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The influence of leader regulatory focus on employee creativity

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  • Wu, Cindy
  • McMullen, Jeffery S.
  • Neubert, Mitchell J.
  • Yi, Xiang

Abstract

Brockner and Higgins (Brockner, J., Higgins, E. T. 2001. Regulatory focus theory: Implications for the study of emotions at work. Organizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes, 86(1), 35-66.) suggest that a leader's behavior may be perceived as an organizational endorsement of promotion-focused or prevention-focused concerns and that this perception will influence employee behavior by eliciting a congruent state of regulatory focus. We tested this hypothesis using matched pairs of leaders and employees from a Chinese firm and found that employee creativity is positively associated with the promotion focus of the supervisor's behavior. Consequently, through their actions, promotion-focused leaders may increase the likelihood of entrepreneurial action in their firms by eliciting a promotion-focused state of eagerness from their employees.

Suggested Citation

  • Wu, Cindy & McMullen, Jeffery S. & Neubert, Mitchell J. & Yi, Xiang, 2008. "The influence of leader regulatory focus on employee creativity," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 587-602, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:23:y:2008:i:5:p:587-602
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lee, Angela Y. & Aaker, Jennifer L. & Gardner, Wendi L., 2000. "The Pleasures and Pains of Distinct Self-Construals: The Role of Interdependence in Regulatory Focus," Research Papers 1577r, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    2. Brockner, Joel & Higgins, E. Tory & Low, Murray B., 2004. "Regulatory focus theory and the entrepreneurial process," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 203-220, March.
    3. Crowe, Ellen & Higgins, E. Tory, 1997. "Regulatory Focus and Strategic Inclinations: Promotion and Prevention in Decision-Making," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 117-132, February.
    4. Ward, Thomas B., 2004. "Cognition, creativity, and entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 173-188, March.
    5. Yosem Companys & Jeffery McMullen, 2007. "Strategic Entrepreneurs at Work: The Nature, Discovery, and Exploitation of Entrepreneurial Opportunities," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 301-322, April.
    6. Baron, Robert A., 2004. "Potential benefits of the cognitive perspective: expanding entrepreneurship's array of conceptual tools," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 169-172, March.
    7. Corbett, Andrew C., 2007. "Learning asymmetries and the discovery of entrepreneurial opportunities," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 97-118, January.
    8. Brockner, Joel & Higgins, E. Tory, 2001. "Regulatory Focus Theory: Implications for the Study of Emotions at Work," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 35-66, September.
    9. Shalley, Christina E. & Perry-Smith, Jill E., 2001. "Effects of Social-Psychological Factors on Creative Performance: The Role of Informational and Controlling Expected Evaluation and Modeling Experience," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-22, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tine Bock & Patrick Kenhove, 2010. "Consumer Ethics: The Role of Self-Regulatory Focus," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 97(2), pages 241-255, December.
    2. Jeffery S. McMullen & Dean A. Shepherd & Holger Patzelt, 2009. "Managerial (In)attention to Competitive Threats," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 157-181, March.
    3. Burmeister-Lamp, Katrin & Lévesque, Moren & Schade, Christian, 2012. "Are entrepreneurs influenced by risk attitude, regulatory focus or both? An experiment on entrepreneurs' time allocation," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 456-476.
    4. repec:eee:intman:v:23:y:2017:i:3:p:268-278 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Kammerlander, Nadine & Burger, Dominik & Fust, Alexander & Fueglistaller, Urs, 2015. "Exploration and exploitation in established small and medium-sized enterprises: The effect of CEOs' regulatory focus," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 582-602.
    6. Tumasjan, Andranik & Braun, Reiner, 2012. "In the eye of the beholder: How regulatory focus and self-efficacy interact in influencing opportunity recognition," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 622-636.
    7. McMullen, Jeffery S. & Kier, Alexander S., 2016. "Trapped by the entrepreneurial mindset: Opportunity seeking and escalation of commitment in the Mount Everest disaster," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 663-686.
    8. Bratnicka Katarzyna, 2015. "Relationship Between Leadership Styles and Organizational Creativity," Management and Business Administration. Central Europe, De Gruyter Open, vol. 23(1), pages 70-79, March.

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