Academic journal article Management Revue

Stewardship Behavior and Creativity**

Academic journal article Management Revue

Stewardship Behavior and Creativity**

Article excerpt

Despite the importance and popularity of the stewardship concept in the current management literature, antecedents and the role of the surrounding framework of stewardship remains poorly understood. Similarly, relatively little is known about the outcomes of stewardship. In this study I set out to examine 1) how relational, motivational, and contextual support influences the establishment of stewardship and 2) what the role of managerial stewardship is in employee creativity. Drawing on a sample of 191 senior and middle managers, I demonstrate that relational and motivational support have a positive influence and contextual support has no influence on stewardship. Additionally I confirm that managerial stewardship has a positive relationship with employees' creativity.

Key words: agency theory, creativity, leadership, stewardship (JEL: M00, M10, M14)

Introduction

Stewardship has been the focus of increasing research in recent years (Davis, Schoorman, & Donaldson, 1997; Donaldson & Davis, 1991; Hernandez, 2008; Wasserman, 2006). Stewards demonstrate a responsibility to the future and therefore to the company (Hernandez, 2008). Unlike agency theory, stewardship theory posits a tight alignment between the values of the organization and the values of managers (Deckop, Mangel, & Cirka, 1999). Trust and intrinsic motivation form the foundation for the work environment in steward driven organizations (Wasserman, 2006). Thus, the need for supervision of the steward is reduced and, indeed, would be unnecessary in terms of the best interests of the company (Tosi, Brownlee, Silva, & Katz, 2003).

One stream of research that stewardship scholars have recently pursued is familyrun businesses (Eddieston & Kellermanns, 2007; Harris & Ogbonna, 2007; Miller & Le Breton-Miller, 2006; Miller, Le Breton-Miller, & Scholnick, 2008; Zahra, Hayton, Neubaum, Dibrell, & Craig, 2008), as family managers tend to more closely identify themselves with the company than do non-family managers (Miller, et al., 2008). Miller and Le Breton-Miller (2005) find three forms of stewardship in family-run businesses: (1) emphasis on research and the development of new products (see also Weber, Lavelle, Lowry, Zellner, & Barrett, 2003), (2) attention to boosting the business's reputation, and (3) emphasis on broadening the market or market share. Managers of family-run businesses are more likely to be concerned with the continuity of the company than driven by quarterly earnings' success (Gallo & Vilaseca, 1996).

Another stream of the literature examines stewardship in start-up companies (Arthurs & Busenitz, 2003; Wasserman, 2006). Like family managers, entrepreneurs tend to identify with the organizations they create (Pierce, Kostova, & Dirks, 2001), and are committed to their companies (Dobrev & Barnett, 2005). With such an intrinsic motivation, entrepreneurs are more likely to behave as stewards than as selfinterested agents (Arthurs & Busenitz, 2003).

A further stream of literature recently pursued is the influence of the stewardship construct on company boards. A few scholars use stewardship to examine compensation of company board members (Thorgren, Wincent, & Anokhin, 2010), board structure (Elsayed, 2010; Muth & Donaldson, 1998) or board effectiveness (Minichilli, Zattoni, & Zona, 2009; Roberts, McNulty, & Stiles, 2005). In most of this literature, the stewardship construct has been used either to explain board members' behavior or to build a research model or both. In contrast, I focus solely on the stewardship construct and examine three antecedents as well as one possible outcome (creativity).

Stewardship theory focuses on intrinsic motivation and rewards (Davis, et al., 1997). Stewards are motivated to make decisions that are in the firm's best interest. On the one hand, the best interest of the firm is to retain or expand market share and make a profit. …

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