When and why does transformational leadership influence employee creativity? The roles of personal control and creative personality

Herman H.M. Tse, March L. To, Warren C.K. Chiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


This study develops and tests a model of the underlying mechanisms linking transformational leadership and employee creativity using a sample of 240 matched middle-level manager and front-line supervisor dyads from a large foreign joint-venture company in China. We propose that personal control and employee creative personality serve as a unique psychological mechanism and an important boundary condition to simultaneously influence the relationship between transformational leadership and employee creativity. Results of moderated-mediation analyses provided support for our conceptual model, showing that transformational leadership was positively related to personal control, which also had a positive impact on employee creativity. Furthermore, creative personality was found to moderate the relationship between transformational leadership and personal control, which in turn, mediated the joint effect on employee creativity. Findings of this study provide insights into the research on leadership development and work design in HRM, which can inform human resource managers to design effective strategies and systems that can increase employees' creativity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-157
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Resource Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • creative personality
  • employee creativity
  • personal control
  • transformational leadership

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