-425.
Norton R. W. (1975). Measurement of ambiguity tolerance. Journal of Personality Assessment 39 607-619.
Oldham G. R. & Cummings A. (1996). Employee creativity: Personal and contextual factors at work. Academy of Management Journal 39 607-634.
Pan W. Sun L. & Chow I. H. S. (2012). Leader-member exchange and employee creativity: Test of a multilevel moderated mediation model. Human Performance 25 432-451.
Petrides K. V. Pita R. & Kokkinaki F. (2007). The location of trait emotional intelligence in personality factor space. British Journal of Psychology 98 273-289.
Pirola-Merlo A. & Mann L. (2004). The relationship between individual creativity and team creativity: Aggregating across people and time. Journal of Organizational Behavior 25 235-257.
Politis J. D. (2004). Transformational and transactional leadership predictors of the ‘stimulant’determinants to creativity in organisational work environments. Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management 2(2) 23-34.
Powell W. W. Koput K. W. & Smith-Doerr L. (1996). Interorganizational collaboration and the locus of innovation: Networks of learning in biotechnology. Administrative Science Quarterly 41 116-145.
Puccio G. J. Mance M. & Murdock M. C. (2011). Creative leadership: Skills that drive change. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.
Rego A. Sousa F. Pina e. C. Correia A. & Saur-Amaral I. (2007). Leader self-reported emotional intelligence and perceived employee creativity: An exploratory study. Creativity and Innovation Management 16 250-264.
Reiter-Palmon R. (2004). Leadership and creativity: Understanding leadership from a creative problem-solving perspective. The Leadership Quarterly 15 55-77.
Rickards T. & Moger S. (2006). Creative leaders: A decade of contributions from creativity and innovation management journal. Creativity and Innovation Management 15 4-18.
Rosete D. & Ciarrochi J. (2005). Emotional intelligence and its relationship to workplace performance outcomes of leadership effectiveness. Leadership & Organization Development Journal 26 388-399.
Runco M. A. & Chand I. (1994). Problem finding evaluative thinking and creativity. In M. A. Runco (Ed.) Problem finding problem solving and creativity (pp. 40-76). Westport CT US: Ablex Publishing.
Scratchley L. S. & Hakstian A. R. (2001). The measurement and prediction of managerial creativity. Creativity Research Journal 13 367-384.
Shalley C. E. & Gilson L. L. (2004). What leaders need to know: A review of social and contextual factors that can foster or hinder creativity. The Leadership Quarterly 15 33-53.
Shin S. J. & Zhou J. (2007). When is educational specialization heterogeneity related to creativity in research and development teams? Transformational leadership as a moderator. Journal of Applied Psychology 92 1709-1721.
Shin S. J. & Zhou J. (2003). Transformational leadership conservation and creativity: Evidence from Korea. Academy of Management Journal 46 703-714.
Soldz S. & Vaillant G. E. (1999). The big five personality traits and the life course: A 45-year longitudinal study. Journal of Research in Personality 33 208-232.
Song M. Im S. van der Bij H. & Song L. Z. (2011). Does strategic planning enhance or impede innovation and firm performance? Journal of Product Innovation Management 28 503-520.
Sosik J. J. Kahai S. S. & Avolio B. J. (1998). Transformational leadership and dimensions of creativity: Motivating idea generation in computer-mediated groups. Creativity Research Journal 11 111-121.
Stein M. K. & Nelson B. S. (2003). Leadership content knowledge. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 25 423-448.
Sternberg R. J. (1988). A three-facet model of creativity. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.) The Nature of Creativity (pp. 125-147). New York NY: Cambridge University Press.
Sternberg R. J. (2002). Creativity as a decision. American Psychologist 57 376-376.
Sternberg R. J. Kaufman J. C. & Pretz J. E. (2004). A propulsion model of creative leadership. Creativity and Innovation Management 13 145-153.
Stuart T. E. (2000). Interorganizational alliances and the performance of firms: A study of growth and innovation. Strategic Management Journal 21 791-811.
Teece D. J. Pisano G. & Shuen A. (1997). Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strategic Management Journal 18 509-533.
Tegano D. W. (1990). Relationship of tolerance of ambiguity and playfulness to creativity. Psychological Reports 66 1047-1056.
Teoh H. Y. & Foo S. L. (1997). Moderating effects of tolerance for ambiguity and risktaking propensity on the role conflict-perceived performance relationship: Evidence from Singaporean entrepreneurs. Journal of Business Venturing 12 67-81.
Tierney P. Farmer S. M. & Graen G. B. (1999). An examination of leadership and employee creativity: The relevance of traits and relationships. Personnel Psychology 52 591-620.
Tsai W. & Ghoshal S. (1998). Social capital and value creation: The role of intrafirm networks. Academy of Management Journal 41 464-476.
Vincent A. S. Decker B. P. & Mumford M. D. (2002). Divergent thinking intelligence and expertise: A test of alternative models. Creativity Research Journal 14 163-178.
Wakefield J. F. (2003). The development of creative thinking and critical reflection: Lessons from everyday problem finding. In M. A. Runco (Ed.) Critical creative process (pp. 253-272). Cresskill NJ: Hampton Press.
Wang P. & Rode J. C. (2010). Transformational leadership and follower creativity: The moderating effects of identification with leader and organizational climate. Human Relations 63 1105-1128.
Weick K. E. (1995). Sensemaking Organizations. Thousand Oaks CA: Sage.
Weisberg R. W. (1999). Creativity and knowledge: A challenge to theories. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.) Handbook of creativity (pp. 226-250). Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press.
Williams F. & Foti R. J. (2011). Formally developing creative leadership as a driver of organizational innovation. Advances in Developing Human Resources 13 279-296.
Williams R. B. (2006). Leadership for school reform: Do principal decision-making styles reflect a collaborative approach? Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy 53 1-22.
Wong C. & Law K. S. (2002). The effects of leader and follower emotional intelligence on performance and attitude: An exploratory study. The Leadership Quarterly 13 243-274.
Yukl G. (1999). An evaluation of conceptual weaknesses in transformational and charismatic leadership theories. The Leadership Quarterly 10 285-305.
Zaccaro S. J. Mumford M. D. Connelly M. S. Marks M. A. & Gilbert J. A. (2000). Assessment of leader problem-solving capabilities. The Leadership Quarterly 11 37-64.
Zenasni F. Besancon M. & Lubart T. (2008). Creativity and tolerance of ambiguity: An empirical study. Journal of Creative Behavior 42 61-73.
Zhang X. & Bartol K. M. (2010). Linking empowering leadership and employee creativity: The influence of psychological empowerment intrinsic motivation and creative process engagement. Academy of Management Journal 53 107-128.
Zhao H. & Seibert S. E. (2006). The big five personality dimensions and entrepreneurial status: A meta-analytical review. Journal of Applied Psychology 91 259-271.
Zhou J. & George J. M. (2003). Awakening employee creativity: The role of leader emotional intelligence. The Leadership Quarterly 14 545-568.