Most of the existing research on team transformational leadership focuses on single-level or cross-level vertical analysis, but lacks cross-border horizontal collaborative research. Moreover, the existing literature has made different conclusions on the relationship between transformational leadership and innovation performance, and the mechanism that how transformational leadership affects team governance efficiency remains unclear. It is necessary to explicate these processes that leaders can foster to support team innovative performance. Especially in today’s competitive and fast-changing environment, for some cross-border teams which have high-level heterogeneity based on demographic characteristics including profession, education, working experience, how transformational leadership inspires team members’ perception, motivation and then influences team collaborative behaviors is not clear. By designing a questionnaire and based on an empirical analysis of the survey data of 169 Fintech enterprise project teams, the results show that:（1）Transformational leadership in cross-border teams plays a positive role in promoting team collaborative innovation performance;（2）Transformational leadership improves team collaborative innovation performance by promoting knowledge sharing among cross-border team members;（3）The smaller the power distance within cross-border teams, the stronger the role of transformational leadership in promoting knowledge sharing among members;（4）The smaller the power distance within cross-border teams, the stronger the intermediary role of knowledge sharing between transformational leadership and cross-border team collaborative innovation. This paper has the following theoretical contributions and practical implications: First, this paper provides an empirical basis for the research of transformational leadership in cross-border teams. It explores the driving factors behind the uncertain environment and innovation strategic decision-making, further clarifies the impact mechanism of cross-border team transformational leadership on team collaborative innovation, enriches the theoretical framework of strategic-oriented leadership, and clarifies the boundary of transformational leadership. Second, this paper provides new ideas for the research on the impact of leadership on innovation behaviors in cross-border teams in the Chinese context, and also provides management inspiration for organizations to effectively improve their adaptive collaboration ability in the new economy. Transformational leadership is the key factor for teams to realize cross-border connection and collaborative innovation. At the same time, the power distance in teams is the resistance to inhibit the formation of open communication and creative thinking in teams. The collaborative, contribution, exchange and fair working atmosphere that transformational leaders can create is an important antecedent for cross-border teams to achieve value creation.
The Impact of Transformational Leadership on Cross-Border Team Collaborative Innovation: An Empirical Analysis of Fintech Enterprises in China
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 42, Issue 02, pp. 17 - 29 (2020) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.20191107.002
Cite this article
Wen Qiaotian, Guo Rong, Xia Jianming. The Impact of Transformational Leadership on Cross-Border Team Collaborative Innovation: An Empirical Analysis of Fintech Enterprises in China[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2020, 42(2): 17-29.