Ambidextrous leadership and innovative work behaviors: the role of creative process engagement and creative role identity
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In an increasingly fast-paced and competitive environment, leaders need to inspire their followers in ways that enhance their creativity and innovative thinking. Ambidextrous leadership has been repetitively suggested to have a significant impact on followers’ innovative ideas and creativity. Drawing on the social learning and role identity theories, we examined a moderated mediation model that tested the relationship between ambidextrous leadership and innovative work behaviors, mediated by creative process engagement. Creative role identity was considered as the moderator of the relationship between ambidextrous leadership and creative process engagement. The participants consisted of 98 employees (61.2% females, Mage = 29.5 years) that were asked to rate their leader’s practices and assess their own creative and innovative attitudes. Although the results of the moderated mediation analysis showed no significant link between ambidextrous leadership and innovative work behaviors, we found significant positive relationships between ambidextrous leadership and creative process engagement, creative process engagement and innovative work behaviors, and creative role identity and creative process engagement. The findings and possible explanations are discussed further in this paper.