Creative Leaders in Bureaucratic Organizations: Are Leaders More Innovative at Higher Levels of the Organizational Hierarchy?

Bo T. Christensen, Peter V. W. Hartmann, Thomas Hedegaard Rasmussen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


While research has shown that large corporations with bureaucratic structures may sometimes stifle individual motivation and creativity, it is unknown whether individual creativity may nonetheless lead to organizational success in the form of attaining placement at higher levels in the organizational hierarchy. Conversely it is well known that intelligence positively predicts job placement at a higher occupational level. A sample of leaders (N = 4257) was used to test whether leader innovativeness and intelligence predicted leadership level in a large international corporation. Leader innovativeness was measured using subordinate ratings of their direct supervisor, while intelligence was measured at recruitment. Both intelligence and innovativeness independently predicted leadership level. This was the case at any level of company tenure, but with a trend that both innovativeness and intelligence become better predictors of leadership level placement with increasing company tenure. The results inform our understanding of the role of individual leader innovativeness in large bureaucratic organizations by illustrating that more individual innovativeness is found near the top of the hierarchy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIndividual Creativity in the Workplace
EditorsRoni Reiter-Palmon, Victoria L. Kennel, James C. Kaufman
Number of pages18
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherAcademic Press
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)9780128132395
ISBN (Electronic)9780128132388
Publication statusPublished - 2018
SeriesExplorations in Creativity Research

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