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Three essays on shared leadership and creativity in teams

Xie, Wen-Xin; (2021) Three essays on shared leadership and creativity in teams. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

My thesis examines two critical aspects of teamwork in modern organizations: shared leadership and creativity. In Chapter 2, we investigate the conditions under which people believe shared leadership is advantageous and how these beliefs affect stakeholders’ decision making. Through a series of experiments, we find that stakeholders generally hold hierarchical beliefs about team leadership (i.e., beliefs that leadership should be consolidated into a single person), leading them to make decisions in favor of teams with hierarchical leadership. However, complex tasks evoke more communal leadership beliefs, leading stakeholders to select teams that share leadership to work on complex tasks over those with single leaders. Beyond that, we investigate the actual leadership dynamics in teams. In Chapter 3, we hypothesize that when members perceive the environment to be more uncertain, they tend to believe that sharing leadership is desirable, leading them to broaden their definitions of what constitutes “leadership behavior.” This broadening increases the likelihood that they attribute leadership to their teammates. We tested these hypotheses in three studies. Study 1a and Study 1b use multi-wave data from student project teams. Study 2 establishes the causal direction of these relationships in an experimental study. Teams have a bias against novel ideas because novel ideas are inherently uncertain. In Chapter 4, we identify that preference diversity that promotes creativity raises the chances that members will disagree with one another. This disagreement can make members feel more uncertain about the novel ideas. We predict that members will seek to reduce these feelings of uncertainty by choosing more familiar ideas over more novel ones. We found support for this argument by using one face-to-face lab experiment and one online experiment and proposed ways to mitigate the negative effects of preference diversity.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Three essays on shared leadership and creativity in teams
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > UCL School of Management
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10132921
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