Relational leadership and creativity: The effects of respectful engagement and caring on meaningfulness and creative work involvement.
Handbook of Research on Leadership and Creativity,
July (3rd Quarter/Summer)
We develop a theoretical model that explains why and how relational leadership, through the qualities of respectful engagement and caring, enhances individual creative work involvement. We delineate two pathways to thriving which, in turn, fosters creative work involvement. The first elucidates the mechanisms by which mutually respectful engagement in the leader-follower relationship helps individuals to develop meaningfulness in working, whereas the second pathway illuminates how mutual caring in the leader-follower relationship helps individuals to develop meaningfulness at work. We suggest that both forms of meaningfulness enable employees to thrive (experience both aliveness and learning), thereby enhancing their creativity. Furthermore, we propose and help uncover motivational conditions that might enhance the linkages between relational leadership, meaningfulness, thriving, and creativity. In so doing, we contribute to the literature by providing a fine-grained theory of how mutual respectful engagement and caring in interactions across various roles and functions help individuals to more fully engage in creative efforts.