Ample correlational research shows that leader support for creativity is related to subordinate creativity, yet research examining the causality of this relationship experimentally is scant. Furthermore, most studies that demonstrate support for this relationship have used relatively subjective creativity measures that do not tap as effectively into the creative problem-solving process. Thus, we experimentally examined whether leader support for creativity affects subordinate creative problem-solving performance. We also examined whether this relationship depends on leader gender. We used experimental vignette methodology and a sample of 247 working adults to test these relationships. We found that high (vs. low) leader support for creativity resulted in a significantly higher number of ideas generated. Additionally, posthoc analyses showed that high (vs. low) leader support for creativity resulted in a significantly higher number of original ideas and higher number of quality ideas generated. We also found that when the leader was a woman (vs. man), average originality of ideas was significantly higher. We found no significant interactive effects of leader support for creativity and leader gender. We discuss how this study further elucidates our understanding of leader support for creativity, as well as avenues for future creativity research involving leader gender.
- creative problem-solving performance
- experimental vignette methodology
- leader gender
- leader support for creativity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts