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      Impact of Entrepreneurial Leadership on Innovative Work Behavior: Examining Mediation and Moderation Mechanisms

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          Based on social cognitive theory, the present study aimed to explore the impact of entrepreneurial leadership on employees’ innovative work behavior through the moderating path of entrepreneurial self-efficacy in technology-based SMEs. The study also explains the mechanism through which a firm’s innovative environment mediates the relationship between entrepreneurial leadership and employees’ innovative work behavior.


          To pursue the objectives, this study has used data from a sample of 350 supervisor–subordinate dyads working in cross sectional small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in the Jiangsu province of China. Based on social cognitive theory and specific continuum of self-efficacy theory, a conceptual model was developed and the hypotheses were tested with the help of SPSS 20.


          Empirical findings recommend a significant positive effect of entrepreneurial leadership on employees’ innovative work behavior. The study suggested that firm’s innovative environment mediates the relationship between entrepreneurial leadership and the employees’ innovative behavior. The results also confirmed that entrepreneurial self-efficacy exerts a positive moderating effect on the association of entrepreneurial leadership and employees’ innovative behavior.


          Findings of the present research work have several implications for the management and policymakers of high-tech SMEs who want to augment their employees’ innovative behavior in order to compete in a highly competitive and challenging business environment. To the best of authors’ knowledge, this work is the first attempt that presents an empirically supported comprehensive model for the development of employees’ innovative behavior within entrepreneurial-based high-tech SMEs. It contributes to literature by examining the mediation and moderation process for the development of employees’ innovative behavior.

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          Most cited references 155

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          Common method biases in behavioral research: a critical review of the literature and recommended remedies.

          Interest in the problem of method biases has a long history in the behavioral sciences. Despite this, a comprehensive summary of the potential sources of method biases and how to control for them does not exist. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to examine the extent to which method biases influence behavioral research results, identify potential sources of method biases, discuss the cognitive processes through which method biases influence responses to measures, evaluate the many different procedural and statistical techniques that can be used to control method biases, and provide recommendations for how to select appropriate procedural and statistical remedies for different types of research settings.
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            In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators.
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              Accounting for common method variance in cross-sectional research designs.

              Cross-sectional studies of attitude-behavior relationships are vulnerable to the inflation of correlations by common method variance (CMV). Here, a model is presented that allows partial correlation analysis to adjust the observed correlations for CMV contamination and determine if conclusions about the statistical and practical significance of a predictor have been influenced by the presence of CMV. This method also suggests procedures for designing questionnaires to increase the precision of this adjustment.

                Author and article information

                Psychol Res Behav Manag
                Psychol Res Behav Manag
                Psychology Research and Behavior Management
                29 January 2020
                : 13
                : 105-118
                [1 ]School of Management, Jiangsu University , Zhejiang, Jiangsu, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]School of Management Science, Jiangsu University , Zhejiang, Jiangsu, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Habib Ur Rehman Makhdoom School of Management Sciences, Jiangsu University , 301 Xuefu Road, Jingkou, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu212013, People’s Republic of ChinaTel +86 186 5128 7895 Email
                © 2020 Li et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 3, References: 166, Pages: 14
                The following projects are the funded this research work. (1) Research on the Formation, Evolution and Promotion Strategies of Self-organizing Mass Entrepreneurship & Innovation Behavior, China National Social Science Foundation (16BGL028). (2) Perception of fairness in self-organized mass Entrepreneurship, Jiangsu Province Graduate Scientific Research Innovation (4061160023).
                Original Research


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