Inspirational leadership, positive mood, and team innovation

A moderated mediation investigation into the pivotal role of professional salience

Rebecca Mitchell, Brendan Boyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Multidisciplinary teams are increasingly advocated for in healthcare policy consequent to their capacity to develop innovative solutions to seemingly intractable service and care challenges. Recent arguments that inspirational leadership styles may foster innovation in multidisciplinary teams point to their potential value in this effort. However, inconsistency in the capacity of such leaders to engender innovation highlights the need to understand the mechanisms and boundary conditions that determine when such leadership generates positive effects. We argue that follower positive mood acts to mediate the path between inspirational leadership and innovation and may account for its variable effects. By increasing positive team mood, inspirational leaders can potentially bring about more flexible thinking and enhance innovation but can also increase reliance on less effortful information processing, undermining innovative potential. In an effort to address the dilemma posed by these contrasting effects, we propose that professional salience acts as an important boundary condition of this relationship such that only when profession is salient do inspirational leaders enhance multidisciplinary team innovation through positive mood. An analysis of survey data from 60 UK‐based multidisciplinary healthcare teams, investigating the inspirational leadership of practice‐based innovation, supports our moderated mediation model. Finally, the implications for HRM are considered, specifically for leader development and work team design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-283
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Resource Management
Issue number3
Early online date29 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019



  • healthcare teams
  • inspirational leadership
  • multidisciplinary teams
  • professional salience
  • team leadership
  • team mood

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