Recently, management innovation is considered as a significant source of competitive advantage. Vaccro, Jansen, Bosch and Volberda (2012) made an empirical research on investigating leadership behaviour at different organizational levels during the management innovation.
Vaccro et al’ (2012) study mainly focuses on two contents. Firstly, the management innovation is investigated at the organizational level, which the innovation is new for the company. Additionally, the CEO’s leadership behaviour is also investigated as premise of the management innovation. Secondly, the study also looks into whether the role of human agency is associated to the complexity of the organization.
Vaccro et al (2012) have presented a literature review of management innovation. Subsequently, four hypotheses are set up. Two of the hypotheses are exploring the relationship between transactional/transformational leadership and management innovation. The others are about whether the increasing organizational size weakens the positive effect of the transactional/transformational leadership in the innovation.
An empirical research, which has a sample of 1000 companies, is used to test the four above hypotheses. After taking several steps to reduce the bias, the manifestation of the management innovation in new practice, processes and structure can be reflected by six items, which are considered as independent variables. The dependent variables are the items of transformational/transactional leadership, which are the response of Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (Bass and Avolio, 1995). Further, in order to demonstrate the effect of organizational size, the amount of full-time employees is included as the moderating variable. Lastly, the age of senior management in the organization is considered as the control variable in the research, as the longer time for the CEO’s active management, the greater effect on the innovation (Hambrick and Mason, 1984).
Two major referenced articles
Birkinshaw, Hamel and Mol (2008) concentrate on the role of human agent in organization innovation, which provides a theory base for Vaccaro et al (2012). Following this theory, Vaccaro et al (2012) focus on leaders and related behaviours by exploring what detailed actions the insiders will take in the innovation. Further, Vaccaro et al also absorb and develop the Birkinshaw et al’ (2008) ‘internal change agents’, outlining the significant role of human agency in management innovation. Subsequently, based on the idea, the three hypotheses are developed by Vaccaro et al (2012), who are trying to figure out the internal relationship among the transformational/transactional leadership, organization size and management innovation. Therefore, the research of Vaccaro et al is a further development of the core theory Birkinshaw et al.
When Vaccaro et al (2012) discuss and develop the hypotheses about the relationship between transformational/ transactional leadership and the organizational innovation, Bass, Jung, Avolio and Berson (2003) provides significant arguments and ideas. Bass et al consider that the transformational leader simulates the innovation by sharing the risk with followers based on the effective influence. Further, the contingent reward and active management are two dimensions of the transactional leadership, which can positively improve innovation. Bass et al (2003) significantly improve the argument of Vaccaro et al’s research.
Key argument and evidence
With the aim of exploring the two major contents, Vaccaro et al (2012) put up four hypotheses, which are analysed by the following empirical research. Transformational and transactional leaderships are identified as two types of leadership. They are used to explore the effect of specified leadership on the pursuit of management innovation as well as the burdens from the increased organization size on the leadership.
The first hypothesis is about whether...