Leadership Impact on the Company Culture for Innovation

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The lingua franca used to explain the role of leadership in influencing the company culture for innovation in the hotel industry is expressed in the context of leadership theories and styles and the imperatives of innovation. A gap on the role of leadership was addressed by conducting a systematic literature review for collecting secondary data and issuing of questionnaires to collect primary data to answer the research questions on how leadership theories influence the culture of innovation, how leadership influences culture, how the culture of innovation is shaped, what the core elements of innovation are, and how service innovation is done in the hotel industry.

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The results showed that for effective leadership, no one theory could be relied upon, but an integrated approach consisting of different theories including behavioural, contingency, the Great Man theory among others were critical in explaining how leadership can influence the desired culture to innovate. The results were based on a statistical analysis of the questionnaire responses based on a quantitative research paradigm that answered the pressing questions on culture combined with the qualitative research paradigm. However, it was revealed that further research was necessary to answer address the problem based on the models of leadership excellence.


The relationship between leadership style and the culture of innovation is seen as a strong organizational component that fosters better performance and competiveness. Both the culture of innovation and the leadership have strong influence on one another, which in turn results in the type of outlook of the company and its performance in the hotel industry (Kurland, Peretz, & Hertz-Lazarowitz, 2010). There is evidence of a strong correlation between the influence leadership on the corporate culture and its role in enhancing the competitiveness of company operations in the hotel industry.

Here, successful leadership in the industry manifests itself in the creation of a vision statement that directs employees and the entire organisation to work towards making the desired products and services to meet the ever changing customer needs, tastes and expectations to fulfil the future aspirations of the industry. According to Neufeld, Wan, and Fang (2010), leadership espouses the values that influence and direct people to cope with the dynamic changes that happen in the global business environment for competitive advantage.

The culture of innovation is defined by the values, norms, and beliefs drive employee behaviour working in the hotel industry by explicitly communicating the desired culture and service and product innovation to the employees. The culture of innovation emanates from the elements of the corporate culture defined by a sense of curiosity, inquiry, and shared values, leading to an environment that supports creative thinking.

The leadership style that fosters a culture of innovation is visionary and operates on the premise that the services offered in the hotel industry must creatively and dynamically respond to the changes that happen in the hotel business environment (Kurland et al., 2010). To make a company competitive, leadership is widely viewed as a prerequisite to the successful operations of an organisation because it enables organisational managers to develop the vision, idealize influence, inspire and motivate employees to work towards a new and better environment. A synopsis by Kurland et al. (2010) and Neufeld et al. (2010) based on empirical evidence suggests that the culture of innovation underpins the successful development and growth of companies in the hotel industry, which organisations achieve by inspiring employees with passion to turn new ideas into new realities.


The purpose of this study was to establish the relationship between leadership in the hotel industry can leverage to create a culture of innovation among employees within

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The rationale of the research is to establish a foundation in academic literature for managers and those interested in the service industry and particularly the hotel industry to serve as a body of knowledge for references when undertaking to develop and inculcate the culture of innovation among the employees working in the industry.

Research objectives

  • To assess the influence of leadership theories and leadership styles on the culture of innovation.
  • To determine the relationship between leadership and innovation
  • To investigate how leaders embed the elements of the culture of innovation into the hotel industry
  • Determine how to shape the culture of innovation within the hotel industry
  • Analyse the development of the culture of innovation in teams

Research questions and hypothesis

  • What influence do leadership theories and leadership styles have on the culture of innovation?
  • What is the relationship between leadership and innovation?
  • How do leaders embed the elements of the culture of innovation in the hotel industry?
  • How is the culture of innovation shaped in the hotel industry?
  • How are teams with the characteristics of the culture of innovation built?

Research hypothesis

  • Hypothesis 1: Leadership theories and leadership styles have a strong positive impact on the culture of innovation in the hotel industry
  • Hypothesis 2: Leadership positively influences culture of innovation
  • Hypothesis 3: The elements of the culture of innovation can be embedded into the hotel industry
  • Hypothesis 4: Leadership can shape the culture of innovation in the hotel industry
  • Hypothesis 5: The culture of innovation can be built into teams working for organizations in the hotel industry.

Literature Review

Leadership theories and the culture of innovation

Different leadership theories explain the influence leadership has on the culture of innovation. The explanation can be extended to show the relationship between leadership and the culture of innovation in the hotel industry and how to remove impediments to innovation (Winkler, 2010). Yukl (2011) sees the “Great Man Theory, Trait Theory, Behavioural Theories, Contingency Theories, Transactional Theories and Transformational Theories (p.2)” as candidate leadership theories that could explain the role of leadership on the culture of innovation in the hotel industry. The theoretical propositions, varied approaches, and explanations give rise to different leadership styles that could generate and stimulate the culture of innovation.

According to Weberg (2010), a culture of innovation is about creating an environment that fosters creative thinking, advances efforts that enables the management and employees to extract economic and social value from experts and knowledgeable employees. In the context of the hotel industry, good leadership must be that which encourages and provides direction to the employees to work and leverage existing strengths, generate new and improved services and products, and develop integrated patterns of behaviour that support innovation.

Eagly and Chin (2010) note that the Great Man theory, which evolved around the 19th century based on the premise that the abilities of the leader such that of Mahatma Gandhi of India and Napoleon the great were achieved by virtue of the natural gifts endowed on them. This evidently shows the role of leaders who are taken to be role models and the outcome of their influence on the people.

According to Eagly and Chin (2010), people look around to see if the nature of leadership is consistent with the mission and vision statements and strategic goals of the organization. Here, theory postulates the intrinsic characteristics of the leader by defining those unique behaviours that influences the company culture in the context of the beliefs and values of the company. Beliefs of the employees and the staff provide the foundation for influencing the future attitudes and behaviour of the managers and employees (Burnes & By, 2012).

Here, leadership supports the company culture of innovation depending on the distinguishing characteristics of aggressiveness, persuasion, charm, intelligence, and a commanding personality (Anderson & Anderson, 2010). Such attributes underpin the driving force that compels and organization to struggle and remain competitive. The rationale is that such a leader beliefs in the ability to cause positive change in the employees’ culture.

The theoretical proposition on leadership influences by researchers such as Bryman (2013) point out that Great man leaders are highly superstitious because most of them belief that they have been sent by a higher order being to fulfil their destiny and succeed on the mission they have embarked on. Here, the strength of the belief that is embedded in the drive to perform and provides a strong foundation for creating a culture where innovation thrives.

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Bryman (2013) points out that the problem with the superstitious assumptions is that such leaders rarely listen to ideas of others because they regard their contributions as noise (Weberg, 2010). Such a leadership approach sometimes can impede the culture of innovation because of the failure to foster the necessary culture and environment. Besides, every great leader seeks to address challenges that affect the people and do not opt to evade challenges, but rather endeavour to pile the challenges that most often act as obstacles to the leadership.

Empirical evidence shows that leadership attributes defined by the Great man theory include those who show persistence in the context of religious reverence, which makes it difficult for them to quit from pursuing the leadership and organisational objectives (Ayman & Korabik, 2010).

Such leaders do not know how to quit from their leadership posts or how to pursue specific goals (Clarke, 2013). Clarke (2013) failed to explain why the majority of great leaders were partakers of the initiative of being responsible of acting the way they do by encouraging others to act without waiting for orders. Such leaders have a lot of faith in what they are looking for either rightly or wrongly that they have the abilities to achieve anything in life.

Trait Theory

The trait theory of leadership evolved from the Great man theory of leadership with some significant differences. The theory provides a better and systematic view of leadership by implying that leadership relies on the personal characteristics of a person to succeed (Ladkin & Taylor, 2010). In the context of the hotel industry, leadership traits must be consistent with the needs of the people or teams or employees to inculcate in them the abilities to provide better services and address new challenges.

Ladkin and Taylor (2010) identified the ability to model one’s leadership traits according to personal abilities which include effective supervision of people and teams, intelligence, and ability to take personal initiatives. Personal traits that distinguish different leadership styles based on the trait theory include those that are embodied in self-assurance, decision making, and the affinity to work and succeed in pursuing the goals and objectives of the organisation. Other elements include the ability to motivate others to work under the leader to influence and develop internal feelings of self-actualisation, job and monetary security, and power over others.

Typically, it is important to note that the trait leadership theory focuses on the leader and not the employees or followers. Gundersen, Hellesøy, and Raeder (2012) proposed that the Trait leadership theory is important because it is straight and depends on those traits that qualify a person to be a leader. The qualities that define the leader in the hotel industry should be such that those who lead teams should be able to inculcate the characteristics that enable them to be innovative.

Typically, the culture of innovation is embedded in a continuous loop of innovation that is defined by metrics, which include operational processes such as idea implementation roadmap, clear risk identification and management strategies and cost benefit analysis of the results of the innovation. Additional metrics include tactical processes such as idea campaign strategies and the ability to identify and select ideas to solve problems that exist in the hotel industry (Gundersen et al., 2012).

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However, a paradigm shift in the identification and implementation of strategic processes from the classical approach of leadership to a new approach should define a leader with the vision to influence teams to work with new and better ideas (Gundersen et al., 2012). The strategic processes include training team members and educating them on innovation and how to inculcate the culture in the new values and belief systems that emerge in the new operating business environment.

Lawson and Samson (2001) based their argument on the idea of influencing employees to develop a culture of innovation by emphasising on the trait theory of leadership as an appropriate form of leadership depending on the traits necessary for a person to lead based on the personality attributes used to determine the suitability of a candidate for a leadership post. Müller and Turner (2010) argue in the context of the study by Lawson and Samson (2001) that a person should evaluate their leadership traits using a reliable leadership assessment scale when intending to lead a team of employees.

Based on the Traits leadership style, Müller and Turner (2010) and Pololi, Krupat, Civian, Ash, and Brennan (2012) propose the importance for managers to establish self-awareness by conducting a comparative analysis of personal traits with those defined in the trait theory of leadership. In so doing, managers can develop the right ideas on the type of leadership that is consistent with the operating environment based on the ability to show ambition and the desired leadership necessary to lead effective teams.

However, Pololi et al. (2012) criticised the trait theory of leadership by asserting that leaders who work by directing teams find it a difficult task to translate the leadership traits to fit into the working environment because the theory focuses on identifying the leadership traits only and not extending the traits into a team leadership environment. Pololi et al. (2012) asserts that the leadership theory does not link leadership with employee satisfaction, innovation, culture, and productivity. For instance, Pololi et al. (2012) could not establish a link between leadership traits such as intelligence and integrity with the working results of those leaders who do not possess the Traits leadership attributes.

A synthesis of the Traits leadership shows that it does not provide a strong and clear connection between the leadership traits and outcomes of those who work in teams. Here, critics say that the Traits theory of leadership is deficient of empowering a leader in training and developing teams. The traits approach falls short of providing a universal trait that defines an effective leader in all situations such as those that emerge in the service industry.

According to Skakon, Nielsen, Borg, and Guzman (2010), the leadership theory does not provide a clear definition of the cause and effect when applied to provide a framework for those leading teams working in the hotel industry. It has been argued that the trait theory of leadership is better for predicting a suitable leadership appearance without providing an appropriate framework for distinguishing between effective and ineffective leads.

Despite the weaknesses of the Traits leadership approach, it is important to note that it is appropriate for several settings including the hotel industry. Typically, leaders wanting to lead innovative teams in the hotel industry experience several challenges such as the problem of cross cultural innovation, failure to take risks because some organisations’ risk appetites are low, and the inability to get employee buy-ins for making new initiatives.

The results demonstrate that the leadership theory does not provide definite leadership traits that are appropriate for addressing the challenges occurring in the hotel industry. The results have made researchers top develop and propose new leadership styles such as the behavioural theory of leadership as a possible candidate for explaining a leadership approach that fits well into the hotel industry.

Behavioural theory of leadership

Research conducted by Walumbwa, Hartnell, and Oke (2010) assert that the behavioural theory of leadership deviates from the traits approach, which seeks to explain leadership in terms of the traits of a person in the context of what a person can do. The underlying leadership paradigm is defined by the effectiveness of the behavioural roles by operating on the premise that leaders are made and not born (Walumbwa et al., 2010).

A study conducted at the Michigan State University shows that the behavioural approach emphasizes on the leader’s behaviour and not their traits. The leadership behaviour is an important asset of the culture of innovation in that helps to shape the people’s attitude towards innovation. The assumptions are that specific behaviours differentiate leaders from non-leaders and the distinguishing characteristics embodied in the potential possessed by a person to share their knowledge and ideas. Some leadership approaches that are defined with the behavioural approach include the autocratic and democratic leadership approaches.

The essence of employee orientation is that one is able to recognise differences that occur among the people who work in teams. According to Clarke (2013), new and controversial ideas can be generated by different people, but the differences have to be factored when making decisions while ensuring that a consensus is arrived at. Typically, the task oriented behavioural elements provide the basis for defining the task related aspects of the job among the team members.

The behavioural leadership theory is appropriate in a managerial grid that provides a framework for leading teams working in the hotel industry. Within the managerial grid, leaders direct people to work more effectively to achieve process innovation, product innovation, service innovation, and any other innovation necessary for a competitive strategic advantage in the service industry (Clarke, 2013).

Here, DeRue and Ashford (2010) argue that leading team members to inculcate a culture that cultivates the values necessary for people to work for innovation emphasises a leadership role that enables people to develop innovation attributes such as thoughtfulness and attention to detail based on the needs of the customers they serve in the hotel industry (Hu & Liden, 2013). The culture enables team members to work to establish and satisfy the good relationship among themselves by enforcing a friendly environment and working tempo.

It is important to note here that efficiency of compliance of the employees depends on the working conditions and the persuading capabilities of the team leaders and the patterns of the leadership potential of the organisational manager.

However, the main problem with the behavioural theories of leadership is that it does not factor the leader’s operating environment. Such a situation is crucial when deciding the leadership approach because a leadership style must conform to a leadership approach that fits well in guiding the people working in the hotel industry based on seeking for solutions to the unique needs in the industry. Such a problem can be overcome if leadership theories that factor the prevailing situations are used to explain the most appropriate leadership style, leading to the contingency theory of leadership.

Contingency Theories

The contingency theory is appropriate in explaining the leadership style appropriate for managing teams that work in the hotel industry to develop and inculcate the culture of innovation in the team members (Yukl, 2011). The theory belongs to the class of behavioural theories that explains that diverse methods and ways should be factored into the management process to make the leadership more effective. Gu, Tang, and Jiang (2013) argue that leadership is best applied by factoring the internal and external factors that affect innovation and team leadership. Here, the decision to invent and the approach used to ingeniously create new services that depend on different variables that are characterised by the contingency theory.

Among the variables considered when making decisions include the importance of the decision being made. Here a radical shift from precious theories is evident because some of the theories limit the leader to what is observable to act on (Zhang & Bartol, 2010). Here, the strength of the decision, its effects on the operations of an organisation, and the flexibility of the decision such as the ease with which it can be reversed matter a great deal.

It has been proposed that a number of factors are appropriate for the leaders to consider when inculcating the elements of the culture of innovation into the team members. The main contingency factors include the leadership talent and motivation to direct talented employees who might require motivation and encouragement to work on the project. According to Zhang and Bartol (2010), it is crucial for the leadership to train members on how to make decisions and to evaluate the decisions in their appropriateness based on the participation of each team member, making the task appropriate for the participative leadership style.

The underpinning reason for participative leadership is that different members make different contributions of new ideas to address a problem or challenges affecting the team. Here, creative solutions can be synthesised from a pool of ideas generated from group members. However, it is also important to minims’ the potential of negative effects that might arise when unique relationships emerge among the members.

Leader member exchange (LMX) and Contingency theory

The strength of the leader member exchange and contingency theories were that managers characterised by the leadership theories had strong capabilities to influence team members for innovation (Trope & Liberman, 2010). The contingency theory is based on the tenets of the situational leadership style with a specialised focus on specific elements that address the problems and challenges that happened within a specific industry.

Here, the contingency theory explains facts that show that a leader who indulges leadership by the leader member exchange theory (Dulebohn, Bommer, Liden, Brouer, & Ferris (2012). The leadership approach entails that out-group members tend to be rated lower than in-groups members because of those who belong and are close to the leader. A study by Fiedler shows that leadership style that is determined by the prevailing situation becomes appropriate for leading teams in the hotel industry for innovation because the work situation determines the best approach to lead.

Here, a co-worker scale that is defined using the least preferred co-worker (LPC) scale. The theory postulates that developing a positive attitude towards the least preferred co-worker shows the level of motivation of the leader. However, it is possible for the workers to show a negative attitude towards those tasks they have been assigned to do. Dulebohn et al. (2012) argue that it is possible to measure the situational approach to ensure that the relevant results enable the leader to make the right decisions that are favourable for the innovating team. Here, it is possible to perfume the tasks effectively when operating under the task motivation style.

The rationale is that the leader member exchange paradigm relies on the ratings a person gets from team members when ones; leadership skills are evaluated against an established scale. In addition, the performance of the leader is evaluated by the ratings received from team members. Here, a leader is supposed to adapt to the prevailing situation. However, it is commonly agreed that the leadership theory paves way for leadership that is appropriate in a crisis situations such as the need for members to respond urgently to changes in the business environment that affects the hotel industry. The leadership theory proposes certain attributes that a leader must integrate into the leadership style (Du, Swaen, Lindgreen, & Sen, 2013).

The key leadership attributes include the ability to re-establish the usual working routines that employees are conversant with, displaying optimism, leading with compassion, being decisive, providing stable performance, and preventing any crisis from affecting a company adversely through disaster planning while avoiding a circle-the-wagons mentality.

However, it is imperative for the leader to put in place guidelines that can be used to influence employees to work and develop the culture that enables them to identify and respond to changes that happen in the business environment.

Leadership behaviours and attitudes

The role of leadership in directing employees working in the hotel industry to develop and inculcate the culture of innovation has been conceptualised in various ways by different people and institutions (Ladkin & Taylor, 2010). However, a consensus definition of leadership provides a framework upon which leadership is defined and the key components that are central to the phenomena. Here, researchers view leadership as a process that influences groups of people working to pursue a common goal. Ladkin and Taylor (2010) proposed in the context of influencing the culture of innovation among teams that work for organisations that operate in the hotel industry by viewing leadership as a process that individuals apply to influence others working in teams in the hotel industry to pursue definite goals that are common to the team members.

A study by Zhang and Bartol (2010) noted that leadership could be defined by the nature of transaction that happens between the leader and the people or the followers. The view by Zhang and Bartol (2010) deviates from the classical view of leadership as a personal trait and emphasised on the transaction between the leader and the followers to define leadership. Zhang and Bartol (2010) further viewed leadership as a non-linear interactive process with attributes that create events that enable leaders to influence others in their decision making processes. Here, leadership works in teams, which can only be driven to a higher level of operability by the influence the leadership exerts, without which leadership has no significant effect.

Avolio, Avey, and Quisenberry (2010) among other authors emphasised on the widely accepted notion in academia that leadership can only be successful if it occurs in groups. The rational is that innovation is not a one person idea or process, but happens in teams. According to Avolio et al. (2010), individuals who operate within organisations find it fulfilling when they work in groups with a common goal and purpose.

Here, leadership directs the employees and provides them with an environment that fosters innovation based on the task oriented behaviours or relationship oriented behaviours developed among the team members. According to Avolio et al. (2010), the aim is to optimise the contributed of ideas by individual team members based on their skills and experience to enable the organisation gain from the synergy of working as a team. However, the success in harvesting ideas, skills, and knowledge of the employees working in teams can only be expended under a capable leadership.

On the other hand, it has been researched and results based on empirical evidence show that successful leadership must demonstrate effective communication styles that are rich in ethical overtones that point to a convincing leadership style. Jaskyte (2004) argues that personality is one key element that leadership must be distinguished with because of the traits that define each personality style. According to Jaskyte (2004), the key issue here is for the leader to demonstrate a degree of intelligence that creates a sense of trust and confidence in the followers about leader’s abilities to perform.

Several studies conducted on the relationship between leadership behaviours and the effects on team leadership, a function that is referred to as leadership dimensions has shown that most teams could prefer a leadership behaviour that is characterised by consideration and the ability to initiate structure. According to Skakon et al. (2010), consideration is an attribute that defines the ability of the leader to create an emotional environment that creates trust, warmth, friendliness, and emotional support among team members. According to Chathoth, Altinay, Harrington, Okumus, and Chan (2013), the underlying characteristic is that the leader should be friendly, approachable, concerned with the welfare of others in teams, does favours to the groups, and keeps the group aware of new developments that happen in the hotel industry.

Researchers including Skakon et al. (2101) have argued that leaders who score highly in team leadership are usually characterised by friendliness, develop and sustain a warm relationship with the team members, which makes them to earn respect among those who are led. The results lead to high scores on the consideration factor for the leader. According to Gundersen et al. (2012), those leaders who score poorly on consideration have been shown to be impersonal by the in their relationship with team members with an authoritarian leadership approach.

Research conducted by Sarros, Cooper, and Santora (2008) points out that a leader that cultivates relationship oriented behaviour among team members has strong influencing effects that positively inspire employees to work for the organisation. Leaders characterised by the relationship oriented paradigm ensure that team members develop optimism about their activities and tasks, and always work with rare cynicism when faced with difficult conditions that happen in the hotel industry such as increase competition, customer dissatisfaction, bad customer behaviours and relationships, poor financial performance, and new challenges that happen in the hotel industry.

The importance of a leadership is that it enables the members to respond to the challenges and problems that face the industry, facts which cannot be underestimated. According to Sarros et al. (2008), a good leader takes the responsibility of assuring employees about their contributions of new ideas that can be used to address the problems and challenges faced in the industry.

Leadership styles

Studies based on the effects of leadership on the culture of innovation have proposed a wide range of leadership approaches and theories that could be applied in the hotel industry (Gundersen et al., 2012). Among the proposed leadership styles is participative leadership. It has been widely accepted in academia that participative leadership is appropriate for team leadership. The rationale is that innovation and culture happens in teams of people working together with shared values and belief systems to accomplish a defined goal (Gu et al., 2013). The entire leadership paradigm allows employees working in teams to influence the followers despite their gender. Here, the leadership takes the responsibility to direct teams to work by creating a vision, setting strategies to be followed, and for clarify the bigger picture of the desired culture.

Du et al. (2013) and Eagly and Chin (2010) argue that participative leadership has its basis foundational attributes in the approach that the leader uses to make decisions. Here, the leadership approach allows a decision making to happen among teams and not just making it a one person affair. Here, the sharing of decision making among the group members is a paradigm shift from the classical leadership styles where the leader was the sole decision maker (Eagly & Chin, 2010). The leadership that works with teams must put in place strategies for sharing the decision making process. However, because of the wide aspects of the participative leadership process, the leadership approach is classified into subcategories, which include democratic, consultative, and consensus leadership approaches.

Leaderships and power

It has been established in literature that effective leadership must be power based. Here, leadership and power are closely linked because power forms the foundation for influencing the followers. It is important to distinguish power with image management and building (Eagly & Chin, 2010). Here, success in leadership is based on various indicators such as the ability to communicate inclusively with those who are led.

Leadership and innovation

Anderson and Anderson (2010) and Zhang and Bartol (2010) argue that successful companies operating in the hotel industry depend on the performance of the employees and their relationship with the management. A leadership style that fosters innovation is known to be the one which drives growth, excellence in performance in the duties of the organization. The answer to the relationship between culture and innovation provides the foundation for answering the question on the impact of leadership on the culture of innovation in the hotel industry. Kythreotis, Pashiardis, and Kyriakides (2010) describe innovation to be those activities that occur in a specific social and economic context irrespective of the underlying nationality.

Here, innovation and culture have important relationships in that culture plays the most fundamental role in the management of innovation. This is where leadership comes in. The leadership role is important because it creates an environment that allows for innovation to thrive. In addition, the supportive culture and a more participative management style allows for teamwork to thrive because communication and teamwork can be optimised.

The environment empowers employees to work with the right mix of different factors to develop the right culture of innovation. Here, culture is always the component that must be developed and inculcated through learning so that employees are able to cope up with the internal and external environments in the hotel industry.

Volumes of extant literature have been written that attest to the central role leadership plays in influencing the organisational culture for innovation. A research contribution by Kythreotis et al. (2010) and that of Day and Antonakis (2012) describe the intimate relationship between leadership and the culture of innovation. The study based on empirical evidence show that leadership and culture are intimately related and leadership is the key player that influences the attributes that define culture and the resulting effects on employee behaviour.

An argument by Kythreotis et al. (2010) show that innovation is mandatory for organisations that want to keep pace with the changing business environment based on the dynamism of customer needs and expectations in the hotel industry by operating as the macro-cultures, the organisational culture, and subcultures that influence the way employees work and think within the hotel industry (Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010).

According to Ertmer and Ottenbreit-Leftwich (2010), macro-cultures distinguish people who interact among themselves in the service industry that operates globally with a unique response to the ethnic and religious backgrounds, and nationalities relevant to the unique attributes and occupations of the people. Chhokar, Brodbeck, and House (2013) contend that an organisational culture defines the behaviour of government, non-profit organisations, and private and public institutions. Subcultures define the occupational growth and the unique behavioural characteristics of the people who work as teams within a specific industry and the subgroups that have their identities within the organisations (Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010). However, micro cultures are defined outside of the organisations such as those behaviours that are exhibited by customers who have their own unique attributes.

Leadership plays a significant role in influencing each of the layered perspectives of culture and its subcultures to respond to the changes that occur within the culture paradigm that always reflects the behaviour of employees when handling customers who seek for services in the hotel industry (Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010). The culture of innovation is driven by dynamism and ever present elements that influence the way people live and work.

However, other aspects of culture revolve around the nature of innovation that is defined by the freedom to be creative while working in a challenging environment (Eagly & Chin, 2010). On the other hand, the supportive dimension offers opportunities for teamwork to thrive, trust in the work environment, encouraging employees to innovate by facilitating a creative environment, and being people oriented.

The entire values and beliefs paradigm that arise depict an environment that consists of guidelines, habits, and principles for team members to follow when working in the hotel environment because they are characterised as overt and covert procedures for employees. According to Du et al. (2013), the results due to the manager’s influence of the business ethics of the team members leads to a strong culture that is shared among the people and support the vision and mission statements of the organisation they work for. It is important for members to share certain values that are defined in the corporate culture and that are shared across the organisation because such values lead to job satisfaction and improved performance.

The rationale is that a company in the hotel industry can be said to be good and consistent with the dynamics that happen in the service industry because of the clarity of the organisational culture that is defined by shared values and beliefs. By entrenching a culture of mutual trust among the workers, the opportunity to advance and the ability of the team members to acquire new and better skills leads to credibility, collaboration, and cooperation among the team members.

Researchers have noted that leadership plays a crucial role in shaping the culture of the team members and that of the corporate culture lead to what has been referred to as behavioural integrity. On the other hand, it is critical for an effective leader to factor the international environment and how to respond to the challenges that happen in the hotel industry. The rationale is that people are the greatest assets that leaders factor into the culture innovation process. The other side of the coin shows that a leadership approach that makes employees to feel motivated and motivated as a deliberate move by the leadership is important to create the desired culture of innovation.

Embedding the elements of the culture of innovation

Different innovation culture embedding mechanisms that leaders should use have been suggested. The expected results are where employees working within a specific hotel setting are able to interact with each other effectively and freely while sharing new ideas (Gundersen et al., 2012). Gu et al. (2013) suggests the primary mechanism of creating the climate within the organization that fosters the culture of innovation and the group culture is based on various elements.

In practise, leaders use the primary mechanism that is characterised by their reaction to what they observe, what they can control most often, and the ability to clearly communicate systematically to create powerful messages to employees. In particular, it requires the leader to be consistent in the way they communicate, what they pay attention to, and how they behave towards the employees. Here, consistence and not the intensity of attention matters (Gu et al., 2013). In addition, it is crucial for the manager to question employees their ideas and the content they want their innovation culture to be characterised with.

The underlying mechanism involves leaders working as founders to ensure that the values of innovation are entrenched in the minds of the people. Rewards such as promotions should be made to be part of the process and should be consistently applied. In practise, leaders should identify talent of innovation by studying the best people to hire.

Here, it is commonly agreed that the cluster of the elements within an organisational framework that should stand out as the core components of the culture of innovation include integrating the values that drive innovation. Such values should meet the strategic objectives of the organization in the delivery of services by communicating to the employees the kind of innovation that is required. The culture should be defined by what is expected of the people.

However, it was necessary to understand and differentiate the impact of those factors that were intrinsic and extrinsic that affected the happiness and performance of employees within the organisation. According to Makri and Scandura (2010), a solution was proposed by Hertzberg, who argued that certain factors that were intrinsic to the status of employees include motivation, goals attainments, recognition, better feelings, and interest to work. On the other hand, external or extrinsic factors that are necessary for a leader to focus on include trust, cooperation, pay, and working regulations. However, it was researched and shown that intrinsic factors had a more profound effect on the performance of the employee than extrinsic factors.

However, research by Schyns and Day (2010) revealed a number of factors that were related to the job properties that could affect the culture inculcated in the employees. Similar to the list proposed by Hertzberg, the extrinsic factors include fair play, due process, benefits, health, and job security. On the other hand, intrinsic factors include choice, variety, recognition, support, status, continuous learning, desirable culture, useful social contributions, autonomy, and discretion. The results show that intrinsic factors are more favourable in developing a strong relationship and trust among employees than do extrinsic factors.

On the other hand, a vicious structural factor such as concentration of authority that relies on a specific leadership style and model provides the manager with the authority to make decisions on how to run an organisation. However, a successful leadership approach must be team based where each member of the team is given an opportunity to contribute to the decision making process (Schyns & Day, 2010). Clear resolutions emerge on what to do in case of a challenge that affects the service provider.

It is important when providing services by trying to come up with new methods based on clear goals for the group to attain by creating new services and designing products to be consistent with the needs and expectations of the customers. Other factors include task simplification, stratification, and use of controls data that is generated from the customers and operational reports, and concentration of authority.

The relationships established with the members or those who are led underpins the success of the leadership based on orienting the members who are led to desired cultural values and beliefs through training, organisational change, and development. In addition, it is necessary to factor consideration and support to the entire leadership paradigm that stipulates the empathy, support, and warmth received by the workers from the leader. Other elements include conflict resolution and management strategies, cohesiveness and morale enhancement, risk taking abilities, and avoidance of hindrances where most times employees tend to develop an attitude that they are burdened with the daily routines of the work tasks.

Culture is definitely defined by the values, beliefs, and behaviours of those who are led. Individuals can possess certain values. Research shows that successful companies have developed their own core values that are used to clarify the identity of the company in the market (Gardner, Lowe, Moss, Mahoney, & Cogliser, 2010). It is assumed that true core values inflict pain in the employees because they make the employee forsake those values that are not consistent with organisational culture and engage in the journey of developing those values that underpin the principles to follow as guideline (Hu & Liden, 2013).

In the context of the hotel industry and the competitiveness of the industry, aspirational values are critical because they provide the employees with the vision of what should be done in the future and enable the leader to align the employees with the mission and vision statements. According to Gu et al. (2013), permission-to-play values have been espoused as important elements in the value system of the desired culture because such values define the minimum standards of values that employees should possess such as innovation, customer satisfaction, integrity, teamwork, and quality.

However, Jaskyte (2004) notes that there is need for the values to be made to match with the behaviours to avoid any sense of hypocrisy. Glickman, Gordon, and Ross-Gordon (2012) argue that at the heart of leadership, there should be coherence and moral soundness, a sense of wholeness, consistency among personal values, a compelling vision and trust for others, feelings of empowerments, and strong personal ethics.

According to Jones, Lefoe, Harvey, and Ryland (2012), integrity of the leader is assumed to be everything. Here, integrity emanates from the consistency of personal values, a sense of wholeness that is developed by the leader and inculcated into the employees, a clear cut sense of moral standards that are acceptable in the service industry, and high achievements.

Shaping the culture of innovation

Lawson and Samson (2001) argue that the culture of innovation is dynamic and can only be shaped through the intervention of leaders who work within the hotel industry with an aim of transforming the existing culture into a culture of innovation. The prerogative and nature of the leader is to evaluate the current culture by establishing the observable behaviours and values and lead the change process that transforms the current culture into the required culture change to reflect the desired culture.

Gu et al. (2013) and Jones et al. (2012) argue that shaping the organisational culture that is applicable in the hotel industry shows that the level of commitment, shared values and beliefs, and an increase in the level of trust among the group employees who work for the organisation mater a great deal. Here, Orfila-Sintes, and Mattsson (2009) argue that it is the prerogative of the leader to set the stage for shaping the desired culture by reinforcing and interpreting the desired values among the employees and stakeholders (Spillane, 2012). Here, the definitive nature of group success is based on the core values that permeate the life of everyone working in the service industry.

Nicolau and Santa-María (2013) note that acceptable individual and group behaviour count because in each component is the definitive nature of what is accepted to work to improve the provision of services in the hotel industry. The core values that are acceptable to work with groups and individual are defined by how the employees treat customers, ability to distinguish between what is acceptable and what is not, the ability to determine excellent services, identification of the desired results, and the level of excellence of the results in meeting the desired outcomes.

The underlying elements that enable leaders to shape the culture of innovation include understanding how group members see and think about the service provision activities among the groups and individual members working in the industry (Riley, 2014). It has been demonstrated that such values become evident through the attitudes and values developed within individual and teams, the rites, goals for innovation, myths, and strategies that are defined for the success of the organisation (Lawson & Samson, 2001).

It is important to note that leaders must endeavour to inculcate values that define the interpersonal working relationships among group to provide high quality services. The entire paradigm is based on expected performance standard in service provision that reflect the organisational working environment that encourages innovation. Here, the standards also provide the guiding principles for group members to determine and make the right choices that lead to customer satisfaction.

It has been noted in literature that a successful leader must factor various attributes such as the ability to involve others into the change process that are the focus of the change process. In addition, the success of the transformation process becomes effective because of the proactive involvement of the leader in supporting the team members in the change process.

Leaders take charge of the change process by making team members aware of the need for change to reduce the effects of resistance to change. Research articles have shown that an effective leader makes change interventions by implementing the training and development programs, educating teams and individuals on new skills and knowledge, new values, and information that make the new organisation have a better look (Pololi et al., 2012).

The leader works as a change agent using appropriate change management tools such as monitoring and evaluation, reinforcement, and consultation in trailblazing (Pololi et al., 2012). Among the notable characteristics of an effective leader who acts as a change agent include intuition, resourcefulness, and persistence. Other characteristics include opportunity oriented, trend spotters, idea oriented, and future oriented strategists. The entire change paradigm rests on a culture that is compatible with the change process.

A compatible climate underpins the right environment necessary for a leader to influence the culture of innovation. The whole idea is to institutionalise the processes for collecting innovative ideas, developing the right framework for idea generation, fostering innovation, and protecting risk takers (Pololi et al., 2012). Extant literature demonstrated that the culture of change can be eased by leaders within an organisation based on the key characterising elements of openness, collegiality, protection, humour, participation, high expectations, and recognition. It is critical for a leader who wants to change the culture of an organisation to factor the inclusion of a high level of trust, support, and confidence among the group employees (Tseng, Kuo, & Chou, 2008). Researchers suggest that trust should be factored into the change process because an environment that is reliable helps employees to change.

According to Makri and Scandura (2010), the need for leaders to develop a value based culture and to institutionalise strategies for ensuring that the new culture is important for innovation. The rationale is that the leader puts in place strategies to maintain the standards that have been developed, prescribing organisational values, articulating and enforcing organisational values, and developing the values that are acceptable within the organisation.

It has been demonstrated in research literature that once the new culture has been created, maintaining the new culture is a team building activity that is made effective under an effective leadership (Makri & Scandura, 2010). The process involves dedicated leaders who work continuously to create and strengthen the relationship among groups and teams working for the organisation cooperatively together.

Evidence points out that leaders work to shape the attitudes and beliefs of the employees using specialised mechanisms such as enactments of shared reality, symbols, and rituals and other informal rules that define how members work within the organisation create value within the functions of the service provider (Lawson & Samson, 2001). The cultural personality that results from the use of symbols is based on the physical arrangements that spatially define the culture and helps how members use symbols to communicate with customers within the hotel services. In addition, it is critical to note that people who work in the hotel industry experience a culture of innovation based on the necessary factors that are defined by the values, enthusiasm, energy, and actions that shape the desired culture.


Different authors have tried to link culture with leadership and have developed new ways of thinking on the typology of organisational culture by drawing on several aspects that define the service industry (Pololi et al., 2012).

To some authors, the culture of innovation must draw on the bureaucratic nature of an organisation that includes procedures, hierarchy, and structure. It has been established that within the hotel system, the culture of innovation is influenced by the subcultures of innovation of the employees that reflects not only the way employees work within the hotel environment, but the way people work to improve and provide better services to the customers. Here, the leadership gets involved in creating the shared assumptions that define the subculture of innovation in each individual employee that form around the functional units of the organisation operating in the hotel industry.

Leadership and intention are demonstrated by each person in their areas of interest and work specialisation in their commitment to innovate. However, for members to work effectively, the culture of innovation dictates that each member can only make valuable contributions to the innovation process if members share the same levels of education and have the same level of organisational experience.

According to Asree, Zain, & Rizal Razalli (2010), the problem with many members within cross functional teams is that they bring and try to assert their functional cultures into the teams. Studies demonstrate that the culture of innovation is affected adversely by the subcultures of the members because of the conflicts that arise because of poor communication, and the inability to arrive at a consensus in decision making. Individual differences that happen within the working groups are evident on the way people from different disciplines such as engineering, marketing management, and salesmanship (Asree et al., 2010).

When such people try to work together, it becomes difficult because of the disagreements that arise among themselves. Here, employees fail to recognise that the differences arise because of their failure to notice the differences in their shared assumptions that define how each person works.

Researchers view the effects of each subculture on the ability to innovate as a matter of hierarchy that creates the culture of innovation, which happens across the organisation. The subculture is defined in the way shared experiences happen with the working teams. For instance, it is possible for the first line manager in the service industry to discover new ways of managing employees to work and direct them on how to work and become successful. The rationale is that the leadership at different levels of management works to direct employees on how to build shared values and assumptions about their work practises.

The hierarchical structures are important because newly promoted employees are taught how to perform their roles and responsibilities. Kara, Uysal, Sirgy, and Lee (2013) note that teams with hierarchical structures sometimes experience problems because of the boundary problems that happen. Boundary problems cause communication problems to occur within the institution. A leader will always look for better ways to communicate the ideas of innovation among the members. Here, it is critical to note that the communities or members of the organisation are able to create cultures that gradually become subcultures that modify the working culture of employees.

Assessment of how organizations build the culture of innovation in teams

It is important to establish the strategies that organizational leaderships use to develop the culture of innovation within the hotel industry. No single method has been developed and seen to be exclusively effective in the development of the culture of innovation. Different companies have developed different models as is evident in the industry. Typical examples of companies that have been successful include the four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. These institutions have used different models to develop the culture of innovation that has driven their performance in the industry to better levels.

One of the methods that have widely been accepted and noted to play a significant role in building the culture of innovation is to know and reward employees. Companies such as Seasons Hotels use spot bonuses to reward those employees who come up with creative solutions to their visitor’s problems. Another example of a company that has been successful is the Boardroom Inc. in USA. The company uses the favourite concepts of sport bonuses to reward and motivate those employees who come up with the best ideas which when implemented provide an avenue of improved performance of the company.

The management encourages people to develop their ideas and share them across the organization and among the members and put the ideas to the test. Those ideas that seem to improve the quality of services are then adopted and become part of the organizational values and principles of operation. The underlying paradigm is to motivation and the leadership that accommodates motivation to change.

Lawson and Samson (2001) argue that innovations can happen through employees under the right leadership that recognises the need to succeed in the competitive hotel industry. The leadership must foster continuous change and the resolve to lead in the provision of services in the hotel industry. However, Moynihan, Pandey, and Wright (2012) note that innovation is crucial for managers to understand how the new corporate strategies contribute to the success of the process. The proposition is to give people irrespective of their position in the industry to contribute new and innovative ideas.

Creating the motivation to change is one element that characterises the transformation process for a leadership who wants to instil the knowledge elements of innovation in that being led and making the employees distinguishable in the innovation process. Keyton (2010) notes that every employee, like all human beings gets inclined to maximise their contributions by striking equilibrium with the environment.

Here, the integrity of the system must be maintained to ensure that employees are able to cope and maintain the integrity of the system to while responding to the changing environment that continuously tends to cause disequilibrium. Here, it leads to a cognitive structure that embraces concepts, values, attitudes, and beliefs in a system that provides a sense of belonging to the employees when working for the better of the organisation.

In essence the leadership dimensions based on analysis of leadership is defined by three components that include the behavioural responses that are defined in the context of the volitional element. On the other hand, intellectual beliefs and convictions entail the cognition element that defines the attitudes developed and inculcated into the minds of the team members. Here, it is vital for a leader to develop the cognition skills necessary to meet and satisfy the social skills and personal requirements to lead effectively members (Makri & Scandura, 2010). Here, some authors have defined a successful leader as one that influences the values and beliefs of the team members in terms of the affective process, coordination, motivational, and cognition dynamics.

On the other hand, researchers have described a competent leader to be one who uses the affective component to read the emotional feelings of those who are led and make the necessary interventions where necessary. Here, emotional intelligence empowers the leader to determine and be aware of the inner working of s-awareness. Self-awareness has been demonstrated to be an effective tool for enabling leaders to intuit the best course of action to take when confronted with a barrage of conflicting issues and several options to decide from. It has been established that leaders who are emotionally stable and self-aware are able to make the right decisions that are candid and authentic regarding the actions teams need to take when servicing customers and the type of services being offered.

Researchers agree that emotional intelligence enables leaders to make the right decisions in response to the emotional realities of teams under the leader. Emotional intelligence is about the developing an empowering leadership that enables the leader to be aware of the feelings, needs, abilities, self-control, and trust for others to respond to the needs of others and especially the team members who work within the organisation.

Here, the critical element that is necessary for the leader to address the emerging team leadership challenges include interpersonal skills (Keyton, 2010). In addition, it has been demonstrated in empirical literature that leaders who create a sense of the lack of trust among those being led create a sense of distrust that is viewed as the enemy of empowerment. However, when each team member feels empowered, the sense pervades the entire organisation and the team members get motivated to work for the organisation with better inputs.

It is worth noting that an emotionally intelligent leader is able to conduct an assessment of self-awareness to establish their limitations and strengths and show a great sense of gracefulness and learning attitudes. In addition, self-awareness enables the team leader and the manager to understand personal weaknesses and the areas that need to be improved and are open to criticism, and constructive feedback. On the other hand, a self-aware leader is able to establish self-conference in the execution of daily leadership tasks and is able to address difficult assignments such as leading teams to develop the right attitudes towards work.

In conclusion, it can be affirmed that when applied in the hotel industry, it is crucial for the leadership to define strategies and methods that can be used to the self-worth and knowledge of each team member to acquire the relevant skills necessary to work in the hotel industry in offering products and services that are relevant to the changing times. It is important for the leader to put in place measures that enables the team members to work by reshaping their perspectives and mind-sets according to the new culture that sets after a successful leadership management process.

According to Sarros et al., (2008), a successful leader provides the framework and necessary support to improve the internal and interpersonal relationships among the teams. An important asset of the leadership is to provide the teams with the right leadership models that depict the desired behaviours for the members to follow. Each member might come up with new and innovative ideas.

It is crucial for the manager to consider providing opportunities for growth and participation for each member to optimise their participation in creating a new culture. Here, it has again been argued that leaders who provide comprehensive leadership programs within the organisation are able to provide a leadership program that enables members to work towards innovation by continues involvement of each employee, provide cognitive training and ensure such session are frequent to explain the facts which work on developing a culture of innovation. Here, case studies should be used as a continuous source of inspiration, while providing opportunities for self-inspiration, awareness, and personal evaluation.


It is also possible for the leader to develop self-management skills that enables them to take controls of self, a character that enables them to manage emotions that happen when leading teams. A successful emotionally intelligent leader is one who is able to manage their emotions by staying clear headed and calm when situations such as conflicts among the team members arise. It has been established that leaders who are transparent become successful in leading teams because they are able to live their lives and values.

In addition, an effective leader keeps open to the actions, beliefs, and feelings of others and allows them to express themselves as a show of integrity. On the other hand, it has been established that an effective leader facilitates team work and collaboration among the team members (Keyton, 2010). The study shows that leaders who are able to generate collegiality and an atmosphere of friendliness make them models that foster collaboration, respect, and helpful to others.

A paradigm shift is observed from the old culture to a new culture that encourages innovation and dispels the fear of the leadership losing control of the team members, leading to higher levels of trust and emotional responses. Here, the leader works to subject the teams to a collective emotional reality so that they are able to establish shared values that are common across the team members (Sarros et al., 2008).

The essence is to influence the people to work with the common purpose of providing new services and ways of satisfying the customer based on new values and beliefs that translates the working environment into environment a new environment with values and beliefs. Here, it is important to note that as people undergo the emotional transformation under an emotionally intelligent leader, the sequence of self-discovery and self-reflection get reversed. The rationale is that the contributions employees or team members make towards the success of the organisation they work for underpins the motivation to succeed. The driving force is the motivation to succeed based on the visions and dreams of the team members.

Here, the affective element is described using a problem solving model that provides an explanation of how a leader becomes effective at problem solving more than others (Sarros et al., 2008). The rationale is that for the leader to be effective in leading team members to act as desired, it is crucial for the manager to have the necessary skills to determine the best methods on how to reinforce values to support the vision and mission statements of the company.

Researchers have developed a common understanding of leadership as an enabler for managers who are devoted in pursuing and achieving performance results that speak of an effective leader (Sarros et al., 2008). Here, leaders are seen as those who pursue the mission and vision statements that they have set down by leading teams to work towards the established goals. The rationale is that the leader influences the members to execute the tasks assigned them through the right behaviours and actions.


Several researchers have noted that leadership plays a critical role in influencing people being led to appreciate and develop new cultures and beliefs that are consistent with the dynamically changing demands in the hotel industry. However, leaders need the support of fellow employees and the support of those others that they lead to act in ways that are acceptable to the organisation and consistent with the new culture (Sarros et al., 2008). Here, consideration plays a significant role because it is an attribute that drives leaders to appreciate friendliness, emotional support, warmth, and trust. The role of the leader is to create an environment that fosters the tenets define an approachable and forward looking leader.

Process of culture change

Different suggestions have been made on how a leader should influence the culture of organisation members (Makri & Scandura, 2010). However, despite the process being a difficult one to undertake, managers are advised to establish the seven characteristics of culture to easily connect the people with the new culture.

Among the suggestions include establishing the conditions that groups of people identify with the organisation such as status of a group, presence of social processes, how salient the groups are, and the values of the groups (Carlborg, Kindström, & Kowalkowski, 2014). The steps include evaluating the existing culture, analysing the existing culture, determining the gap to be filled, planning, implementing the plan, and assessing the impact of the changes.

Other researchers suggest a proactive approach that consists of making the culture change an everyday reality by establishing rules and norms that control the way people behave to be consistent with the goals and objectives of the new mission and vision statements members (Makri & Scandura, 2010). Here, it has been suggested that the leader should determine the direction of change, share consequences with the team members, begin with the current position, pursue the change systematically, and get prepared for any eventualities based on acceptable and relevant models and concepts of change.

Besides that, another approach involves focusing on personal issues that enables the manager to understand who the people being lead are and how to change their values and beliefs (Law & Jogaratnam, 2005). The personal issues to address have been summarised into resistance to change, our own mortality, and unfinished business. The whole process, as has been suggested is embedded in a strategic change management plan which enables the manager to teach employees how to internalise the desired values and beliefs members (Makri & Scandura, 2010). However, in all the processes, it has been proposed that the sources of culture need to be established. Suggestions point out to three generic factors that affect culture to include organisation specific issues, societal factors, and natural cultures.

Building innovative Teams

Team development is the prerogative of the leadership of the organisation in the hotel industry. The art of innovation is an inclusive process that rely the contributions of the team members. However, it is crucial for the manager to develop effective teams to ensure that the service quality gaols are achieved in the process.

Effective teams

Innovation is not a one person skills process, but an involvement of members who contribute and share innovative ideas into the operations and services provided in the hotel industry. Researchers such as Hu and Liden (2013) have established that organisations in the service industry are dependent on the ability to build innovative teams. The essence is to ensure that people who work by contributing and sharing ideas find the art of team development an experience for an organisation to learn and retain the learning through the presence or absence of some team members who may decide to leave the organisation.

It has been established that teams are important for the innovation process because the team members learn from one another and in the process share knowledge and skills on the areas of innovation and the best practises necessary to provide better services and improve the competiveness of a service provider in the hotel industry. Horney, Pasmore, and O’Shea (2010) argue that success of the operations of the team members is based on the ability of the team members to learn from each other (Gundersen et al., 2012). The entire process of learning from each other is further improved by the presence of cross functional teams that work to improve quality management of the organisational processes of the service provider.

Innovation depends on the capabilities of the team members and cross functional teams have been shown to work out radical changes within organisations. Cross functional teams provide better services by reducing the time required to offer a service significantly (Lawson & Samson, 2001). The results are a significant increase in the quality of services provided by team members and the level of efficiency of the team members or employees in the service industry. In conclusion, it is possible to save time through teamwork because of team synergy.

The concept of innovation is critical for teams that work to improve the quality of services because the challenges experienced by team members form the prerequisites for cross fertilization of ideas (Lawson & Samson, 2001). The core components include the contributions made because of the differing skills, knowledge, and abilities of each team member that are consistent with the tasks and roles assigned the team members.

In addition, empirical evidence suggests that flat organisations that work in teams provide better services because decision making is easy. Decision making is a paradigm that relies on a normative model that views leadership as a decision making process where the leader examines factors relevant to the culture of innovation to make an appropriate decision on how to influence the culture within the teams.

Here, the basic idea of decision making is that it includes elements such as deciding to act based on the information obtained from the team members (Makri & Scandura, 2010). The next step is to consult individuals based on the ideas contributed by the team members addressing the problem that has been presented by the leader, and consulting the group members, facilitating the decision to solve the problem, and delegating the authority to the team members to act by making deliberate decisions to solve the problem.

Setting objectives on what to do and how to work is easy than it is when setting objectives for each employee working for the organisation, and the ability to lead the team is easier than when leading each member as an individual (Makri & Scandura, 2010). However, it has been proved that individuals work better when involved in teams because teams integrate better and link the members with other teams in unique ways that individuals do not afford within companies that operate in the hotel industry.

Contributions in academia by researchers on successful teams provide empirical evidence, which shows that when the culture of innovation has been successfully inculcated into the team members, the members who act as the innovation agents across the teams show outstanding characteristics that are defined in some outstanding features members (Makri & Scandura, 2010). Successful teams establish goals and objectives before setting on developing strategies on better service delivery to the customers. Teams that prepare their members on how to resolve conflicts that happen among the members are better placed to perform better and be successful.

It is important, according to suggestions by many researchers that team members who make the right decisions stay together and move in the right direction by distributing the tasks and roles to each team ember according to their job skills and knowledge. However, it is the role of the leadership to determine the right skills and knowledge required to recruit new team members. In addition, the prerogative of the leadership is to conduct research on regular basis to determine the right leadership skills necessary to lead the team members successfully (Makri & Scandura, 2010). Successful teams can be realised within the working environment if the team members work interactively, share new ideas, promote interdependence, and show a multifaceted image.

The entire process of innovation must be supported by the culture of innovation that is inculcated in each employee to support the innovation process. Here, the contributions of the team must be factored into the decision making of the managers who lead the teams in the process of service provision. However, the approaches have been noted to show significant weaknesses in responding to the needs of the members in the provision of better services for companies working in the hotel industry (Makri & Scandura, 2010). One of the points noted is that the successful of the strategies require that a single person does the work on an idea, limiting the role of other team members and their inputs into the process.

However, researchers have recommended that the leadership has to develop standards measure for the success of teams and individuals (Makri & Scandura, 2010). In each case, it has been recommended that leaders whop remove restrictions on teams in the context of policies and procedures creates a supportive environment for members and teams to work better (Makri & Scandura, 2010). It is important as one of the strategies of developing effective teams for the leadership to consider educating teams, providing the resources required to perform better, putting in place training and development programs, and the ability to foster an atmosphere of trust and involvement.

Problem solving teams

Creative problem solving techniques are some attributes that a leader factors into the development of teams with the culture of innovation when designing and developing new teams. The rationale is for leaders to develop innovative teams with a culture that enables the members to adapt to the changing paradigms in response to the problems that happen in the business environment in the internal and external environments (Makri & Scandura, 2010).

Despite the role creative and innovation teams play in creating innovative service in the service industry, it has been proved that significant problems and challenges happens that require the involvement of team members in seeking for solutions to the problems. However, researchers have conceptualised ways in which teams with the attributes of the culture of innovation can distinguish the problems that happen in the innovation process using proven problem solving phases.

It has been demonstrated in a detailed study that seeking solutions to problems that happen within innovation teams in the service industry starts with exploring the problem in detail. The rationale is that services provided by companies operating in the hotel industry are designed to satisfy customers and the operational quality of services needs to be adjusted constantly to meet the desired needs and expectation.

It has been suggested that the time take to solve a problem can be reduced significantly if the problem is thoroughly explored and solutions sought for that meet the needs and expectations of the customers. The entire process can be informed through stakeholder participation or goal orientation. The rationale is that the inputs from the customers play a significant role in contributing to understanding the dynamics of customer needs and expectations.

Here, the problem solving strategies cannot be effective if organisations lack the techniques to promote creativity among the team members. However, researchers contend that the techniques can only be appropriately used as aids in decision making, problem solving, and creativity to aid in the process and not the solutions themselves. The argument proposed in context of the value generated when using the problem solving techniques is that creativity happens with 95% involvement and 5% is the work of the serendipitous discovery. The entire paradigm of techniques requires that members get actively engaged in the search for solutions (Makri & Scandura, 2010).

The essence of the approach is to reduce redundancy among the teams by ensuring active participation and broadening of ideas that can be used to provide solutions for better service delivery. According to Ladkin and Taylor (2010), the entire process is always under the influence of a leader who plays a significant role in directing and motivating teams to work and act to achieve the goals of better service provision and delivery.

It has been proposed in research literature that individual contributions, as has been proved in social loafing, that contributions of each individual in the group should be evaluated effectively. Ladkin and Taylor (2010), argue that work done by each individual should be made visible to others to make them feel that they are being observed by others.

Service innovation teams

According to Makri and Scandura (2010) and Lawson and Samson (2001), the key characteristics of innovation is that it is about change, requires team work, collaboration, works on an active support system, driven by change agents, involves everyone working in the organisation, and embraces culture.

Jaskyte (2004) notes that diverse literature shows that innovation is the key component that changes the service provider form their current status to a new status and affords companies operating in the hotel industry the competitiveness to work in the service industry. According to Lawson and Samson (2001), competitiveness is born out of hardworking managers who lead the innovation process and inculcate the culture of innovation in the minds of the employees. Service innovation is an indispensable component in the hotel industry because it indicates a strong culture that factors guests and their needs and expectations.

It has been researched and shown that the service industry is a dominant player in the economies of many nations. Lawson and Samson (2001), FitzPatrick, Davey, Muller, and Davey (2013) and Hjalager (2010) contend that in many countries, services particularly those offered in the hotel industry have shown a significant improvement to make them measure up to the desired quality that satisfy customer needs and expectations.

However, service innovation has been developed and viewed in three distinct categories (Su, 2011). Gursoy, Maier, and Chi (2008) note that one of the levels of innovation widely researched in academic literature is service level innovations includes support services and customer actions, which include choices, interactions and activities between the service providers and customers, and backstage employee services (Stilgoe, Owen, & Macnaghten, 2013). On the other hand, the support services include bespoke social services and the services that are provided by the service providers to ensure the health of the customers is maintained.

It has been demonstrated in research literature that innovation can thrive in an environment that is prepared by the managers to foster innovation. According to Chesbrough (2010), the rationale is that organisations need people who are innovative in order to survive. The climate for innovation can only be set by leaders who understand that existing and new ventures require the inclusion of micro environments that factor innovation.

According to Chesbrough (2010), the micro-environments is defined by a leader who understands and sets the mission and vision of the company, which define the business domain of the company, direction and philosophy of the business, profit optimisation objectives, the type of economic activities and business decisions to undertake. In context of the leadership that influences the culture of innovation, Chesbrough (2010) argues on the necessity for managers to note that the leadership can only influence innovation by taking the necessary steps to create an inclusive team that is defined by members who work towards the common values held by the team members. Here, the key task is to develop a team that with members that have different functional backgrounds, levels of knowledge and experience, different thinking styles, and appropriate personalities to play the desired roles on innovation.

Horney et al. (2010) among other authors in academic literature have argued that innovative teams must be defined by curiosity, general business and sector knowledge in the hotel industry, loyalty to the leadership, and enthusiasm. The entire innovative paradigm is defined by the teams that work in a situation that factors new ideas and team members that play different roles. It is important for the managers or leadership of the innovative cluster or teams to recruit members who share similar values and who are highly capable with new ideas.

Among the suggestions in academia of the imperatives of innovative leadership is teams include building effective teams. According to Horney et al. (2010), the entire process is summarised in the need to create teams that work for the better of the service provision industry. In addition, the abilities of the management are envisaged in strategies used to reward team members, manage the innovation teams, and determine the right supporters and work with them to develop a new competitive environment.

Modern leaders have established that innovation is the way to go and have defined different roles that define imperatives for innovative leaders. According to Ladkin and Taylor (2010), leaders should possess the ability to differentiate and measure business value within the innovation paradigm. Here, the leader is required to inspire curiosity by encouraging employees to work with a common understanding with the stakeholders in response to the working environment that defines each environment.

According to Goetsch and Davis (2014), a leader who exerts positive influence on teams to innovate should demonstrate ability to inspire the people to challenge the current opportunities and problems in different perspectives and suggest solutions. In addition, Ladkin and Taylor (2010) have argued that leaders with the imperative to innovate must be characterised by the ability to inculcate a culture of experimentation and ability to take risks. In addition, it has been researched and shown that an effective leader should create an environment that enables them to align efforts earlier to successfully implement innovative solutions.

Communication among teams

Communication can only be made effective within a service provision environment if the leadership develops and implements a communication framework that enables effective sharing of information within the clusters of teams working for organizations in the industry (Keyton, 2010). However, it is important for an organisation to identify the issues that lead to the systematic deficiency caused by the barriers and interferences that happen within the management system of an organisation. It is possible that people who want to pass honest ideas are not able to use the system properly and people within the system do not understand each other, a fact which leads to communication problems.

However, according to Adair (2010), communication fosters an environment that encourages new ways of thinking among employees to respond to the new and ever changing perceptions of the customer about the quality of services provided. Such a culture leads to better and more informed employees who are confident of their contributions towards the performance of the organisation in terms of the quality of services provided to the customers. It enables employees to work towards the innovation of the services by providing them with the right ingredients, motivations, and in selecting and recruiting the right people to work for the organisation.

Adair (2010) argues that leadership does not place restrictions on the contributions of the employees, but facilitates their contributions by allowing them to ask questions that impose or remove constraints on how to offer better services. The rationale is that innovation is highly dependent on the creative nature of each individual, which is defined by the prevailing cultural environment. However, the underlying force that inspires the motivation to work towards developing the culture of innovation is leadership (Adair, 2010). Leadership is the core transforming force for innovation because it inspires the dynamic response to change in the operating environment.

Research studies based on empirical evidence have concluded that communication is the key element that unlocks how leaders share their ideas on innovation among employees and other service providers in the hotel industry clusters (Asree et al., 2010). In addition, employees working as individuals and in teams hold certain values, language and common values about the work practises and expectations.

However, it is crucial to note that culture helps the managers to create the environment of empathy without masking the true intent and meaning of the information being communicated. According to Asree et al. (2010), the idea is for the leader to inculcate the culture of communication among the employees and the managers to share new and better ideas on how to improve the provision of services.

Researchers have developed the notion of communication by viewing communication to be a tool that can be used to share knowledge among the innovation clusters. In the hotel industry, clusters spring from the wide array of service providers operating in the same industry that are characterised by innovative capabilities (Makri & Scandura, 2010). Typically, the theory of clustering explains how and why innovation is important for local conglomerates. Here, the notion of external economies works well because an innovative environment is characterised by employees with the right skills, and the ability to identify and satisfy the demand and supply of the right services in the service industry.

Here, the interrelationship within the working environment in the service industry among the workers is characterised by information gathering and sharing capabilities leading to cluster dynamics (Kandampully & Suhartanto, 2000). Here, the importance of networking and information sharing based on effective communication are explained in the sociological cluster and economic theories. The paradigm is to establish effective collaboration among the players in the hotel industry to enable the provision of better service delivery to the customers and increase the customer base and profitability.

Communication occurs in the context of public relations within and among the assets that are used to provide the services in the hotel industry (Miller, 2014). Here, communication was introduced in a broad view to help the managers manage their innovation clusters in a complex service provision industry (Horney et al., 2010). Here, the sharing of information can be facilitated within the clusters using good communication channels.

In context of the hotel industry, communication occurs among the team members working within the organisation to create new services and products that are tailored to meet the dynamic needs of ever changing customer tastes (Hackman & Johnson, 2013). However, the role of communication in clusters and their position in the communicating process have been very unclear both in the theory of clusters and innovation communication.

Typically, researchers agree that the position of those who take information and communicate it to others must be distinctly noted within the communication paradigm to determine the communication strategies that are appropriate for the service provision environment (Miller, 2014). Here, the role of communication among the clusters that operates within the service provision industry in terms of groups and those offering similar services in the same industry must be noted distinctly.

However, it has been recommended in theory that innovation among individual innovation clusters operate in the context of interrelated sharing of information, knowledge, skills, and the need to create and maintain the network of innovators inside and outside of the clusters. Suggestion on how to proceed and create a team of innovators has been shown to work for the hotel industry based on an array of suggestions (Ladkin & Taylor, 2010). Here, the key element is to identify stakeholders and strategies in how to communicate between the internal stakeholders within the clusters that work for the innovation of the services and products offered by the clusters in the hotel industry.

The essence of what has been proposed in academia is the provision of a paradigm that factors internal communication based on a common language. Researcher’s note that internal communication is necessary to ensure that the members in each innovation cluster share skills and knowledge on new ideas and products in the hotel industry with their peers (Ladkin & Taylor, 2010). The level of innovation can be enhanced by establishing frequent dialogue among the cluster members because spill overs of knowledge do not happen. The underlying explanation is based on the cluster theory that emphasizes on the need for clusters and members working within an institution to collaboratively share ideas and information.

It is the dovetail of internal and external communication that makes the innovation process effective for organisations keen on dynamically innovating services to measure up to those needed in the market.


Different research methods have been suggested and applied in different leadership research settings to investigate how leadership influences the culture of innovation in the hotel industry (Schwab, 2013). This study was conducted to determine how leadership influences the culture off innovation in the hotel industry. A critical review and classification of the research entailed it being placed in the category of social research (Fowler Jr, 2013). Such a category was appropriately arrived at to enable the research to identify the most appropriate research design that was consistent with the discipline in the social research category.

Research Philosophy

By infusing the human component of knowledge, the study was based on a research philosophy that enabled the research to conduct an in-depth study of the leadership phenomena and its effects on the company culture for innovation in the hotel, industry. A distinct pattern of social research was followed to increase the precision of the findings using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. In conclusion, an ontological research philosophy formed the paradigm combined with data collection and statistical analysis techniques with a positivist research design based on the assumptions that data is easily available for the study.

Research Approach

The broad approaches to the research method were based on formulating the research questions that provided the basis for conducting a literature review followed by a primary data collection method using questionnaires to answer the research questions.


The research strategy consisted of finding the research problem involving vertical thinking and lateral thinking to discover how sensible and realistic the research was. In addition, the researcher evaluated the amount of time available to determine the time required for the study. It was established that time was available and sufficient to conduct the study. On the other hand, an investigation was done to establish whether the problem was new and any research that had been conducted in the same area (Schwab, 2013). The results showed that little research had been conducted on the influence of leadership on the culture of innovation on employees working in the hotel industry. However, other research articles and books have already been written on other areas and the results could be replicated in the hotel industry.

The primary approach consisted of collecting facts about leadership and its effect on the culture of employees working in teams in the hotel industry. A hypothesis was written and a literature review conducted to catalogue the research variables that were within the scope of the research and those outside the scope were discarded. In theory, a hypothesis is a proposition whose validity could be determined based on the results of the study. The sources of hypothesis that were tapped into include intuition, experience, analysis, scrutiny, theory, sturdy findings on leadership and the culture of innovation in the hotel industry.

Studies show that hypotheses are classified into working, relational, descriptive, null, and statistical categories. The researcher tapped into the categories and developed a universal hypothesis that allowed the variables used in the study to generalised in the study. Besides, a research hypothesis was used because the researcher speculated the results of the study to prove the correctness of the hypotheses.

Data Used

Qualitative and quantitative data was used to address the research questions with specific emphasis on primary and secondary data. However, primary data played the most significant role in the study because it was directly collected from the field under the control of the investigator. However, secondary data played a significant role as a building block on which primary data and other findings were analysed.

Methods and techniques

A wide range of methods and techniques have been proposed in extant literature that could be used for research purposes to enable researchers apply the rigour required to investigate the social behaviour of people. In the context of this study, a combination of methods was used because one method could not be appropriate to answer the research questions. Among the methods used was applied research to establish the factors related to how different leadership styles influence the culture among people who work in the hotel industry to innovate.

The results could be used to redefine and formulate leadership strategies that could be used to inculcate the desired culture in the employees and teams. In theory, applied research is used to provide an immediate solution to a problem using scientific methodology to collect facts that are analysed to provide immediate solutions to problems affecting the society.

Here, the rationale is that applied research provides new stimulating information on the area of research with positive outcomes. Typically, it is evident that applied research was appropriate because of the flexibility that enabled the study to prove the leadership theories using empirical evidence and their applicability in the hotel industry using scientifically proved techniques.

On the other hand, factor analysis based on the applied research paradigm enabled the researcher to evaluate multiple items that happened to provide the unidirectional constructs of the research questions and responses. Each of the items used to construct the questionnaires were evaluated to determine appropriateness of the latent factors of culture change and its relationship with the leadership. Besides the use of applied research, theoretical research was combined with the questionnaire to offer the theoretical explanations of leadership theories so that the results could be generalised across the industry domain.

A specific method

Questionnaires were used to collect the primary data based on quantitative research paradigm that provided numerical data for statistical processing. However, the questionnaire was used on a sample size of 130 respondents from a target population of the people who have worked and still working in the hotel industry. A sampling unit was decided on before the sample was selected for the research from the source unit or sampling frame, and the sampling parameters consisted of people who are working in the hotel industry.

Here, the key characteristics of an ample design such as representativeness, low sampling error, and viability of the sample in view of the budgetary constraints. The rationale of using simple random sampling was that clusters were used to represent the population that was spread across big geographic areas because hotels are widely spread in many cities.

The reliability of the questionnaire, which measured the extent to which the questionnaire instrument measured what it was supposed to measure, was arrived at by conducting a pre-test of the elements used in the study. The validity of the questionnaire as a research instrument was arrived at after the pilot test was done on the questionnaire items to answer the research questions.


  • Hypothesis 1: What influence do leadership theories and leadership styles have on the culture of innovation?

Do leadership theories explain the influencing effects on the culture of innovation?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly agree 91 73.5 75.5 75.5
Agree 22 16.5 17.0 90.0
Disagree 6 4.7 8.2 96.5
Strongly disagree 7 6.3 2.8 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0

The results provide a generalised view of the influencing effects of leadership on the culture of innovation. Here, 73.5% strongly agree on that leadership has a positive effect, 16.5% agree, 4.6% disagree, and 2.8% strongly disagree. However, it is crucial to note that above 90% support the role of leadership for the culture of innovation while less than 10% disagree. A critical analysis of the results shows a strong position on leadership as a factor that influences the culture of innovation.

Statistical evidence presented on table 2 clearly illustrates the mean, standard deviations, and Std. Error Mean related to the variables of interest for innovation. The variables are shown I table 2 and the relationships and their impact shown.

Table 2
Paired Samples Statistics Mean N Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
Pair 1 Makes employees work oriented towards innovation 1.3000 130 .67800 .05946
Employees can select what they consider as important 1.9077 130 1.05981 .09295
Pair 2 Makes employees work oriented towards innovation 1.3000 130 .67800 .05946
Leadership rewards employees 1.4462 130 .80754 .07083
Pair 3 Makes employees work oriented towards innovation 1.3000 130 .67800 .05946
Is Friendly 1.3846 130 .77143 .06766
Pair 4 Makes employees work oriented towards innovation 1.2946 129 .67781 .05968
Fosters creativity 1.2946 129 .66618 .05865
Pair 5 Makes employees work oriented towards innovation 1.3023 129 .68013 .05988
Creates and motivates system 1.2403 129 .54163 .04769
Pair 6 Makes employees work oriented towards innovation 1.3023 129 .68013 .05988
Embraces failure 1.62791 129 .893289 .078650
Pair 7 Makes employees work oriented towards innovation 1.3000 130 .67800 .05946
Fosters job satisfaction 1.6692 130 .97558 .08556
Pair 8 Makes employees work oriented towards innovation 1.3000 130 .67800 .05946
Encourages learning 1.3692 130 .70588 .06191
Pair 9 Makes employees work oriented towards innovation 1.3000 130 .67800 .05946
Creates an environment for new ideas 1.6692 130 .99135 .08695
Pair 10 Makes employees work oriented towards innovation 1.2946 129 .67781 .05968
Motivates employees 1.5116 129 .83961 .07392

What is the relationship between leadership and innovation?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly agree 76 60.8 61.2 61.1
Agree 19 15.2 19.1 81.8
Disagree 15 12.0 10.1 90.8
Strongly disagree 15 12.0 9.0 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0
The responses were 60.8% strongly agreed with the position, 19.1% agreed, 10.1 disagreed, and 9.0% strongly disagreed. However, 79.9% agreed with the proposition that leadership theories explain the shared values of collectiveness and 20.1% disagreed on the position. The results support the idea on the integrated approach of the explanation of leadership theories in supporting the culture of innovation.
Depends on leadership style Fosters Growth Environment of excellence Supports innovation activities Empowers employees Supports interaction among employees
Depends on leadership style Pearson Correlation .a .a .a .a .a .a
Sig. (2-tailed) . . . . .
N 130 130 130 130 130 130
Fosters Growth Pearson Correlation .a .a .a .a .a .a
Sig. (2-tailed) . . . . .
N 130 130 130 130 130 130
Environment of excellence Pearson Correlation .a .a 1 -.972** .563** .871**
Sig. (2-tailed) . . .000 .000 .000
N 130 130 130 130 130 130
Supports innovation activities Pearson Correlation .a .a -.972** 1 -.531** -.865**
Sig. (2-tailed) . . .000 .000 .000
N 130 130 130 130 130 130
Empowers employees Pearson Correlation .a .a .563** -.531** 1 .725**
Sig. (2-tailed) . . .000 .000 .000
N 130 130 130 130 130 130
Supports interaction among employees Pearson Correlation .a .a .871** -.865** .725** 1
Sig. (2-tailed) . . .000 .000 .000
N 130 130 130 130 130 130
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
a. Cannot be computed because at least one of the variables is constant.

The p value provides evidence of the strength of the relationship between leadership and the culture of innovation.

Does leadership tap into the ever-growing norm base in the hotel industry?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly agree 98 81.0 75.5 75.5
Agree 17 13.0 15.6 91.0
Disagree 7 5.6 7.2 96.3
Strongly disagree 3 2.5 2.8 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0

The responses to the role of leadership in tapping on the widening base of norms in the hotel industry were 81.0% who strongly agreed, 13% agreed, 2.8% disagreed, and 2.5% strongly disagreed. Here, norms are some of the building elements of the culture of innovation and it is clear that over 94% agree that leadership plays a critical role in influencing the inculcation of the attributes that define the culture of innovation in the employees working in the hotel industry.

Does leadership establish a compelling rationale for change?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly agree 88 70.4 67.0 69.0
Agree 13 10.4 23.0 91.0
Disagree 8 6.4 5.9 95.8
Strongly disagree 17 13.6 3.1 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0

It is clear that 70.4% of the respondents strongly agreed that leadership establishes the compelling rationale for change that is necessary for innovation. Here, 10.4% agree, 6.4% disagree, and 13.6% strongly disagree. When summed, 80.8% agree on the effects of leadership for change and less than 20% disagree.

Does leadership delineate the cultural challenges associated with innovation?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly agree 91 72.8 72.0 72.5
Agree 19 15.2 17.1 87.6
Disagree 5 4.0 8.5 95.2
Strongly disagree 10 8.0 3.7 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0

The results show that 72.8% of the respondents agree with the idea on leadership and culture change, 17.1% agree, 4% disagree, and 8% strongly disagree with the idea. However, it is evident that

  • Hypothesis 2: Leadership positively influences culture of innovation

How does leadership influence the culture of innovation?

Is leadership a function of positive employee attributes of behaviour change?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly agree 100 82.4 79.1 79.1
Agree 8 14.4 14.6 92.8
Disagree 9 4.0 3.2 97.1
Strongly disagree 8 3.2 3.1 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0

Behaviour change is on one of the attributes of the culture of innovation. Here, 82.4 % strongly support the idea on the effects of leadership and behaviour, 14.4% support the idea, 4.0% disagree, and 7% strongly disagree with the idea.

Is it necessary for leadership to empower teams to make contributions to the innovation process?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly Agree 101 56.0 11.0 11.0
Agree 14 29 19.0 15.0
Disagree 1 0.9 76.1 82.6
Strongly Disagree 10 11.0 99.7 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0

The responses show that the leadership style employees have been exposed to empower them with 56.0% strongly agreeing, 29% agreeing, which makes a total of 85% and the rest disagree or strongly disagree, which is a small percentage.

Is leadership a core component in leading to the development of core competencies for innovation among teams working in the hotel industry?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly Agree 68 68.2 7 7
Agree 21 16.8 18.0 25
Disagree 5 5.0 90.0 90
Strongly Disagree 15 11 10.0 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0

The responses show the role of leadership in inculcating core competencies among team members. The responses show that 68% strongly agree, 16.8% agree, 5% disagree, and 11% strongly disagree.

Does effective leadership guide employees to work with clear expectations?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly Disagree 69 53.6 53.6 87.5
Agree 33 26.4 22.0 30
Unsure 10 16.0 16.0 50
Disagree 5 0.16 8.0 10
Strongly Disagree 1 4 13.0 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0

Are employees guided to work towards fulfilling the vision of the organisation?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly Disagree 72 24 53.6 87.5
Agree 30 26.4 22.0 30
Unsure 16 16.0 16.0 50
Disagree 5 0.16 8.0 10
Strongly Disagree 2 53.6 13.0 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0
  • Hypothesis 3: The elements of the culture of innovation can be embedded into the hotel industry

Do different leadership styles build the culture of innovation differently?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly Agree 29 23.5 11.5 11.5
Agree 70 56.0 19.2 15.0
Disagree 5 4.0 23.0 78.4
Strongly Disagree 30 24.0 99.8 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0

Here, 23.5% strongly agree, 56.0% agree, 4.0 % disagree, and 24.0% strongly disagree that different leadership styles contribute differently in embedding the elements of the culture of innovation in the hotel industry.

  • Hypothesis 4: Leadership can shape the culture of innovation in the hotel industry

Can leadership transform the culture of innovation among teams?

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly agree 103 79.2 79.1 79.1
Agree 18 14.4 14.6 93.8
Disagree 5 3.2 3.2 96.8
Strongly disagree 4 3.2 3.2 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0

In response to the question, 79.2% strongly agree that leadership can transom the culture of innovation within an organisation, 14.6% agree, 3.2% disagree, and 3.2% strongly disagree.

  • Hypothesis 5: Service innovation can be effected by inculcating the culture of innovation among employees.

Does the culture of innovation lead to the

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Strongly agree 100 79.2 79.1 79.1
Agree 17 14.4 14.6 93.8
Disagree 1 3.2 3.2 96.8
Strongly disagree 7 3.2 3.2 100.0
Total 125 100.0 100.0
Service quality Behaviour Customer satisfaction Knowledge New services
Service quality Pearson Correlation 1 -.570** -.145** -.075 .067
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .064 .138
N 125 120 125 125 125
Behavior Pearson Correlation -.570** 1 .093* .084* -.039
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .022 .038 .384
N 125 125 125 125 125
Customer satisfaction Pearson Correlation -.145** .093* 1 -.001 -.337**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .022 .982 .000
N 125 125 125 125 125
Knowledge Pearson Correlation -.075 .084* -.001 1 .043
Sig. (2-tailed) .064 .038 .982 .343
N 125 125 125 125 125
New services Pearson Correlation .067 -.039 -.337** .043 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .138 .384 .000 .343
N 125 125 125 125 125
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
*. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).

The study shows some factors that contribute to innovation to include service quality, employee behaviour, customer satisfaction, employee knowledge on innovation, and the provision of new services. The results were based on a 2-tailed with a 0.05 significance level with a 5% chance of making an error or a 2-taileded test with a 1% chance of error.

Interview questions

Interview questions were responded to by a target leadership working in the hotel industry to determine the extent and impact f leadership on the culture of innovation.

  • Question One: Do you see any connection between leadership theories and leadership styles to the culture of innovation?
    • Manager: Certainly because leadership styles emanate and are explained by various leadership theories.
  • Question two: How do the leadership theories and leadership styles explain the impact of leadership on the culture of innovation?
    • Leadership is the foundation of those traits that are necessary for a person who provides leadership by directing others to work towards certain specific goals. The rationale is that the leader must possess all the characteristics that qualify them to direct and support employees to develop the culture of innovation. Such characteristics include integrity. The typical elements that characterise leaders include capabilities such as superior judgment, insatiable desire to make progress, excellent intellectual capability, organizational acumen, and business acumen among others.
  • Question three What is your take on the elements that are used to inculcate the culture of the culture of innovation in employees working the hotel industry?
    • Manager: I do value elements such as openness, selecting talent for creativity, building innovation teams and communities within an organization, and adaptability. In addition, flexibility and agility are additional characteristics to seek for in any leadership and the teams they choose for innovation.
  • Question four What and how do you think the leadership can shape the culture of innovation in the hotel industry?
    • Leadership is core to shaping the culture of innovation in any organization operating in the hotel industry. Among the unique elements to such a culture are embracing failures, promoting creative time, getting everyone involved, organizing regular meetings with employees, and other activities that te management deems necessary for innovation to thrive.
  • Question five How do you build teams of innovation within your organization?’
    • That also depends on the leadership. But, the core defining elements include creating teams with members who are able to develop good relationship with other employees, willingness to seek for new ideas, embracing failures ability to assist employees develop their knowledge and skills, and willingness to risk and balance the risk levels.


Hypothesis 1

It is imperative to think that leadership plays a significant role in influencing the culture of innovation among employees and their teams working for the hotel industry. The rationale is that the underlying ability to cultivate the culture of innovation includes embracing the variables such as making employees work oriented towards innovation, being flexible to the employees within the industry, the rationale is to avoid making employees consider every activity as being routine and deviating to the inclusion and generation of new ideas that could form the foundation of the culture of innovation.

Here, it is evident from the test statistic that 90% of the respondents agree that leadership theories provide clear explanation on the influencing effects of leadership on the culture of innovation. Consistent with qualitative and systematic literature review, it is evident that different companies operating in the hotel industry exhibit different cultures, a position which underpins different values, beliefs, attitudes, and observable behaviours that can be influenced and inculcated among the employees.

Typical examples including the treat theory explains the inborn traits that influence leadership. The key traits that could enable a leader to succeed include dominance, self-confidence, persistence, assertiveness, being energetic, tolerant to stress, ready to assume power, dependable, and energetic. Those traits have a positive impact on the response people have towards developing the desired culture. However, one leadership theory does not fill the gap because the Traits leadership approach espouses leadership skills such as tact, diplomacy, intelligence, administrative capabilities, and persuasion. However, the traits that make one successful include emotional stability, positive interpersonal relationships, and good intellectual capabilities.

On the other hand, the other leadership theories that contribute to the success of inculcating the culture of innovation among teams working in the hotel industry include the behavioural theories. Here, behaviour that can be modelled for employees to adopt forms the foundation of the theories. The theories envisage an environment where roles, social learning and a clear chain of command that form the core components of leadership and being subordinate to the leader makes employees work to achieve the vision of the organisation.

In addition, the contingency theories explain situations where internal and external organisational factors are core to the success or failure to innovate. Here, technology, the government, competition, the nature of customers, and flexibility of the leader in responding pro-actively to the changing business environment in the hotel industry.

The rationale that leadership can tap into the growing base of cultural norms is crucial for leading innovation because 93% agree with the position. In addition, it is evident that over 80% of the respondents agree that leadership has established a rationale for change. In addition, over 89% agree that leadership delineates the cultural challenges associated with innovation while a small percentage disagrees.

Some of the key elements factored into determining the ability to influence the culture of innovation by the leadership include creating an environment that fosters innovation by rewarding employees and offering them the kind of motivational drivers. That is besides being offered the environment for creativity and innovation.

Hypothesis 2

Based on the responses to the second question and hypothesis, it is evident from the study that leadership is a strong function of the culture of innovation among employees working in the hotel industry. Typically, 98.8% of the respondents support the idea of leadership and the culture of innovation in the context of the attributes that define the culture of innovation such as values and beliefs by encouraging active interactions among team members.

That is besides influencing the layers of cultures and sub-cultures that happen within an organisation. Here, leadership develops principles and rules of ethics to follow. In addition, leadership takes the responsibility of initiating job satisfaction, trust, and skills development, inspire happiness through intrinsic and extrinsic factors, and encourages open communication. It is important to conclude that leadership encourages new ideas, inputs, experimenting of new ideas, better employee engagement, learning in a variety of forms, talent development, and productive cooperation from others.

Hypothesis 3

Embedding the elements of the culture of innovation is one of the key drivers that leadership uses to influence the culture of innovation in the hotel industry. Innovation can be driven on the context of the establishing an environment that allows employees with new ideas to work towards idealising them. It is evident that leadership provides the basis for shaping the culture of innovation by taking charge of the innovation process by putting strategies in place to counter resistance to change, staring training and development programs, taking the role of a change agent, factoring persistence, intuition, and being resourceful.

The responses show 96.8% agreeing that behaviour change is one of the core elements that leadership influences for culture change. Here, 85% agree on empowering teams, and 84.8% agree that leadership is core to culture change and innovation. Despite no specific leadership style has been pointed out, it is evident that not one type is recommended but an integration of different leadership styles provides the baseline for innovation.

Hypothesis 4

The response to how leadership transforms the culture of innovation is evidently shown with 75.6% agreeing on the importance of leadership. The results show that leadership encourages the culture of innovation by outlining clear expectation, effective communication, effective team development strategies, encouraging employees to create effective teams through better quality services, initiating structures for better decision making, encouraging team consultations over new ideas, better setting of objectives, better conflict resolution mechanisms, embracing the concept of self-development, and effective problem solving approaches.

Hypothesis 5

Service innovation is a core component of the innovation process that is reflected when a culture of innovation takes root among employees. It is evident that the hotel industry offers new services and products to be competitive and that is based on the effects leadership has on employee behaviour and the ability to put strategies in place to enhance their knowledge on innovation.

Knowledge acquisition is done through training and development programs tailored to enable employees to improve service quality, create new services and products, enhanced service provision capabilities, encourage professional staff to share their knowledge with other employees, encouraging collaboration, and creating an active support system for inculcating the desired knowledge on culture of innovation. Here, the role of leadership is to influence and act as the source of power, behaviour model such as acting as the source of information, technical skills, human skills’, interpersonal roles, decision roles, and conceptual skills depending on the leadership style for the specific environment.


It was established that different leadership theories provide varying explanations on how leadership influences the culture of innovation.

Main findings

Here, an integrated approach to addressing the research problem based on the theoretical discourse could provide better perspectives on the explanations offered by different leadership theories on the impact of leadership on the culture of innovation in the hotel industry. Leadership, in summary is seen as the key component that provides the foundation and climate that enables employees to improve their skills and inculcate the drivers of the culture of innovation into the minds of the employees.

Theories such as the Great Man theory, the Traits theory, and behavioural leadership theories help to encompass the leadership attributes to direct, persuade, and lead people in the desired directions in the hotel industry. The rationale is that each leadership theory has certain weaknesses that are complimented by other theories. Here, the main elements include personal traits, behaviour, attitudes, team work, risk, using proper human resource hiring methods, employee orientation, team leadership or contingencies, ability to come up with creative solutions, and how to exploit situations such as the leader member exchange theory.

To inculcate the culture of innovation, it was established that a team based approach for leaders, effective communication, embracing value systems that factor the behaviours and culture of innovation, leadership integrity, and consistent personal values matter a great deal. However, it is important for the leader to evaluate the existing culture to find the way for charting a new avenue for culture change.

Here, the core values, rites, goals, involvement of other people in decision making, and pegging culture on expected performance provide the baseline for achieving the desired goals. In each case, different culture must be factored into the leadership models that revolved around the imperatives of innovative leadership, which include communication, developing effective teams, and making problem-solving teams to transform innovation. Here, self-management, consideration, service innovation, and focusing on the key elements for changing culture underpin an effective leadership for innovation.

It is indispensable to note that leadership is the key component that influences the culture of innovation either through each employee as an individual entity or employees in groups who work within an organization. Besides, leadership can positively influence the culture of innovation irrespective of the underlying nationality, employee beliefs and attitudes, and their orientations. Here, leadership established intimate relationship with the employees to assure them of a good working environment, make them feel to be part of and to own the organization, and to define those cultures and micro-cultures that foster innovation.

Factors such as mutual trust, ability to work as team members, making opportunities available for the members, and entrenching the culture of innovation into minds of the people form the background and foundation of the culture of innovation as impacted by the leadership.

The study shows that the Leadership can shape the culture of innovation in the hotel industry based on the intrinsic and extrinsic factors of motivation upon individuals. Specific approaches include concentrating authority on teams in the decision making processes on what to do and how to do what to do to enhance the quality and type of services provided by an organization in the hotel industry. That is achieved through training and organizational processes.

On the other hand, leadership influences the culture of innovation by focusing on specific elements such as behavioural values, influencing a level of commitment among the employees, and the tenets that could be engraved in the minds of the employees to serve the customers better. In this case, various elements of cultures and sub culture make contributions towards enforcing the culture of innovation among the employees.

The study on how organizations build the culture of innovation includes strategies that organizations use to reward those employees who have shown exceptional performance and who have come up with new ideas. The underpinning capabilities of the leader include motivation, cognitive skills, and coordination of affective processes. Besides, the use of self-awareness, emotional intelligence, a sense of trust, and the ability to reshape the culture of the employees provides the foundation for strategic techniques of shaping the culture of innovation in the people.

Recommendations for further research

The study focused on how leadership influences the culture of innovation. Despite the focus of the study, it is necessary to factor other elements into the research process such as models of excellent leadership that have been applied in the hotel industry to inspire employees to learn the culture of innovation. Here, knowledge, experience, and learning strategies besides the hiring and teaching mechanisms for new employees provide some of the elements to factor when inculcating the culture of innovation. These are some of the key points form the foundation for future research.


The study on how leadership influences the culture of innovation in the hotel industry was a challenging one. In the process of conducting the research, I realised how important it was to distinguish between leadership styles and leadership theories and the context of application of each leadership component in the context of culture and innovation. Here, it was difficult to establish the links among leadership, culture, and innovation elements to comprehensively cover the research themes. The rationale for choosing the research topic was to discover how best to make leaders contribute to the success of the hotel industry.

The correlation between theory and practise was important and the study provided the foundation for translating theory into practise to model the best leadership approach for leading people working in teams to be innovative by inculcating the attributes and elements of the desired culture. To achieve the research objective, I systematically reviewed literature on what others have done in the same area and collected primary data as a way of analysing and filling the gaps identified in the research process to answer the research questions. I was able to relate theory in leadership with the culture of innovation to my satisfaction. However, I realised that further research was necessary to complement my research.


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COL TOL ROL Shared Vision and Open-Minded Commitment to Learning
Develop innovative new strategies linked to core competencies ,785
Empower people to implement new strategies ,773
Build a coalition of key people to get change approved ,763
Form task forces to guide implementation of change ,763
Make symbolic changes that are consistent with a new vision or strategy ,762
Envision exciting new possibilities for the organization ,742
Experiment with new approaches ,722
Encourage and facilitate innovation and entrepreneurship by others ,699
Announce and celebrate progress in implementing change ,681
Encourage people to view problems or opportunities in a different way ,675
Encourage and facilitate learning by individuals and teams ,643
Assign work to groups or individuals ,788
Clarify role expectations and task objectives ,732
Explain rules, policies, and standard operating process ,720
Direct and coordinate the activities of unit ,669
Plan short term operations ,633
Organize work activities to improve efficiency ,569
Socialize with people to build relationships ,752
Keep people informed about actions affecting them ,719
Consult with people on decision affecting them ,667
Recognize contributions and accomplishments ,664
Help resolve conflicts ,596
Employees view themselves as partners in charting the direction of the organi ,815
All employees are committed to the goals of this organization ,758
There is a well expressed concept who we are and where we are going as a business ,754
There is a total agreement on our organizational vision across all levels, functions, and divisions ,752
Top leadership believes in sharing its vision for the organization with lower levels ,697
Employees are not afraid to reflect their ideas even those are opposite to the shared assumptions ,621
Managers encourage employees to “think outside box”. ,617
Original ideas are highly valued in this organization ,513
The basic values of this organization include learning as a key to improvement ,821
Learning in my organization is seen as a key commodity necessary to guarantee organizational survival ,815
Our organization’s ability to learn is seen as the key to our competitive advantage and development ,798
The collective wisdom in this enterprise is that once we quit learning, we endanger our future ,663
Total Explained Variance for Leadership Style %64,440.
Total Explained Variance for Learning Orientation % 63,615.

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