Does Using Accounting Data in Performance Evaluations Spoil Team Creativity? The Role of Leadership Behavior

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


Organizations frequently use teams for creative problem-solving. Evaluating the performance of creative teams based on customer-related accounting data, such as client satisfaction measures, revenues, or profits, clarifies which kind of creativity is expected from the team and potentially makes the creative process more effective. However, the use of such accounting data in performance evaluations may amplify the tensions between the artistic merit and the commercial success of creative ideas and thus create conflicts that undermine team creativity. We argue that it depends on the team leader’s leadership style whether the negative or positive effects of using customer-related data in performance evaluations on team creativity will prevail. If the team leader shows a leadership style that helps team members internalize the values and standards underlying the employed performance measures, then negative conflict inside the team is avoided and the positive effects of using customer-related data in performance evaluations can be realized.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313 - 330
JournalAccounting Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502052 Business administration
  • 502044 Business management
  • 502006 Controlling

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