University of Twente Student Theses


Humble Leadership as a Factor for Creativity & Innovativeness in the Start-Up E-Commerce Branch

Overath, Anna (2014) Humble Leadership as a Factor for Creativity & Innovativeness in the Start-Up E-Commerce Branch.

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Abstract:Owens & Hekman (2012) came up with a new leadership style humble leadership which can be defined as a bottom-up leadership style, meaning that leaders consider their followers as equal and valuable cooperation partners who complement their leadership skills. This qualitative research was done with the purpose of discovering more about humble leadership behaviors and contingencies displayed as antecedents of humble behaviors that finally lead to the employee’s creativity and innovativeness. Qualitative research is useful for theoretical elaboration. Since humble leadership has merely been investigated and no particular theories have been suggested, especially with regard to the employees’ creativity and innovativeness, qualitative research in form of interviews is an approach to make first suggestions for the development of a theory. When it comes to the creativity and innovativeness of employees, all three humble behaviors defined by Owens and Hekman (2012) were confirmed to play a role. The interviewees described this as a non-direct relationship, since there are some motivating factors that can be regarded as mediators which stand in between. Throughout the study, four broad factors of contingencies (type of decision, follower traits, leader traits and company environment) could be defined, which allow leaders to behave humbly and can be regarded as antecedents of humble leadership behaviors. Further, this study contributes to research in the field of leadership and ambidexterity. However, during the interviews it became clear that a connection between humble leadership behaviors and the execution of ambidexterity is hard to detect and to explain for interviewees. Therefore, future studies should focus on that connection in order to make reliable conclusions.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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