Influenced by traditional Confucianism for a long time, the Chinese have had cultural deposits such as " not give offence” and " harmony is more expensive” since ancient times. In the context of Chinese culture which pays attention to " guanxi” and circles, Chinese enterprises inevitably have the " good man” management of team leaders in the practice of team management. This phenomenon can cause some problems such as lack of creativity in the team. For team leaders, is to be a " good man” an effective promotion or a serious obstacle for team creativity? This is an interesting topic in theoretical discussion and management practice. Based on the Big Five personality theory, this study selects the agreeableness concept which accorded with the " good man” phenomenon of team leaders, and conducts a corresponding analysis. Under the new era of advocating innovation driven by enterprises, this study analyzes the influencing mechanism of team leaders’ agreeableness on team creativity in Chinese cultural context, which not only can enrich the theoretical research on personality characteristics of team leaders, but also has practical significance for Chinese enterprise leaders to improve team creativity. Aiming at the " good man” phenomenon of team leaders, this study explores three issues. First, how does team leaders’ agreeableness affect team creativity? Second, how does team leaders’ agreeableness affect elaboration of team task-relevant information? Third, does elaboration of team task-relevant information play a mediating conductive role in the relationship between team leaders’ agreeableness and team creativity? To answer the three questions mentioned above, this paper constructs a conduction mechanism model among team leaders’ agreeableness, elaboration of team task-relevant information and team creativity based on the self categorization theory from the perspective of information processing. We have conducted large-scale questionnaire surveys of 166 enterprises’ teams in China, and finally obtained 132 valid samples data. This paper conducts an empirical analysis by using the moderated path analysis. The empirical study shows that team leaders’ agreeableness has an inverted U-shape effect on elaboration of team task-relevant information and team creativity respectively, and elaboration of team task-relevant information shows a mediating role between team leaders’ agreeableness and team creativity. At the theoretical level, this paper reveals the conduction mechanism and influence path among team leaders’ agreeableness, elaboration of team task-relevant information and team creativity. It enriches the research on the impact of team leaders’ personality characteristics on team creativity. In the management practice, in order to maximize team creativity, team leaders need to show a moderate level of agreeableness, prevent falling into the strange circle of too low or too high agreeableness, and pay attention to promote elaboration of team task-relevant information. In the process of training leading cadres, on the one hand, enterprises should regard the control ability of team leaders’ agreeableness as an important aspect of talent inspection; on the other hand, it needs to establish a set of team cultures and systems to control the " good man” phenomenon of team leaders.
Can the “Good Man” be a Good Team Leader? A Research on the Relationship between Leaders’ Agreeableness and Team Creativity
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 40, Issue 12, pp. 109 - 124 (2018) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.2018.12.008
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Cite this article
Li Zhaomin, Zhao Shuming. Can the “Good Man” be a Good Team Leader? A Research on the Relationship between Leaders’ Agreeableness and Team Creativity[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2018, 40(12): 109-124.