Does Supervisor’s Moral Courage to Go Beyond Compliance Have a Role in the Relationships Between Teamwork Quality, Team Creativity, and Team Idea Implementation?

Abstract

Drawing on the interactionist perspective of innovation and on the sustainable ethical strength framework, the present research examines the moderating role of supervisors’ moral courage to go beyond compliance in the relationships between teamwork quality, team creativity, and team idea implementation. Two field studies, using multi-source and multi-wave data, indicated that teamwork quality was positively related to team idea implementation via team creativity, particularly when team supervisors revealed moral courage to go beyond compliance. When supervisors lacked such courage, teams struggled to develop creative ideas and to implement them. Robustness checks and tests of alternative theoretical explanations indicated that our model and findings are robust. From a theoretical perspective, our findings indicate that, due to its empowering and promotion focused orientation, supervisors’ courage to go beyond compliance has relevance for the teamwork and team innovation domains, playing an important moderating role in defining whether quality teamwork leads to enhanced team creativity and team idea implementation.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by funding from Portugal’s Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (SFRH/BD/76704/2011) and Programa Operacional Potencial Humano/Fundo Social Europeu (POPH/FSE) awarded to Carlos Ferreira Peralta. Maria Francisca Saldanha would like to acknowledge support from an Ontario Trillium Scholarship, an Ontario Graduate Scholarship, and Portugal’s Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (UID/GES/00407/2019). Part of the work was developed while Maria Francisca Saldanha was with Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University. We thank the anonymous reviewers and Dr. Newman, the Associate Editor, for their invaluable and constructive comments.

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Peralta, C.F., Saldanha, M.F., Lopes, P.N. et al. Does Supervisor’s Moral Courage to Go Beyond Compliance Have a Role in the Relationships Between Teamwork Quality, Team Creativity, and Team Idea Implementation?. J Bus Ethics 168, 677–696 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-019-04175-y

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Keywords

  • Teamwork quality
  • Team innovation
  • Team creativity
  • Team idea implementation
  • Moral courage to go beyond compliance
  • Leadership