Article | Leadership Quarterly | February 2004

Leader Behaviors and the Work Environment for Creativity: Perceived Leader Support

by Teresa M. Amabile, Elizabeth A. Schatzel, Giovanni B. Moneta and Steven J. Kramer


This exploratory study investigated leader behaviors related to perceived leader support, encompassing both instrumental and socioemotional support. The study first established that leader support, proposed to be a key feature of the work environment for creativity, was positively related to the peer-rated creativity of subordinates working on creative projects in seven different companies. Then, to identify the specific leader behaviors that might give rise to perceived support, two qualitative analyses were conducted on daily diary narratives written by these subordinates. The first, which focused on specific leader behaviors that had significantly predicted leader support in a preliminary quantitative analysis, illuminated both effective and ineffective forms of leader behavior. In addition, it revealed not only subordinate perceptual reactions to this behavior (their perceptions of leader support), but affective reactions as well. The second qualitative analysis focused on the behavior of two extreme team leaders in context over time, revealing both positive and negative spirals of leader behavior, subordinate reactions, and subordinate creativity.

Keywords: Creativity; Leadership; Behavior; Working Conditions; Perception; Performance;


Amabile, Teresa M., Elizabeth A. Schatzel, Giovanni B. Moneta, and Steven J. Kramer. "Leader Behaviors and the Work Environment for Creativity: Perceived Leader Support." Leadership Quarterly 15, no. 1 (February 2004): 5–32.