Abstract：Given increasingly turbulent environments and heightened innovation-driven competition among companies，more and more entrepreneurs are coming to realize the importance and urgency of advancing employee creativity nowadays. As an important leadership trait, leader’s humor has gradually attracted a large amount of scholars’ attention to its influence on employee creativity in recent years. Recent studies investigating the impact of leader’s humor on employee creativity, however, have largely focused on issues of cognitive dissonance, leader-member exchange and positive emotion of employees. While dealing with leader’s positive humor, noticeably missing from research attention has been a perspective of both cognition and psychology, especially for empirical researches.Based on the theory of social information Processing, we focused on the important leadership trait of leader’s positive humor and explored the mechanism of leader’s positive humor on employee creativity from both cognitive and psychological perspectives. To sum up, we put a lot of effort into analyzing the relationship among leader’s positive humor, cognitive flexibility, psychological security, work autonomy and employee creativity. Purposefully, two crucial mediators, cognitive flexibility and psychological security, were introduced to analyze the mechanism of leader’s positive humor on employee creativity. What’s more, work autonomy was employed as a moderator to figure out the boundary situations in which it takes effect from the perspective of job characteristic.Using the leader-subordinate matching data consisting of 284 subordinates and their direct leaders from a well-known information technology (IT) company in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, we empirically tested the theoretical model with multiple regression analysis. Empirical results show that leader’s positive humor positively affect employee creativity significantly. Specifically, cognitive flexibility and psychological security both partially mediate the relationship between leader’s positive humor and employee creativity. Work autonomy regulate the relationship between cognitive flexibility (psychological security as well) and employee creativity at the same time. Furthermore, work autonomy also regulates the mediating role of cognitive flexibility and psychological security between leader’s positive humor and employee creativity.This research reveals the influence mechanism of leader’s positive humor on employee creativity, which offers fairly high theoretical value and practical significance. First of all, anchoring on the leadership trait of leader’s positive humor, we explored and revealed the mechanism of the relationship between leader’s positive humor and employee creativity theoretically and empirically, which enriched the relevant researches of the leadership style on employee creativity. Secondly, from the perspectives of both cognition and psychology, two mediators, cognitive flexibility and psychological security were introduced to clarify the role of leader’s positive humor on employee creativity. This enriched the research results of the behavior mechanism of how leader’s positive humor impacts employee creativity. Meanwhile, by introducing work autonomy as a moderator, we deepened the understanding of the situational conditions under which leader’s positive humor works.Practically, the results reveal that leader’s humor is significantly positive in the context of Chinese culture. Leaders should consciously cultivate their own ability to master and use humor so as to improve their positive humor in practice continuously. At the same time, leaders are encouraged to empower their subordinates if they want to increase employee autonomy and enhance the role of leader’s positive humor on employee creativity. This can largely help companies to maintain a sustainable competitive advantage in the fierce market competition.
李正卫, 戴丽华, 王飞绒, 郭东杰. 领导积极幽默如何影响员工创造力：来自浙江IT企业的实证研究[J]. 浙江大学学报(人文社会科学版), 2021, 51(5): 183-196.
Li Zhengwei, Dai Lihua, Wang Feirong, Guo Dongjie. How Leader’s Positive Humor Affects Employee Creativity: An Empirical Study from a Zhejiang IT Company. JOURNAL OF ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY, 2021, 51(5): 183-196.