Innovation in Leadership and Organization

Buliding a Climate for Innovation for Transformational Leadership and Organizational Culture“, by James C. Sarros and Brian K. Cooper, both of Monash University, and Joseph C. Santora of Thomas Edison State College, currently appears in the most cited articles list in the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies , based on citations to online articles from HighWire-hosted articles. Professor Sarros has provided additional background to the article.

Tell the story behind the article.  What prompted you to do this research and write this article? Do you have any specific memories about doing the research, writing or the review/publishing process that you would like to share?

This article arose out of our interest in the so-called decline in innovation in Western industrialized countries, and the reasons behind this decline.  The research indicates that leadership lies at the heart of much that is both good and bad in organizations, and that one of the major contributors of leadership is to organizational culture and associated outcomes, such as innovation.  The time seemed right to explore these links in more detail.  Additionally, our long-established connections with the premier professional association of managers in Australia, the Australian Institute of Management, meant that we could use their membership base for the purpose of our study.  The large member response indicates the importance with which managers see leadership as a critical contributor to organization success.

Why do you think this research is important? Why are people reading it and who else should be exposed to it?

This study is important as it provides evidence of the leadership styles leaders can use in order to build organizational cultures that contribute to a climate for innovation.  Leader vision was clearly the key indicator of innovative organizational cultures.

Give us a specific review of the impact of this article. What additional research has this article led to (either your own or other’s)?

As a result of this study, we have now extended the research into a nation-wide examination of leader-direct report perceptions of leadership, psychological capital, and innovation in times of global financial crisis.  The findings are compelling as they highlight how both leadership and the PsyCap dimension of hope contribute to innovation at the unit level.

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