Dispersed leadership predictor of the work environment for creativity and productivity

Abstract

Purpose – This paper examines the relationship between the dimensions of dispersed – self-management – leadership and a number of work environment dimensions conducive to creativity and productivity. Design/methodology/approach – The study involves a questionnaire-based survey of employees from a high technology organisation operating in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A total of 104 useable questionnaires were received from employees who are engaged in self-managing activities. These were subjected to a series of correlational and regression analyses. Findings – There are three major findings in this research. First, the relationship between dispersed leadership and the “stimulant” dimensions of the work environment for creativity is positive and significant. Second, the relationship between dispersed leadership, with the exception of encouraging self-reinforcement, and the “obstacle” dimensions of the work environment for creativity is negative and significant. Finally, the findings have clearly shown that the “stimulant” dimensions of the work environment for creativity have a positive and significant impact on both creativity and productivity. Practical implications – The study shows that the role of the leader is to be the provider of a context and situation for creativity and productivity. Thus, the art of leading creative organisations in the UAE is the art of handling people and the task of leadership in such organisations is to provide the people with the work – environmental – conditions under which they can exercise their creativity. Originality/value – The paper clarifies which of the dispersed leadership behaviours best predict the dimensions of the work environment conducive to creativity and productivity. The paper will assist organisations in the UAE in identifying those particular leader behaviours that appear to have an impact on creativity and productivity. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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