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The influence of leader regulatory focus on employee creativity

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

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Business Venturing.

    Volume (Year): 23 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 5 (September)
    Pages: 587-602

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:23:y:2008:i:5:p:587-602
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbusvent

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Corbett, Andrew C., 2007. "Learning asymmetries and the discovery of entrepreneurial opportunities," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 97-118, January.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Ward, Thomas B., 2004. "Cognition, creativity, and entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 173-188, March.
    9. 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.
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