The impact of leadership on creativity in innovative organizations across cultural analysis

Bernhard Buchmann

Student thesis: Master thesis


Innovation through creativity is known as an important factor in the success and competitive advantage of organizations. Today, most of all organizations deal at a dynamic environment characterized by rapid technological change, shortening product life cycles, and globalization. Organizations, mainly those technologically-driven, must be more creative and more innovative than before in order to survive, to compete, to grow, and to lead. In this research, the factors that affect the tendency to innovations were examined; emphasis was placed on organizational culture, management style, the concept of innovation, cultural characteristics and interaction between these factors. The empirical study is approached with a quantitative method. An email-based survey was completed by 67 companies: 30 from Denmark and 37 from Israel. The sample consisted of employees from the high-tech industry in both countries. Those countries were chosen because that they are representative of different cultures and economic systems, but both are considered high-tech developed countries, and most advanced in their field. The results show that between the two countries there are significant differences in relation to the desired leadership characteristics, in a way that Israelis have a more significant view that the transformational leadership characteristics are representing good leadership, compared to Danes by all criteria's examined, except for Management by Exception which is a transactional trait. Management by exception surprisingly was found to have a positive relationship with the organization's tendency to innovation in practice, and the others were found with negative effect or no effect at all. Compared by nationality, based on the cultural characteristics, significant differences were found by the criterion of masculinity – femininity among the countries. In terms of perceptions of innovation, difference between the two countries was found based on the Creativity stimulation perception, but also to the perception of innovation. A regression model revealed that when supervising the various variables, only the Management-by-Exception, Creativity Stimulation perception and education had a significant effect on the style of leadership, whereas no significant effect was found in any country of origin and culture. Key findings from the study indicate that cultural characteristics do not have a direct impact on innovation in practice, and the indirect effect is relatively weak. However, the perceptions of the employee and his education do have significant effect on innovation in practice, regardless of the cultural context.

EducationsCand.merc.smc Strategic Market Creation, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages81