Leadership of highly creative people in highly creative fields: A historiometric study of scientific leaders
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In recent years there has been a marked increase in the study of the influence of leadership on creativity, and the effects of this relationship on organizational performance. While a number of explanations have been broached with regard to the positive effects of leadership on creativity, many of these studies propose different, and often contradictory, methods for leaders to achieve these positive effects on creativity within their organizations and work groups. Additionally, little work has been done examining the effects of leadership on highly creative people in fields requiring creativity. The purpose of this study is to examine two existing leadership theories with regard to their viability as models to explain creative performance of eminent scientists. Eminent scientists represent a population of leaders of highly creative individuals in a field that values the production of innovative ideas and products as a marker of performance. Ninety-three excerpts from the biographies of scientists were content coded for leader behaviors and performance criteria. The results of this analysis indicate that a model based on strategic planning and product championing may serve to explain the positive effects of leadership on creativity in a highly creative population.
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