NETWORK LEADERSHIP AND TEAM CREATIVITY: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF NEW YORK CITY JAZZ BANDS

Floor van den Born, Ajay Mehra, Martin Kilduff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Jazz bands exemplify the creative economy of teams engaged in flexible and precarious work. Theory is conflicted concerning how leadership of such audience-facing organizations affects outcomes. For the 346 New York City jazz bands active in 2010, we explored how formal and network leadership related to music creativity and popularity, as well as to band longevity through the year 2021. Formal leadership may direct band members toward joint creative outcomes. Or such leadership may harm the free-flowing energy that fuels creative performance. Network leaders engage in brokering connections across the network of jazz musicians; or building status through connections to central people. The network in this case consisted of ties between people who had overlapping band memberships. We found that formal leadership negated band creativity but made no difference to band popularity or longevity. Network leadership, defined as status, facilitated both creativity and popularity, whereas brokerage had no discernible effects. Interestingly, creative bands were less likely to endure. In the creative industries, formalized hierarchy may be less important for a team’s creative output than representation in the external market for talent and aesthetic judgment that well-connected network leaders bring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-66
Number of pages21
JournalAcademy of Management Discoveries
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Academy of Management Discoveries.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial relations

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