Supporting Independent Thinking : An empirical study of mediating and moderating effects on the relationship between servant leadership and the innovative climate
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- Master Thesis 
In this study, our goal was to examine the relationship between servant leadership and the innovative climate of an organization at team level. A mediating moderation model on the innovative climate is proposed, in which job autonomy mediates the relationship between servant leadership and the innovative climate, and intrinsic motivation moderates the indirect effect. The study was conducted on a Norwegian medical equipment production company, using a survey that was distributed to leaders and employees. Our final sample consisted of 778 respondents from 23 countries divided into 172 teams. Our analysis has revealed that servant leadership has a positive impact on the innovative climate of the team. We argue that this effect is largely due to the fulfillment of psychological needs as described in Self-Determination Theory (SDT). This leads to the development of a strong relationships between leader and follower, which facilitates the innovative climate. Additionally, we found job autonomy to have a direct positive effect on the innovative climate. Our results also indicated that job autonomy, one of the three needs outlined in SDT, partially mediates the relationship between servant leadership and the innovative climate. Furthermore, we discovered that intrinsic motivation moderates the relationship between servant leadership and job autonomy. Moreover, autonomous work is found to be more dependent on intrinsic motivation when servant leadership is low. Therefore, it is beneficial for leaders to act as servants and supply support when intrinsic motivation is low, as to encourage job autonomy. In conclusion, our findings suggest that servant leadership has a positive effect on the innovative climate of an organization, which is partially mediated by job autonomy. Moreover, the relationship between servant leadership and job autonomy is moderated by intrinsic motivation.