The mediation between participative leadership and employee exploratory innovation: Examining intermediate knowledge mechanisms
We examine mediation effects of coworker knowledge sharing and absorptive capacity on the participative leadership–employee exploratory innovation relationship in R&D units of Taiwanese technology firms. Deploying a time-lagged questionnaire method implemented over four business quarters, data is generated from 1600 paired samples (managers and employees) in R&D units of Taiwanese technology firms. The structural equation modeling results reveal that (1) participative leadership is positively related to employee exploratory innovation; (2) coworker knowledge and (3) absorptive capacity partially mediate the relationship between participative leadership and employee exploratory innovation independently; and, (4) coworker knowledge sharing in combination with absorptive capacity partially mediates this relationship. The results extend previous research on participative leadership and innovation by demonstrating that participative leadership is related to employee exploratory innovation (Lee and Meyer-Doyle, 2017; Mom et al., 2009).Results also confirm that participative leadership drives employee exploratory innovation through employee absorptive capacity. This reinforces the need highlighted by Lane et al. (2006) to investigate the role of absorptive capacity at the individual-level. Collectively, while participative leadership is important for employee exploratory innovation it is the knowledge mechanisms existing and interacting at the employee-level that are central to generating increased employee exploratory innovation from this leadership approach.
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Citation : Chang, Y.Y., Hodgkinson, I.R., Hughes, P. and Chang C-Y. (2019) The mediation between participative leadership and employee exploratory innovation: Examining intermediate knowledge mechanisms. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 40 (3), pp. 334-355
ISSN : 0143-7739
Research Institute : Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI)
Peer Reviewed : Yes