Creativity and Innovation. The Leadership Dynamic

Essay, 2016

7 Pages, Grade: 1,8



“Creativity and Innovation: The Leadership Dynamic” – Summary

Author’s point of view

Opposing point of view


Critical Thinking Assignment – Part Two – Paper

Creativity and Innovation are success factors for businesses. The challenge is to harvest this creative energy and is therefore a leadership responsibility. This paper will address the issue of interdependency of leadership and organizational culture in the pursuit of creativity and innovation. It argues that leadership works as a catalyst as well as a prism. Through leadership the respective “management tools” (Agbor, 2008), like culture or strategy, can be magnified and directed. At the same time the perspective on leadership will be influenced by the culture incorporated or strategy used. With this line of argumentation the paper will challenge the article “Creativity and Innovation: The Leadership Dynamic” by Emmanuel Agbor. In light of the variety of interdependencies, structures and influences in organization this paper will limit the scope of the analysis to the interdependency of organizational culture and leadership.

Therefore, the paper will be structured as follows: Based on a summary of said article (1) the author will point out his personal point of view (2), analyze the opposing views (3), and finally draw a conclusion (4).

“Creativity and Innovation: The Leadership Dynamic” – Summary

To start with the summary: The article explores the correlation of leadership and creativity. It argues that corporate culture, strategy and other aspects are “management tools” (Agbor, 2008) for effectiveness. Their impact on creativity is limited. Strategies and other management tools are implemented by the respective leader. Therefore, leadership is the catalyst and source of organizational creativity and innovation. Leaders have to establish an environment that is conducive to creative patterns of thought. To ensure this, leaders have to foster and manage diversity. Their leadership has to inspire creative thinking within the organization. The article concludes that this is essentially the only way for organizations to renew themselves and become successful (Agbor, 2008).

Author’s point of view

To illustrate the author’s point of view, a definition of organizational culture is necessary. An organizational culture commonly originates from the visions and belief system of the founder(s). It develops through the common experience of its members. Thus, organizational culture exhibits a dense and homogenous pattern of behavior and belief (Van den Steen, 2010).

Due to these characteristics, organizational culture relies upon shared “beliefs, values, assumptions, rites, and ceremonies embedded in the culture” (Bass & Avolio, 1993). The result is – similar to the “inclination to in-group favoritism” observed in the formation of diverse groups (De Dreu, Bechtoldt & Nijstad, 2014:4) – an observable uniformity in behavior and decision making processes. Thus organizations with a strong organizational culture tend to “select and retain” (Van den Steen, 2010) people that meet the mentioned conditions. Furthermore, only through modification of these key aspects change would be possible (Bass & Avolio, 1993).

To reiterate, while the leadership plays an important role for creativity and innovation, other aspects, like culture or strategy, are not to be discarded as mere “tools”. Leadership works as a catalyst as well as a prism. On the one hand, the organizational culture influences the selection and retention of leaders as well as their decision making processes. On the other hand, leaders are able to (re)create cultural development in organization by adjusting or replacing expected behaviors and decision making processes. The precondition however are determined by the boundaries of the organizational culture. Therefore, leadership approaches depend upon characteristics of organizational culture to influence its members to adopt alternate patterns of thought. Ultimately, “the culture affects leadership as much as leadership affects culture” (ibid).

Opposing point of view

Following the line of argumentation, there are three aspects to discuss in opposition to the hypothesis of the author. First of all, the fact that leaderships is already the point of origin as well as the driving force in organizational change. It is agreed in literature that the original vision builds the foundation of an organization (Van den Steen, 2010). Bass even attributes different characteristics of organizational culture to different leadership styles: Transactional leadership would be characterized by a behavior of risk aversion and standards, while transformational leadership would focus on widening the interests of subordinates and evoke acceptance for the “mission” of the group as a whole (Bass, 1990).

Building on this argument, Agbor points out that certain leadership styles generate creativity through collaboration. Due to the knowledge based approach of modern companies heroic and authoritarian management styles would fail the demands of the 21th century society. These arguments are illustrated by various studies – e.g. a CSC survey – that found creative and innovative leaders helped to turn around failing companies. These leaders avoided the use of “common” management tools like downsizing and restructuring (Agbor, 2008).

Finally, Amiable establish a link between leadership and creativity on an emotional level. Her study investigated the role of affect on creativity in the workplace. By examining valence, intensity, ambivalence, and lability it was shown that a positive emotional environment was associated with higher levels of creativity (Amiable, 2005). Additionally, the study provided indications that positive affect may lead to stimulation of creative processes by cognitive variation (Amiable, 2005).


Excerpt out of 7 pages


Creativity and Innovation. The Leadership Dynamic
Creativity and Innovation Management
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
559 KB
Leadership, Mangement, Innovation, Creativity, Kreativität, Führungsstile, Unternehmensführung
Quote paper
Jan Alexander Linxweiler (Author), 2016, Creativity and Innovation. The Leadership Dynamic, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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