Transformational leadership and creative problem-solving: The mediating role of psychological safety and reflexivity

Abraham Carmeli, Zachary Sheaffer, Galy Binyamin, Roni Reiter-Palmon, Tali Shimoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


Previous research has pointed to the importance of transformational leadership in facilitating employees' creative outcomes. However, the mechanism by which transformational leadership cultivates employees' creative problem-solving capacity is not well understood. Drawing on theories of leadership, information processing and creativity, we proposed and tested a model in which psychological safety and reflexivity mediate the effect of transformational leadership and creative problem-solving capacity. The results of survey data collected at three points in time indicate that transformational leadership facilitates the development of employees' creative problem-solving capacity by shaping a climate of psychological safety conducive to reflexivity processes. However, the findings also indicate that psychological safety is related both directly and indirectly, through reflexivity, to employees' creative problem-solving capacity. This study sheds further light on the ways in which transformational leaders help to develop and cultivate employees' capacity for creative problem-solving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-135
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Creative Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • creative problem-solving
  • psychological safety
  • reflexivity
  • transformational leadership


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