The relationship between attachment style and creativity: the mediating roles of LMX and TMX

Melrona Kirrane, Steven Kilroy, Rachel Kidney, Patrick Flood, Robin Bauwens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The capacity and willingness of employees to deploy their creativity in the pursuit of organisational goals is a cornerstone of many organisations’ competitive advantage. Drawing on the actor-context interactionist perspective on creativity, we propose that insecure attachment styles act as distal antecedents that reduce employee creativity through the mediating role of social exchange relationships (i.e., leader-member exchange [LMX] and team-member exchange [TMX]). To test the proposed model, data were gathered from 192 employees and their respective supervisors in 12 engineering organisations. Hierarchical multiple regression and Monte Carlo mediation using the lme4 and mediation packages in R was performed to test the proposed hypotheses. Results revealed that while high quality LMX and TMX relationships are positively associated with creativity, insecure attachment styles have significant negative effects on employees’ perception of the quality of their LMX and TMX relationships, which, in turn, lead to lower creative output. Taken together, our results reveal the important influence of insecure attachment styles on creativity and in particular highlight the central role of leader-follower and team member relations as underlying mechanisms in this regard. We discuss the implications of our findings for research and practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019

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Creativity
Organizational Objectives
Leader-member exchange
Attachment style
Exchange relationships
Employees
Mediation

Cite this

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title = "The relationship between attachment style and creativity: the mediating roles of LMX and TMX",
abstract = "The capacity and willingness of employees to deploy their creativity in the pursuit of organisational goals is a cornerstone of many organisations’ competitive advantage. Drawing on the actor-context interactionist perspective on creativity, we propose that insecure attachment styles act as distal antecedents that reduce employee creativity through the mediating role of social exchange relationships (i.e., leader-member exchange [LMX] and team-member exchange [TMX]). To test the proposed model, data were gathered from 192 employees and their respective supervisors in 12 engineering organisations. Hierarchical multiple regression and Monte Carlo mediation using the lme4 and mediation packages in R was performed to test the proposed hypotheses. Results revealed that while high quality LMX and TMX relationships are positively associated with creativity, insecure attachment styles have significant negative effects on employees’ perception of the quality of their LMX and TMX relationships, which, in turn, lead to lower creative output. Taken together, our results reveal the important influence of insecure attachment styles on creativity and in particular highlight the central role of leader-follower and team member relations as underlying mechanisms in this regard. We discuss the implications of our findings for research and practice.",
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The relationship between attachment style and creativity: the mediating roles of LMX and TMX. / Kirrane, Melrona; Kilroy, Steven; Kidney, Rachel; Flood, Patrick; Bauwens, Robin.

In: The European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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