In order to cope with the background of entrepreneurship and innovation and the highly uncertain environment, enterprises need to implement entrepreneurial leadership, guide employees to change, innovate and develop entrepreneurial opportunities to create strategic value and achieve sustainable development. The team is the basic unit of an enterprise, generating synergies through in-depth cooperation among team members. As an effective leadership in this context, how entrepreneurial leadership enhances team creativity is crucial to the innovation and development of enterprises. The research on the influence of entrepreneurial leadership on team creativity pays little attention to the conduction of the team’s external behavior process, and team creativity is the result of the complex team process. The flattening and flexibility of the organization make top managers carry out activities directly in the form of team. Therefore, it is necessary to clarify how entrepreneurial leadership at the organizational level affects the behavior process of the team, and then strengthen team creativity.
Based on the process-oriented theory of knowledge emergence in teams, this paper explores the influence mechanism and boundary condition of entrepreneurial leadership on team creativity. Through the cross-level analysis of the longitudinal matching data between the senior executives and the R&D teams in high-tech enterprises, the results show that:（1）Entrepreneurial leadership at the organizational level has a positive impact on team creativity.（2）Entrepreneurial leadership can stimulate team boundary spanning and then improve team creativity.（3）Team cognitive diversity can enhance the promotion effect of team boundary spanning on team creativity.（4）The higher the team cognitive diversity, the stronger the positive influence of entrepreneurial leadership on team creativity through team boundary spanning.
This research has the following theoretical contributions: Firstly, it expands the research perspective of the relationship between entrepreneurial leadership and team creativity from the perspective of team behavior process. Secondly, it enriches the theoretical basis of the research on the impact of entrepreneurial leadership on team creativity. Finally, it highlights the cross-level effect of entrepreneurial leadership on team effectiveness. In addition, this research provides several practical implications: Firstly, top managers must respond to the changes of environment and the needs of enterprises with the entrepreneurial leadership model. Secondly, it is necessary for enterprise executives to mobilize various teams to break the rigid knowledge system and take the initiative to acquire valuable knowledge from the outside for knowledge updating, integration and reorganization, and form creative output. Thirdly, top managers should improve the diversification management of the team.