به سوی درک اثرات مستقیم و غیرمستقیم رهبری تحول گرا مدیران اجرائی در نوآوری شرکت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|19474||2008||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Leadership Quarterly, Volume 19, Issue 5, October 2008, Pages 582–594
This study seeks to advance understanding of how transformational leadership by top managers (CEOs) can affect their companies' innovativeness. We propose a model that includes both direct effects and indirect effects moderated by aspects of organizational culture, structure, and the external environment. The predicted effects are tested with data collected through multiple sources on 50 Taiwanese electronics and telecommunications companies. The results support the expectation that a positive relationship exists between CEO transformational leadership and organizational innovation. They also support most of the predicted moderating effects. The implications of these findings for practice and research are delineated.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study has tested the direct and moderated effects of CEO transformational leadership on firm innovation. Our results supported a direct and positive effect of CEO transformational leadership on organizational innovation. The findings further revealed moderating effects by two attributes of the environment (uncertainty and competition) and four firm-level characteristics: climate of support for innovation, formalization, centralization, and empowerment, though in the last case, the effect was opposite in direction to that hypothesized. From a practice standpoint, our findings not only underline the importance of managers fitting their leadership behaviors to the organizational context in which they work. They also support going beyond that to seek changes in attributes of the organizational context. In the case of high-level managers like CEOs, they may have sufficient authority to influence some of the variables that moderate the link between their leadership behavior and organizational innovation, thereby amplifying the effects of their leadership behaviors (House and Aditya, 1997, Miller et al., 1988 and Pillai and Meindl, 1998). For example, a number of researchers have suggested that top managers are the main architects of organizational climate by communicating what strategy to implement and how the goals of the organization are relevant to the employees' personal values and desires. In the case of organizational innovation, when top managers reinforce its importance by recognizing and rewarding creativity while being tolerant of mistakes, employees are more likely to pursue new ideas and product innovation (Mumford et al., 2002 and Sosik et al., 2004). While environmental factors are less likely to be controllable by the managers of a company, they also can be used as leverage for promoting change. In this regard, our finding of significant positive moderating effects from two environmental variables is worthy of note. Bass (1985) has argued that transformational leaders often emphasize crisis in order to bring about change, and we had proposed that when employees perceive a high level of uncertainty and competition surrounding their organization, they are more likely to be receptive of change and innovation initiatives. The recent turnaround of Samsung Electronics illustrates how this may come about. When Yun Jong Young became the vice-chairman and CEO in 1997, the company had US$11 billion in debt and a brand name that was mainly associated with low-end consumer products. Within five years, the company had turned around completely, earning US$5.9 billion on sales of US$33.8 billion in 2002. Many observers have attributed this transformation to Young's leadership, with a vision to make Samsung a world-class company that could charge premium prices (Business Week, 2002). Toward this end, he continually emphasized the uncertainty in the high-tech industry as a way to motivate employees and to promote change. Our finding of positive moderating effects for environmental uncertainty and competition is consistent with their serving such a motivational role. From a research perspective, our findings underline the desirability of placing the empirical analysis of CEO leadership in its organizational and environmental context, rather than analyzing bivariate relationships in isolation. Among possible directions for future research, a topic worthy of scrutiny is our finding a negative moderating effect of empowerment on the relationship between CEO transformational leadership and firm innovation. As Table 1 shows, even the zero-order correlation between empowerment and innovation is negative and statistically significant. Although our data precluded a search for underlying causes, a plausible explanation is the sourcing of our data from Taiwan, where cultural values are relatively high in power distance (Hofstede, 1997). According to Hofstede, people from a high power distance culture expect leaders to act strongly, and become uncomfortable when leaders try to delegate heavily. In a work setting, this translates into a preference for paternalistic leaders, with considerable dependence of subordinates on their superiors (Adler, 2002). Thus, subordinates in a high power distance culture may feel confused and frustrated when left alone to figure out what they need to do and how to accomplish their goals. More generally, our finding relating to empowerment may imply a need for transformational leaders to maintain a balance between letting people feel empowered, and providing structure and control by defining goals and agenda (Mumford et al., 2002). The optimal balance may well vary across cultures — an area worthy of future research especially considering the increasing globalization of economic activities. Alternatively, the negative relationship between empowerment and innovation could be due to the unique nature of a high-tech industry with rapidly changing technology. In the hyper- competitive consumer electronics industry from which our sample companies were drawn, even top-selling innovative products can become obsolete relatively quickly (Bharadwaj & Konsynski, 1997). The resultant need to continuously develop innovative products might require what Brown & Eisenhardt (1998) have referred to as structured chaos. They argued that there is a redefined role of leaders as architects and cultural guardians, who need to go beyond the traditional managerial responsibilities by carefully monitoring and controlling organizational reconfiguration processes. As such, there may be a threshold past which additional empowerment would hamper managers' ability to lead change. Sosik et al. (2004) also stressed the importance of maintaining such a balance in many high-tech oriented companies: “The challenge for executives is to also set the boundaries that help direct those creative individuals towards achieving innovation. In an R&D organization, … establishing guidelines and boundaries is important, and then giving people freedom to operate within those boundaries is important (p. 176).” It would be worthwhile to explore if, and how, this balance differs between high-tech and other industries. Yet another possibility is the sourcing of our empowerment measures. Even if the mid- to senior-level managers who supplied the survey data perceived that they were being empowered by their CEO, they may not have in turn empowered their own subordinates. Since major breakthroughs or innovative products often come from front-line employees and research scientists/engineers, data from these other levels of the organization can shed further light on the role of empowerment in the organizational innovation process. In addition to delving more deeply into specific findings of this study, there is room for expanding the scope of inquiry. First, although the current model has managed to explain a significant proportion (54%) of the variance in organizational innovation, it has only included a subset of the potentially relevant cultural, structural, and environmental variables. Future research is needed to expand the set of variables and to examine how they independently and interactively influence organizational innovation. Examples of other potentially relevant variables include firm strategy, performance measurement, and compensation policies, to name just a few. In particular, we had omitted the effects of individual-level factors. Yet often, organizational innovations and innovative products are initiated by a small group of highly creative individuals (Amabile et al., 1996 and Mumford et al., 2002). Such employees' ability to experiment and take risks may depend on attributes of the organizational context, including the resource and time constraints at work, and how performance is measured and rewarded. As such, there is room for additional research which examines how CEO leadership affects managers and employees at different levels in an organization, and how the latter interact among themselves to enhance innovation. The framework proposed by Waldman & Yammarino (1999) could help to guide such an examination of leadership effects across multiple levels of an organization. Second, in analyzing cross-sectional data, our study can only reveal correlation but not causation. A longitudinal study that relates changes in leader behavior to changes in outcomes is more suited for uncovering causal relationships. Furthermore, we had suggested earlier that the effects of CEO leadership behaviors can be magnified or dampened by selected attributes of the organization, and a longitudinal study can illuminate the extent to which transformational leaders seek to reconfigure these attributes. Such a study would be further enriched by investigating the processes and pathways whereby effects arise, including further disaggregating the variables under study. For example, are there differences in the nature of innovative efforts under more vs. less formalized work arrangements? In the case of empowerment where we had obtained an unexpected result, what are the various ways that employees respond to different levels of empowerment and in turn, how do these responses feed forward to their innovation activities? Methods other than cross-sectional surveys, such as in-depth interviews and field observation, are more suited to answering such questions (Yin, 1989). And because innovation can occur not only in the products and services that organizations produce, but also in the processes through which people work, tapping into these aspects of the organization can increase the completeness and richness of our understanding.