Journal of Business Ethics 126 (3):513-529 (2015)

In this article, drawing from a relational perspective, we explore the relationship between moral leadership and employee creativity, treat employee identification with leader and leader–member exchange as two mediators, and develop a new theoretical model of employee creativity. Our data collected from 160 supervisor–subordinate dyads in the People’s Republic of China demonstrate that moral leadership is positively related to both employee identification with leader and LMX. Further, employee identification with leader partially mediates the relationship between moral leadership and LMX. In particular, employee identification with leader greatly enhances LMX which leads to high creativity. Overall, the relationship between moral leadership and employee creativity is mediated by not only employee identification with leader but also LMX. Our findings offer a new theoretical framework for future theory development and testing on creativity as well as practical implications for researchers and managers in business ethics
Keywords Paternalistic leadership  Moral leadership  Identification with leader  Leader–member exchange (LMX)  Relational process  Confucianism  Employee creativity
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-013-1967-9
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