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Acta Psychologica Sinica
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The Influence of Differentiated Transformational Leadership on Knowledge Sharing and Team Creativity: A Social Network Explanation
CAI Yahua;JIA Liangding;YOU Shuyang;ZHANG Yi;CHEN Yanlu
(School of Business, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210002, China)
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Abstract  Differentiated transformational leadership is an emerging area in leadership studies. The existing studies on this topic are limited to the traditional social-psychological perspectives. Drawing from the social network perspective, this study aimed to address the puzzling issue of how differentiated transformational leadership would affect team knowledge sharing and thus team creativity. Specifically, we theorized that team communication network density as a shared team property that would mediate the relationship between team-focused transformational leadership and subsequent team knowledge sharing, and the communication network density divergence among team members as a configural team property that would mediate the relationship between differentiated individual-focused transformational leadership and subsequent team knowledge sharing. We also hypothesized that team knowledge sharing would positively influence team creativity. We collected data from an eastern province of People’s Republic of China. Our targeted firms were high-technology firms accredited by the Ministry of Science and Technology. We randomly selected 102 firms from the whole population of 2,043 government-accredited high-technology firms in the province (i.e., 5%). With the help of local government, 65 firms participated in the survey. All measurement instruments were adapted from well-established scales. We collected transformational leadership, work-related communication network, team knowledge sharing, and team creativity data from team members and the human resource manager at each participating firm. 225 teams in 65 firms provided matched observations and were included in the data analyses. Confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) showed acceptable model fit indices. We also obtained sufficient inter-rated agreement (Rwg) and intra-class correlation (ICC) values to justify the aggregation of shared team-level property, such as team-focused transformational leadership, and team knowledge sharing. We used the structural equation modeling (SEM) with the software of Lisrel to test our hypotheses. Findings generally supported our hypotheses. Results showed that team-focused transformational leadership had a significantly positive effect on knowledge sharing and team communication network density mediated this relationship. Meanwhile, differentiated individual-focused transformational leadership had a significantly negative effect on knowledge sharing and the communication network density divergence among team members mediated this relationship. Also, knowledge sharing had a significantly positive effect on team creativity. Our results revealed that in Chinese context team knowledge sharing is a salient predictor of team creativity. Moreover, team-focused transformational leadership positively influenced team knowledge sharing which was mediated through team communication network density; differentiated individual-focused transformational leadership negatively influenced team knowledge sharing which was mediated through team member communication network density divergence. We highlighted the theoretical and managerial implications of the potential dark side of differentiated transformational leadership behaviors in Chinese context.
Keywords differentiated transformational leadership      team communication network      team knowledge sharing      team creativity     
Corresponding Authors: JIA Liangding   
Issue Date: 25 May 2013
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CAI Yahua
JIA Liangding
YOU Shuyang
ZHANG Yi
CHEN Yanlu
Cite this article:   
CAI Yahua,JIA Liangding,YOU Shuyang, et al. The Influence of Differentiated Transformational Leadership on Knowledge Sharing and Team Creativity: A Social Network Explanation[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00585
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00585     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2013/V45/I5/585
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