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Positive Deviance and Leadership: An Exploratory Field Study

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Title:Positive Deviance and Leadership: An Exploratory Field Study
Authors:Mertens, Willem
Recker, Jan
Keywords:Constructive Deviance
Positive Deviance
Date Issued:04 Jan 2017
Abstract:Positive deviance refers to behavior that deviates from the norms of the reference group and has positive effects on the organization. It is an endogenous source of organizational creativity that has been shown to be powerful tool for learning and change. Despite growing interest, little remains known about the factors that stimulate positive deviance; in particular, how management can enable its emergence. In this paper, we explore the relationship between leadership and positive deviance through a conversion mixed methods field study of two hierarchical layers of store management in a large Australian retailer. Our findings indicate that management can best enable the emergence of positive deviance by combining empowering leadership behaviors with adequate levels of contingent reward and monitoring behaviors. These findings suggest that, depending on the frame of reference, positive deviance may emerge as a source for innovation that is endogenous to routines, rather than deviance from routines. \
Pages/Duration:10 pages
Rights:Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Appears in Collections: Creativity in Teams and Organizations Minitrack

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