Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the cross-level effect of servant leadership on employee innovative behavior by studying the mediating role of thriving at work and the moderating role of team reflexivity. Design/methodology/approach: This research collected data from 199 dyads of employees and their direct supervisors in 55 work units, and tested a cross-level moderated mediation model using multilevel path analysis. Findings: The findings suggest that thriving at work mediates the relationship between servant leadership and innovative behavior. The results also show that team reflexivity positively moderates the relationship between servant leadership and thriving at work and the mediating effect of thriving at work. Practical implications: The empirical findings suggest that organizations should make efforts to promote servant leadership and encourage team reflexivity. Moreover, managers should make efforts to stimulate employees’ thriving at work, thereby facilitating employee and organizational development. Originality/value: This research identifies thriving at work as a key mediator that links servant leadership to innovative behavior and reveals the role of team reflexivity in strengthening the effect of servant leadership on employee innovative behavior.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Innovation, Leadership, Multilevel analysis, Positive psychology
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1108/JMP-11-2018-0499
Journal Journal of Managerial Psychology
Citation
Wang, Z. (Zhining), Meng, L. (Lijun), & Cai, S. (2019). Servant leadership and innovative behavior: a moderated mediation. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 34(8), 505–518. doi:10.1108/JMP-11-2018-0499