ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (3): 327-336.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00327

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 Coaching leadership effect on employees' creativity: Multilevel moderated mediator analysis

ZHU Yu1; LYU Yang1; WANG Yanfei2; WANG Lixuan2   

  1.  (1 School of Management, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China) (2 College of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China)
  • Received:2017-05-12 Published:2018-03-25 Online:2018-02-01
  • Contact: ZHU Yu, E-mail: E-mail:E-mail:
  • Supported by:

Abstract:  Due to the changing environment and intense competition, reform has become an important strategy for organizations to retain their competitive edge, and employees’ creative behavior has been the key successful factor in promoting business change. Though numerous studies have shown the importance of leadership style in predicting employees’ creative behavior, few of them have reviewed coaching leadership. In this study, we propose a cross-level mediated moderation model based on “culture self-representation theory” in the specific Chinese cultural context. Most importantly, we examine the mechanism of coaching leadership on employees’ creative behavior through the mediation of creative self-efficacy, and the moderating role of personal traditionality. Data were collected from various companies located in the South China region through a questionnaire. In order to avoid common method bias, data were collected in three stages, three months apart. On Stage 1, 71 leaders responded to questions assessing their level of coaching leadership. About three months later, in Stage 2, 301 subordinates completed the survey which assessed their personal traditionality and creative self-efficacy. In Stage 3, those subordinates’ creative behavior was evaluated by their immediate supervisors. In this last stage, 247 subordinate-supervisor dyads were matched, The Mplus 7.4 and SPSS 23.0 statistical analysis packages were used to analyze the data. To test the hypothesis proposed, in addition to multilevel analysis, the Monte Carlo simulation method was employed. In order to enhance the interpretability of model, we constructed a cross-level model with coaching leadership at Level 1, and we modeled subordinates’ personal traditionality, and creative self-efficacy and creative behavior was modeled at Level 2. Multilevel structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data. The results showed that: (1) Coaching leadership was positively related to employees’ creative behavior (γ = 0.23, p < 0.05); (2) Employees’ creative self-efficacy fully mediated the relationship between coaching leadership and creative behavior (γ = 0.10, p < 0.05). Theconfidence interval of the Monte Carlo simulation also supported this result (LLCI = 0.02, ULCI = 0.25); (3) Personal traditionality positively moderated the relationship between coaching leadership and creative self-efficacy (γ = 0.45, p <0.01), with the Monte Carlo method being used to test the mediated moderation effect showing that the confidence interval of the effect of personal traditionality did not include 0. This indicated that the mediated moderation effect was statistically significant, showing that the indirect effect of coaching leadership on employees’ creative behavior via creative self-efficacy was stronger for employees with high level of personal traditionality. These conclusions will contribute to the literature and to management practices. First, this research reveals and supports the mediating effect of creative self-efficacy upon the relationship between coaching leadership and employees’ creative behavior based on culture self-representation theory. This provides an additional avenue for research on how leadership style influences an individual’s behavior. In addition, the moderating effect of traditionality helps us to better understand the influence of coaching leadership in the Chinese cultural context. Beyond the theoretical contributions, the results provide implications on how organizations may stimulate their employees’ creative behavior. Our findings suggest that organizations should pay attention to their leadership training program, which is closely related to their employees’ creative behavior. In addition, their employees’ self-efficacy is strongly linked to their initiative. Thus, superiors should pay greater attention to promoting their subordinates’ creative self-efficacy.

Key words: coaching leadership, traditionality, creative self-efficacy, creative behavior

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