When creativity enhances sales effectiveness: the moderating role of leader–member exchange

Ieva Martinaityte, Claudia A. Sacramento

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study extends research on creativity by exploring the boundary conditions of the creativity-job effectiveness relationship. Building on social exchange theory, we argue that the extent to which employee creativity is related to sales - an objective work effectiveness measure - depends on the quality of leader-member exchange (LMX). We hypothesize that the relationship between creativity and sales is significant and positive when LMX is high, but not when LMX is low. Hierarchical linear modelling analysis provided support for the interaction hypothesis in a sample of 151 sales agents and 26 supervisors drawn from both pharmaceutical and insurance companies. Results showed that sales agents who were more creative generated higher sales only when they had high quality LMX. An ad-hoc qualitative study provided a more detailed understanding of the moderator role played by LMX.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)974–994
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number7
Early online date24 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • creativity
  • LMX
  • effectiveness
  • sales


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