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Servant leadership and employee creativity: The roles of psychological empowerment and work–family conflict

  • Jin Yang
  • Jibao Gu
  • Hefu LiuEmail author
Article
  • 9 Downloads

Abstract

This study builds on self-determination theory to examine the factors that impact the effects that servant leadership has on employee creativity. An observation of 460 employees from 11 banks in China revealed that (1) servant leadership is positively related to employee creativity, (2) follower psychological empowerment partially mediates the relationship between servant leadership and employee creativity, and (3) work-to-family conflict moderates the relationship between servant leadership and follower psychological empowerment, the relationship was more positive when work-to-family conflict was high, rather than low. Family-to-work conflict did not significantly affect this relationship. The findings provide a significant contribution to the psychological empowerment literature through its identification of psychological empowerment as an important psychological mediating mechanism that helps to enrich the psychological mechanism of servant leadership’s effect on employees. Additionally, the results provide a deeper understanding of boundary conditions (e.g. work-to-family conflict) for the impacts of servant leadership on employees’ individual outcomes. Furthermore, the findings enrich the work–family conflict literature by providing support for distinguishing work-to-family conflict from family-to-work conflict.

Keywords

Servant leadership Employee creativity Psychological empowerment Work-to-family conflict Family-to-work conflict 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant number 71702157) and the Foundation by Southwest University of Science and Technology (Grant number 17sx7104).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics and ManagementSouthwest University of Science and TechnologyMianyangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of ManagementUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiPeople’s Republic of China

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