Empowerment and creativity: A cross-level investigation

Li Yun Sun, Zhen Zhang, Jin Qi, Zhen Xiong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


Drawing upon social learning and self-determination theories, we hypothesized and tested a chain mediating process linking empowerment to employee creativity. Based on data from 385 employees working with 104 supervisors in multiple organizations in China, we conducted cross-level path analyses and found that (1) structural empowerment partially mediated the relationship between transformational leadership and psychological empowerment, (2) psychological empowerment fully mediated the relationship between structural empowerment and creativity, and (3) structural and psychological empowerment sequentially mediates the relationship between transformational leadership and creativity. This study integrated different perspectives of empowerment and provides important insights into the mechanisms linking empowerment with creativity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-65
Number of pages11
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Creativity
  • Cross-level path analysis
  • Psychological empowerment
  • Structural empowerment
  • Transformational leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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