Transformational leadership and creative problem-solving: The mediating role of psychological safety and reflexivity

Abraham Carmeli, Zachary Sheaffer, Galy Binyamin, Roni Reiter-Palmon, Tali Shimoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Scopus citations


Previous research has pointed to the importance of transformational leadership in facilitating employees' creative outcomes. However, the mechanism by which transformational leadership cultivates employees' creative problem-solving capacity is not well understood. Drawing on theories of leadership, information processing and creativity, we proposed and tested a model in which psychological safety and reflexivity mediate the effect of transformational leadership and creative problem-solving capacity. The results of survey data collected at three points in time indicate that transformational leadership facilitates the development of employees' creative problem-solving capacity by shaping a climate of psychological safety conducive to reflexivity processes. However, the findings also indicate that psychological safety is related both directly and indirectly, through reflexivity, to employees' creative problem-solving capacity. This study sheds further light on the ways in which transformational leaders help to develop and cultivate employees' capacity for creative problem-solving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-135
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Creative Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • creative problem-solving
  • psychological safety
  • reflexivity
  • transformational leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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