The Meditation between Participative Leadership and Employee Exploratory Innovation: Examining Intermediate Knowledge Mechanisms

Yi-Yang Chang, Ian R. Hodgkinson, Paul Hughes, Che-Yuan Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of intermediate knowledge mechanisms on the participative leadership–employee exploratory innovation relationship using a distal mediation model. Design/methodology/approach: Deploying a time-lagged questionnaire method implemented over four business quarters, data are generated from 1,600 responses in R&D units of Taiwanese technology firms. Findings: The structural equation modeling results reveal that participative leadership is positively related to employee exploratory innovation; coworker knowledge and absorptive capacity partially mediate the relationship between participative leadership and employee exploratory innovation independently; and coworker knowledge sharing in combination with absorptive capacity partially mediates this relationship. Originality/value: The findings contribute new knowledge on the relationship between participative leadership and employee exploratory innovation by uncovering intermediate knowledge mechanisms that augment this relationship.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLeadership & Organization Development Journal
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)334-355
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Participative leadership
  • Emerging economy
  • Coworker knowledge sharing
  • Employee absorptive capacity
  • Organizational learning theory
  • Employee exploratory innovation

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