Handbook of Research on Leadership and Creativity
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Handbook of Research on Leadership and Creativity

Edited by Michael D. Mumford and Sven Hemlin

The rapid pace of technological change and globalization of products, competition and services have conspired to place a new premium on innovation for firms across the world. Although many variables influence creativity and innovation, the effective leadership of creative teams has proved especially important. This timely Handbook presents the state of the art for what leaders must do to lead creative teams and how they should do it.
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Chapter 11: Do leaders matter in the long run? A longitudinal study of the importance of LMX and LMX balance for followers’ creative performance in research groups

Cajsa Lisa and Katniss Olsson

Abstract

This study provides two important contributions to the study of leader–member exchange (LMX): it examines (1) the longitudinal effects of LMX and (2) the importance of LMX balance, that is, leader–follower agreement in LMX. The study was set up among 82 researchers in academic research groups in Sweden. Specifically, LMX was examined to predict followers’ creative performance at the time of LMX rating and three years later. The study also examined the relationship between LMX balance and followers’ creative performance. Results are that leader-rated LMX, but not follower-rated LMX, predicts followers’ creative performance (measured as publications) both at the time of LMX rating and three years later. Additionally, followers display stronger creative performance in relationships when leaders and followers agree that LMX quality is high (contrasted with imbalanced relationships and balanced, low-quality relationships) at the time of LMX rating. In conclusion, leaders’ (rather than followers’) perceptions of dyads are more important in LMX research than was previously found. Moreover, they have long-term effects on followers’ creativity.

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