Creativity and Leadership: How the Arts Can Improve Business Strategies




innovation, leadership, artistic intervention, organisational development


Introduction. Recent studies consider creativity as a source of innovation for companies but have not yet clarified the key role that it plays concerning management and the underlying organisational processes. Recent studies also provide a foundation for a direct link between creativity, leadership, and corporate innovation. Purpose and methods. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to highlight the importance of creativity within the corporate context and stimulate an understanding of the dynamics underlying leadership as a hub for innovative ideas and proposals dissemination in organisations. The scientific research methodology is developed through the theoretical investigation of the theme of creativity with innovation and how it can pervade the organisational sphere through the leadership development. Results. The analysis of the main theoretical models allows us to identify strong dynamic connections between creativity, business innovation, and leadership and to develop and improve interventions guided by a different business vision. At the same time, I illustrate how an adequate leadership style can positively influence the work team, producing significant improvements in thoughts, feelings, and subordinates creative performance. Conclusions. Leaders who wish to sustain high performance should pay special attention to their daily behaviour towards employees, in particular by contributing to the dissemination of creativity in the company. Shared participation in artistic activities, in fact, by enhancing the individuality of employees, contributes to the strengthening of the management image that supports initiatives and participates in them. Creativity thus finds fertile ground in the goodness of ordinary company practices.

Author Biography

Silvia Cacciatore, Università Ca' Foscari

Research Fellow


Adler, N. J. (2006). The Arts & Leadership: Now That We Can Do Anything, What Will We Do? Academy of Management Learning & Education, 5(4), 486-499, doi:

Adler, N. J. (2010). Going Beyond the Dehydrated Language of Management: Leadership Insight. Journal of Business Strategy, 31(4), 90-99, doi:

Amabile, T. M. (1988). A Model of Creativity and Innovation in Organizations. Research in Organizational Behavior (L. L. Cummings, & B. M. Staw, Eds.). (Vol. 10). Greenwich: JAI Press, 123-167.

Amabile, T. M. (1997). Motivating Creativity in Organisations: On Doing What You Love and Loving What You Do. California Management Review, 40(1), 39-58, doi:

Amabile, T. M., & Mukti, K. (2008). Creativity and the Role of the Leader. Harvard Business Review, 86(10), 100-109.

Amabile, T. M., & Pratt, M. G. (2016). The Dynamic Componential Model of Creativity and Innovation in Organisations: Making Progress, Making Meaning. Research in Organisational Behavior, 36, 157-183, doi:

Amabile, T. M., Conti, R., Coon, H., Lazenby, J., & Herron, M. (1996). Assessing the Work Environment for Creativity. Academy of Management Journal, 39(5), 1154-1184.

Amabile, T. M., Schatzel, E. A., Moneta, G. B., & Kramer, S. J. (2004). Leader Behaviors and the Work Environment for Creativity: Perceived Leader Support. The Leadership Quarterly, 15(1), 5-32, doi:

Amoroso, D. L., Lim, R. A., & Santamaria, J. G. O. (2021). Business Model Innovation: A Study of Empowering Leadership. Creativity and Innovation Management, 30(2), 286-302, doi:

Andrews, F. M. (1967). Creative Ability, The Laboratory Environment, And Scientific Performance. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, EM-14, 76-83, doi:

Baden-Fuller, C., & Stopford, J. (1995). Ringiovanire l'impresa Matura: Creatività e Capacità del Management. Il Fattore Critico di Successo Nella Strategia per una Nuova Leadership [Rejuvenating the Mature Enterprise: Creativity and Management Skills. The Critical Success Factor in New Leadership Strategy]. Milan: ETAS Libri (in Ital.).

Bagheri, A., Akbari, M., & Artang, A. (2022). How Does Entrepreneurial Leadership Affect Innovation Work Behaviour? The Mediating Role of Individual and Team Creativity Self-Efficacy. European Journal of Innovation Management, 25(1), 1-18, doi:

Barnard, C. (1970). Le Funzioni del Dirigente. Organizzazione e Direzione [The Duties of the Manager. Organization and Direction]. Turin: UTET (in Ital.).

Berthoin Antal, A. (2009). Transforming Organisations with The Arts. Research Framework for Evaluating the Effects of Artistic Interventions in Organisations. Gothenburg: TILLT.

Biehl-Missal, B., & Springborg, C. (2016). Dance, Organisation, and Leadership. Organizational Aesthetics, 5(1), 1-10.

Cacciatore, S., & Panozzo, F. (2021). Models for Art & Business Cooperation. Journal of Cultural Management and Cultural Policy, 7(2), 169-197, doi:

Carlyle, T. (1888). On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History. London: Chapman & Hall.

Cummings, A., & Oldham, G. R. (1997). Enhancing Creativity: Managing Work Contexts for the High Potential Employee. California Management Review, 40(1), 22-39, doi:

Dampérat, M., Jeannot, F., Jongmans, E., & Jolibert, A. (2016). La Créativité Des Équipes: L’efficacité Créative Personnelle et Collective et Leurs Determinants [Team Creativity: Personal and Collective Creative Effectiveness and their Determinants]. Recherche et Applications en Marketing, 31(3), 7-28, doi: (in Fr.).

Darso, L. (2014). Setting the Context for Transformation towards Authentic Leadership and Co-Creation. Perspectives on Theory U: Insights from the Field. Hershey/PA: Business Science Reference, 97-113, doi:

Darso, L. (2016). Arts–in–Business from 2004 to 2014: From Experiments in Practice to Research and Leadership Development. Artistic Interventions in Organizations. Research, Theory, Practice (U. J. Sköldberg, J., Woodilla, & A. Berthoin Antal, Eds.). London; New York: Routledge, 18-34.

Fleishman, E. A. (1953). The Description of Supervisory Behaviour. Journal of Applied Psychology, 37(1), 1-6, doi:

Ford, C. M., (1996). A Theory of Individual Creative Action in Multiple Social Domains. Academy of Management Review, 21(4), 1112-1142, doi:

Gao, Y., Zhao, X., Xu, X., & Ma, F. (2021). A Study on the Cross Level Transformation from Individual Creativity to Organizational Creativity. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 171, Article 120958, doi:

Homans, G. C. (1961). Social Behaviour: Its Elementary Forms. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.

Hook, S. (1955). The Hero in History. Boston: Beacon Press.

Hoorn, J. F. (2014). Creative Confluence. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, doi:

Ilyana, S., & Sholihin, M. (2021). The Effect of Incentives and Leadership Styles on Creative Performance. Journal of Indonesian Economy and Business, 36(1), 14-30, doi:

Isaksen, S. G., & Akkermans, H. J. (2011). Creative Climate: A Leadership Lever for Innovation. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 45(3), 161-187, doi:

Jannah, D., Latip, R., Tarmizi, A., Afrizal, T., Saputra, J., & Bon, A. T. (2021, March 7-11). A Qualitative Study of Transformational Leadership and Organization Success. The 11th Annual International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management. Singapore: IEOM, 5031-5038, Retrieved from

Jenkins, W. O. (1947). A Review of Leadership Studies with Particular Reference to Military Problems. Psychological Bulletin, 44(1), 54-79, doi:

Kasımoğlu, M., & Ammari, D. (2020). Transformational Leadership and Employee Creativity Across Cultures. Journal of Management Development, 39(4), 475-498, doi:

Khan, Z. A., Nawaz, A., & Khan, I. (2016). Leadership Theories and Styles: A Literature Review. Journal of Development and Management, 16, 1-7.

Koppett, K. (2001). Training to Imagine. Practical Improvisational Theatre Techniques to Enhance Creativity, Teamwork, Leadership, and Learning. Sterling: Stylus Publishing.

Ladkin, D. (2008). Leading Beautifully. How Mastery, Congruence, and Purpose Create the Aesthetic of Embodied Leadership Practise. The Leadership Quarterly, 19(1), 31-41, doi:

Lee, Y., & Kim, J. (2021). Cultivating Employee Creativity Through Strategic Internal Communication: The Role of Leadership, Symmetry, and Feedback Seeking Behaviors. Public Relations Review, 47(1), doi:

Liu, H., Bracht, E., Zhang, X.-A., Bradley, B., & Dick, R. van. (2021). Creativity in Non–Routine Jobs: The Role of Transformational Leadership and Organisational Identification. Creativity and Innovation Management, 30(1), 129-143, doi:

Mednick, S. A., & Mednick, M. T. (1967). Examiners' Manual: Remote Associations Test. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Mumford, M. D., Feldman, J. M., Hein, M. B., & Nagao, D. J. (2001). Tradeoffs Between Ideas and Structure: Individual Versus Group Performance in Creative Problem Solving. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 35(1), 1-23, doi:

Mumford, M. D., Scott, G. M., Gaddis, B., & Strange, J. M. (2002). Leading Creative People: Orchestrating Expertise and Relationships. The Leadership Quarterly, 13(6), 705-750, doi:

Oldham, G. R., & Cummings, A. (1996). Employee Creativity: Personal and Contextual Factors at Work. Academy of Management Journal, 39(3), 607-634.

Pelz, D. C. (1963). Relationships Between Measures of Scientific Performance and Other Variables. Scientific Creativity: Its Recognition and Development (C. W. Taylor, & F. Barron, Eds.). New York: Wiley, 302-310.

Proctor, T. (2021). Absolute Essentials of Creative Thinking and Problem Solving. London: Routledge, doi:

Purg, P., Cacciatore, S., & Gerbec, J. Č. (2021). Establishing Ecosystems for Disruptive Innovation by Cross-Fertilizing Entrepreneurship and the Arts. Creative Industries Journal, 1-31, doi:

Schiuma, G. (2011). The Value of Arts for Business. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, doi:

Sengupta, S., Sharma, S., & Singh, A. (2021). Authentic Leadership Fostering Creativity in Start–ups: Mediating Role of Work Engagement and Employee Task Proactivity. Business Perspectives and Research, 9(2), 235-251, doi:

Setiawan, R., Eliyana, A., Suryani, T., & Pratama, A. (2021). The Effect of Transformational Leadership on Organisational Innovation Through Employee Creativity and Internal Social Capital in the Pandemic Time of COVID-19. Academy of Strategic Management Journal, 20(4S),1-21.

Shorthose, J., & Maycroft, N. (2012). Understanding Creative Business. London: Routledge, doi:

Siyal, S., Xin, C., Umrani, W. A., Fatima, S., & Pal, D. (2021). How Do Leaders Influence Innovation and Creativity in Employees? The Mediating Role of Intrinsic Motivation. Administration & Society, 53(9), 1337-1361, doi:

Steed, R. (2005). The Play's the Thing: Using Interactive Drama in Leadership Development. Journal of Business Strategy, 26(5), 48-52, doi:

Szostak, M., & Sułkowski, Ł. (2021). Artist, Creator, Manager, Entrepreneur, Leader: How Society Perceive These Identities? Economics & Sociology, 14(2), 209-221, doi:

Tierney, P., Farmer, S. M., & Graen, G. B. (1999). An Examination of Leadership and Employee Creativity: The Relevance of Traits and Relationships. Personnel Psychology, 52(3), 591-620, doi:

Woodman, R. W., Sawyer, J. E., & Griffin, R. W. (1993). Toward a Theory of Organizational Creativity. Academy of Management Review, 18(2), 293-321, doi:

Zambrell, K. (2015). Managers in Artistic Interventions and their Leadership Approach. Artistic Interventions in Organizations. Research, Theory and Practice (U. Johansson‐Sköldberg, J. Woodilla, & A. Berthoin Antal, Eds.). London; New York: Routledge, 185-203.

Zurlo, F. (2019). Designerly Way of Organizing il Design Dell’organizzazione Creativa [Designerly Way of Organizing the Design of Creative Organization]. AGATHÓN, 5, 11-20, doi: (in Ital.).




How to Cite

Cacciatore, S. (2023). Creativity and Leadership: How the Arts Can Improve Business Strategies. Socio-Cultural Management Journal, 6(1), 55–84.