DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.01100

Acta Psychologica Sinica (心理学报) 2017/49:8 PP.1100-1112

Benevolent leadership and subordinate innovative behavior: The mediating role of perceived insider status and the moderating role of leader-member exchange differentiation

For a long time, some scholars held that benevolent leadership contributes to employee innovative behavior because it provides subordinates with psychological safety, more resources and supports. However, some other scholars argued that benevolent leadership could increase subordinates' role obligation, loyalty and obedience to supervisor, which would restrain subordinates' creativity or innovative behavior. Thus, some scholars appealed that researchers should explore the relationship between benevolent leadership and innovative behavior, especially make out how, why, and when benevolent leadership facilitate innovative behavior in the future.
We collected the data from 68 supervisors and 215 subordinates at two different time points. In the first survey, the subordinates were asked to provide information about benevolent leadership and their demography. Three months later, these subordinates were asked to answer some questions about leader-member exchange (LMX), perceived insider status, and their supervisor rated their innovative behavior. Hierarchical linear modeling technique was employed to test the hypothesis about the moderating role of LMX differentiation in the relationship between benevolent leadership and perceived insider status, while bootstrap analysis procedures were used to examine the moderated-mediation relationship among the variables in the study.
Analyses of multilevel, multisource and lagged data from 68 supervisors and 215 subordinates showed that (1) perceived insider status can mediate the relationship between benevolent leadership and innovative behavior; (2) LMX differentiation moderates the relationship between benevolent leadership and perceived insider status, i.e., the relationship will be stronger when LMX differentiation is high; (3) and the indirect relationships of benevolent leadership with innovative behavior via perceived insider status, i.e., the positive indirect relationship will also be strengthened when LMX differentiation is high.
These findings extend our understanding of the relationship between benevolent leadership and innovative behavior, and specify how, why and when we can increase the positive influence of benevolent leadership on innovative behavior. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

Key words:benevolent leadership,perceived insider status,LMX differentiation,innovative behavior

ReleaseDate:2017-08-31 10:09:57

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