The Impact of Leadership Style and Stress on Creative Performance During the Different Stages of the Creative Process

Open Access
Lovelace, Jeffrey Brent
Graduate Program:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
March 30, 2011
Committee Members:
  • Dr Sam Hunter, Thesis Advisor
  • Samuel Todd Hunter, Thesis Advisor
  • Leadership
  • Creativity
  • Creative Process
  • CIP Model
Using the CIP model of leadership as a framework, this study focused on the examination of two main questions. First, when engaging in different tasks along the creative process, does leadership style influence the creative performance of subordinates? Second, how does the level of stress, to which subordinates are exposed, moderate the relationship between leadership style and creative performance? To examine these questions, this study utilized a laboratory-based design, where 336 participants engaged in three unique creative tasks. The results indicated that charismatic leaders influence creative performance above and beyond pragmatic and ideological leaders on middle stage creative tasks. Higher levels of stress decreased individual creative performance in terms of quality. Also, stress had the least amount of impact on those individuals with a pragmatic leader. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.