Examining Leader-Member Exchange as a Moderator of the Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Creativity of Software Developers

Kyootai Lee, Terry Scandura, Youngkyun Kim, Kailash Joshi, Jooyeoun Lee


This paper investigates how leader-member exchange (LMX) and emotional intelligence (EI) are associated with employees’ creativity in high-tech firms. We develop a model that considers LMX and EI as predictors of creativity with LMX as a boundary condition for the relationship between EI and creativity. Results reveal that LMX is a strong predictor of creativity. However, EI does not directly affect creativity. More interestingly, the interaction between EI and LMX negatively influences creativity such that EI is detrimental for creativity only when LMX is high. Thus, the role of LMX for employees’ creativity may be paradoxical. Further, the positive role of EI reported in current literature may be overly simplistic, and its role may be contingent on the quality of LMX and the other context.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/emr.v1n1p15


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