Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Authentic Leadership and Creativity: Mediating Role of Work-Related Flow and Psychological Capital

Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Authentic Leadership and Creativity: Mediating Role of Work-Related Flow and Psychological Capital

Article excerpt

Employees consider work places as the best ones which offer their employees with the prospects, resources, and provisions for sustainable development, wisdom, and growth rather those that assure the opportunities for the life time employment. Today's talented employees are looking for employers that can contribute to sustaining their career progress, either within or beyond the specific organizational context (Cameron, Dutton, & Quinn, 2003; Luthans, 2002).

The concept of authentic leadership originated from the concept of positive leadership approaches, for instance, charismatic, transformational, and ethical leadership (Avolio & Gardner, 2005). The major attributes of the authentic leaders include genuine awareness and understanding of their own values and beliefs, self-assured, and dependable, with major emphasis on developing the strengths of their followers, widening and enhancing their thinking; and to generate positive and appealing organizational context (Avolio & Gardner, 2005; Gardner, Avolio, Luthans, May, & Walumbwa, 2005).The other major construct of the present study is psychological capital (PsyCap) which is considered as an individual's positive psychological state of development (Luthans et ah, 2007) and comprises of basic components of selfefficacy, optimism, hope, and resilience (Luthans, 2002). PsyCap is regarded as a higher order core construct that integrates various positive organizational behavior criteria-meeting capacities, not only additively but also perhaps, synergistically (Luthans, F., Luthans, K., & Luthans, B., 2004; Luthans & Youssef, 2007). Another construct incorporated in the present investigation is work related flow; characterized by a process of engaging in an activity that is challenging, controllable, and intrinsically motivating led to the experience of distinctive psychological state (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). It also involves am optimal state of mind in which an individual feels cognitively efficient, deeply involved, highly motivated, high level of enjoyment (Asakawa, 2004), low self-awareness, and pleasure with altered perceptions of time (Bassi & DelleFave, 2006). Creativity is a process of "coming up with fresh ideas for changing products, services, and processes so as to better achieve the organization's goals" (Amabile, Barsage, Mueller, & Staw, 2005; p. 368). Within the context of workplace, creativity is pertinent to the application of new and original yet functional ideas and resolutions regarding methods, techniques, and procedures (George & Zhou, 2001). Furthermore, creativity is a foundation of novelty within organizations (Amabile, Conti, Coon, Lazenby, & Herron, 1996), essential component of almost for every job (Shalley, Zhou, & Oldham 2004), and basic component of organizational competitiveness and excellence (Oldham & Cummings, 1997).

Extensive empirical work has been carried out to explore the work related outcomes of authentic leadership. For instance, authentic leadership has been found to be positively associated with supervisor (Walumbwa, Wang, Wang, Schaubroeck, & Avolio, 2010); as well as personal identification (Wong & Cummings, 2009); affirmative following of a leader; confidence in leadership (Clapp-Smith, Vogelgesang, & Avey, 2009; Wong, & Cummings, 2009); and job satisfaction among employees (Giallonardo, Wong, & Iwasiw 2010; Walumbwa, Avolio, Gardner, Wernsing, & Peterson, 2008). Further evidence showed positive association of authentic leadership with organizational commitment (Jensen & Luthans, 2006; Walumbwa et al., 2008); work commitment in followers (Giallonardo et ah, 2010; Walumbwa et ah, 2010); elevated levels of job performance in subordinates (Walumbwa et ah, 2008; Wong & Cummings, 2009), and leaders' psychological well-being (Toor & Ofori, 2009); and work happiness among the followers (Jensen & Luthans, 2006).

A large number of studies have shown that positive psychological capital is positively related with various job outcomes such as job performance (Luthans, Norman, Avolio, & Avey, 2008; Luthans, Avolio, Avey, & Norman, 2007), organizational commitment (Larson & Luthans, 2006), and job satisfaction (Luthans, et ah, 2007). …

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