Why and when does paradoxical leader behavior lead to an increase in employee creativity and thriving at work? Based on self-determination theory, we propose that paradoxical leader behavior enhances employee creativity by increasing employees’ thriving at work. We also propose that psychological safety moderates the positive effect of thriving at work on employee creativity. Survey data from 139 supervisor-employee dyads in four Chinese enterprises indicates that paradoxical leader behavior has positive effects on employee creativity via the mediating effect of thriving at work. The results also show that psychological safety strengthens the positive relationship between thriving at work and employee creativity. This positive relationship will be stronger when there are higher levels of psychological safety. Our study supports the self-determination perspective in understanding paradoxical leader behavior, and also strengthens the application of this perspective in understanding paradoxical leader behavior and employee creativity.
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This paper is supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project Numbers: 71372089).
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Yang, Y., Li, Z., Liang, L. et al. Why and when paradoxical leader behavior impact employee creativity: Thriving at work and psychological safety. Curr Psychol 40, 1911–1922 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-018-0095-1
- Paradoxical leader behavior; thriving at work
- Psychological safety
- Employee creativity