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Open AccessArticle

Authentic Leadership and Employees’ Innovative Behaviour: A Multilevel Investigation in Three Countries

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Institute of Psychology, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
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Department of Work and Organisational Psychology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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Department of Social and Organisational Psychology, The National Distance Education University (UNED), 28040 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4201; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214201
Received: 21 September 2019 / Revised: 24 October 2019 / Accepted: 28 October 2019 / Published: 30 October 2019
The innovativeness of individual employees is a vital source of competitive advantage of firms, contributing to societal development. Therefore, the aim of this multilevel study was to examine how entrepreneurial firm owners’ authentic leadership relates to their employees’ innovative behaviour. Our conceptual model postulates that the relationship between business owners’ authentic leadership (as perceived by their employees) and their employees’ innovative behaviour is mediated by employees’ personal initiative and their work engagement. Hypotheses derived from this model were tested on data collected from 711 employees working in 85 small firms from three European countries: the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain. The results of the multilevel modelling confirmed our model, showing that when business owners are perceived as more authentic leaders, their employees show higher personal initiative and are more engaged at work and, in turn, identify more innovative solutions to be implemented in the organization. A cross-national difference was observed: employees from Spain (in comparison to Dutch and Polish employees) reported engaging less frequently in innovative behaviour. These research findings suggest that the innovative behaviour of employees can be boosted through leadership training, improving the quality of relationships between leaders and subordinates, and strengthening employees’ personal initiative and work engagement. View Full-Text
Keywords: leadership; authentic leadership; innovation; innovative behaviour; personal initiative; work engagement; business owners; entrepreneurship; multilevel analysis leadership; authentic leadership; innovation; innovative behaviour; personal initiative; work engagement; business owners; entrepreneurship; multilevel analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Laguna, M.; Walachowska, K.; Gorgievski-Duijvesteijn, M.J.; Moriano, J.A. Authentic Leadership and Employees’ Innovative Behaviour: A Multilevel Investigation in Three Countries. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4201.

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