Shared Leadership and Team Creativity: A Social Network Analysis in Engineering Design Teams

Qiong Wu, Kathryn Cormican


This research explores the relationship between shared leadership and creativity in engineering design teams. To do this, a social network perspective was adopted using four measures to assess key elements of shared leadership networks. These are (a) network density, (b) centralization, (c) efficiency and (d) strength. Data was collected from a sample of 22 engineering design teams who adopt a shared leadership approach. Our results support previous findings that the density of a shared leadership network is positively related to team creativity. In contrast, we learned that centralization exerts a negative influence on it. Moreover, while we found that there is no evidence to support a positive correlation between efficiency and team creativity, we demonstrate an inverted U-shaped relationship between strength and team creativity in a shared leadership network. These findings are important because they add to the academic debate in the shared leadership area and provide valuable insights for managers.


shared leadership, social network analysis, team creativity, engineering design teams

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