Does entrepreneurial leadership foster creativity among employees and team? The mediating role of creative efficacy beliefs

Wenjing Cai*, Evgenia I. Lysova, Svetlana N. Khapova, Bart A.G. Bossink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of how entrepreneurial leadership relates to workplace creativity in organizations from the compatibility perspective. Drawing on social cognitive theory, we propose that individual creative self-efficacy and team creative efficacy beliefs mediate the relationships between entrepreneurial leadership and individual and team creativity. This study examines the relationship between entrepreneurial leadership and creativity through creative efficacy. Survey data were collected from multiple sources, including 43 leaders and 237 employees in eight Chinese companies. Cross-level relationships are tested by means of a hierarchical linear modeling analysis (HLM). The results reveal that entrepreneurial leadership is positively related to employee and team creativity, and these relationships are found to be mediated by both employee creative self efficacy and team creative efficacy. Furthermore, team creative efficacy is found to exert a cross-level mediating influence on the entrepreneurial leadership-employee creativity relationship. This study suggests that employees and teams led by entrepreneurial leaders are likely to produce creative outcomes. The findings further confirm the important role of creative efficacy beliefs in explaining how entrepreneurial leadership relates to employee and team creativity, as such beliefs serve as a within-level and cross-level mediating mechanism in these relationships. Our study is among the first to empirically investigate the concept of entrepreneurial leadership in a broader organizational context. We examine how entrepreneurial leadership contributes to workplace creativity. Our study shows that creative efficacy beliefs exert both within-level and cross-level mediating influences in the entrepreneurial leadership-creativity relation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-217
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Business and Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


Funding Information This research was supported by the China Scholarship Council (CSC) (No. 201306340068) to Wenjing Cai.

FundersFunder number
China Scholarship Council201306340068


    • Creative self-efficacy
    • Employee creativity
    • Entrepreneurial leadership
    • Multilevel research
    • Team creative efficacy
    • Team creativity


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