Academic journal article Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies

Building a Climate for Innovation through Transformational Leadership and Organizational Culture

Academic journal article Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies

Building a Climate for Innovation through Transformational Leadership and Organizational Culture

Article excerpt

Research has called for organizations to be more flexible, adaptive, entrepreneurial, and innovative in meeting the changing demands of today's environment. Appropriate leadership to effect such change is required; however, there has been little empirical analysis of the theoretical relationships among the key components that make up such change strategy, including transformational leadership, organizational culture, and organizational innovation. This study examines these linkages in terms of their relationships with climate for organizational innovation in Australian private sector organizations. Structural equation modeling based on responses to a survey of 1,158 managers explores the relationship between transformational leadership and climate for organizational innovation and the extent to which a competitive, performance-oriented organizational culture mediates this relationship. Strategies for building innovative organizations are discussed.

Keywords: transformational leadership; organizational culture; innovation

**********

Leadership and organizational culture are widely believed to be linked in the process of change (Afsaneh, 1993; Kotter, 1998; Schein, 1984). As Kotter (1998) stated, "Only through leadership can one truly develop and nurture culture that is adaptive to change" (p. 166). Ostroff, Kinicki, and Tamkins (2003) identified leadership as an emergent process that acts on both organizational climate and culture. Similarly, Denison (1990) claimed that management behaviors reinforce principles of the culture. Organizational culture has been conceptualized as a mediator of the relationship between transformational leadership and organizational innovation (Amabile, Conti, Coon, Lazenby, & Herron, 1996; Deshpande, Farley, & Webster, 1993; Jassawalla & Sashittal, 2002; Prather & Turrell, 2002) and performance (Ogbonna & Harris, 2000; Xenikou & Simosi, 2006). Nonetheless, although empirical research supports the proposition that transformational leadership and organizational innovation are related (Waldman & Bass, 1991), the inclusion of organizational culture as an intervening variable has yet to be examined comprehensively. And although Ogbonna and Harris (2000, p. 780) found a link between participative leadership and innovative culture as a predictor of organizational performance, this leadership approach was not fully sympathetic with existing models of transformational leadership. Accordingly, this study examines these theoretical linkages in terms of their relationships with climate for organizational innovation in a large sample of managers in private sector organizations in Australia.

Organizational Innovation

Research has called for organizations to be more flexible, adaptive, entrepreneurial, and innovative to effectively meet the changing demands of today's environment (Orchard, 1998; Parker & Bradley, 2000; Valle, 1999). Appropriate leadership to effect such change has equally been called for (Bass, personal communication, December 15, 1998, 1998; Brown, 1992; Kotter & Heskett, 1992; Prajogo & Ahmed, 2006; Schein, 1992). However, despite this attention, there has been little empirical analysis of the theoretical relationships among the key components that make up such change strategy, including transformational leadership, organizational culture, and organizational innovation. Much of the research undertaken, although valuable, is conceptual in nature (Miner, 2000; Shane & Venkataraman, 2000), although recent studies are now exploring these relationships in more detail (Damanpour & Schneider, 2006; Kavanagh & Ashkanasy, 2006; Mumford & Licuanan, 2004).

Organizational innovation refers to the introduction of any new product, process, or system into an organization (Suranyi-Unger, 1994). The word innovation is derived from the Latin word novus, or new, and is alternatively defined as "a new idea, method or device" or "the process of introducing something new" (Gopalakrishnan & Damanpour, 1994, p. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.