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   2012, Vol. 44 Issue (2) : 237-248     DOI:
Climate for Innovation, Creative Efficacy and Team Innovation: The Moderating Role of Team Leadership
SUI Yang;CHEN Yun-Yun;WANG Hui
(Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China)
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Abstract  Organizational climates are defined as a set of shared perceptions regarding the policies, practices, and procedures that an organization rewards, supports, and expects. Organizational climates exert an important influence on organizations and employees who work in them. In recent years, climate researchers have switched their focus from global to facet-specific climates. This study defines climate for innovation (or support for innovation) as the innovation aspect of the work group climate, which reflects shared perceptions among group members regarding their work environment that is creativity-/ innovation-relevant. Previous studies have found that climate for innovation is significantly related to team innovation. However, the research on the relationship between climate and innovation at the team level is still lacking, especially in the Chinese context. Moreover, previous research has not answered the following questions: what is the psychological mechanism that channels the impact of climate for innovation on team innovation? What is the role of team leader in this relationship? This study aims to address the two questions by examining the mediating effect of team creative efficacy and the moderating role of team leader’s behaviors of leading innovation.
Data were collected from a high-tech company in China. Teamwork is popular in this company. A team leader is assigned to each team and this leader acts not only as the job coordinator but also as a coworker of team members. We randomly selected 90 R&D teams from a list of 380 teams provided by the HR department, and finally got a sample of 51 teams with average team size of 3.6. We used hierarchical regression and bootstrap method with the aid of SPSS macro developed by Preacher and Hayes (2008) to test our hypotheses.
With team innovation as the dependent variable, the results showed that the regression coefficients of climate for innovation on both team creative efficacy and team innovation were significantly positive. After adding leader’s leading innovation behavior and its interaction term with team creative efficacy, the regression coefficient on team innovation of the interaction term was significant. The moderating pattern showed that the relationship between team creative efficacy and team innovation becomes stronger as leaders’ leading innovation behavior growing from low to high. In addition, the mediating test with bootstrap method displayed that team creative efficacy acts as the mediator between climate for innovation and team innovation. Furthermore, conditional indirect effect test also showed that the mediating effect of team creative efficacy on the climate for innovation-team innovation linkage is significant only when the level of leader’s leading innovation behavior is high. All hypotheses were supported.
Findings of this study shed light on the innovation process at the team level. First, this research extends social cognitive theory to the work group level by revealing the mediating effect of team creative efficacy on the climate for innovation-team innovation relationship. This result adds to our understanding of the mechanisms through which climate for innovation influences team innovation. Future research should investigate additional mediators, such as team members’ external social networks. Second, the result of the positive relationship between climate for innovation and team innovation in the Chinese sample confirms the findings obtained from Western world and enriches the climate and innovation literature. Finally, the catalyst role of team leadership implies that innovation-supportive leadership can strengthen the effect of team creative efficacy on team innovation and the indirect effect of climate for innovation on team innovation.
Keywords climate for innovation      team creative efficacy      leadership      team innovation     
Corresponding Authors: SUI Yang   
Issue Date: 28 February 2012
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SUI Yang
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SUI Yang,CHEN Yun-Yun,WANG Hui. Climate for Innovation, Creative Efficacy and Team Innovation: The Moderating Role of Team Leadership[J]. , 2012, 44(2): 237-248.
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