Using conservation of resources theory, we challenge traditional unity of command models of leadership and propose that a dual-leadership framework can serve as a potential solution to the inherent challenges of innovation. Leading for innovation demands are depicted as uniquely disparate from other forms of leadership, resulting in several types of conflict and resource depletion for individual leaders. We contend that this exploration–exploitation role conflict and the resulting need to manage incongruent role identities produce stress, strain, and resource depletion that in turn hamper innovative goal achievement for both a single leader directly and via subordinates more indirectly. We propose, however, that as an extension of the resource investment tenet of the conservation of resources theory, a dual-leadership approach may alleviate many of these challenges for innovation. Specifically, the addition of a second leader can add resources to innovation and in turn decrease the role conflict inherent in managing the generation and implementation of creative ideas. Limitations and areas for future research are offered.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management