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Workplace friendship, psychological safety and innovative behavior in China: A moderated-mediation model

Feiyuan Cao (School of Management, Shanghai University, Shanghai, China)
Haomin Zhang (Department of Human Resource Management, Shanghai University, Shanghai, China)

Chinese Management Studies

ISSN: 1750-614X

Article publication date: 6 February 2020

Issue publication date: 18 June 2020

2373

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to clarify the influences of workplace friendship, psychological safety on employees’ innovative behavior and the moderated role of transformational leadership and face.

Design/methodology/approach

The current research proposes and tests a theoretic framework to explore the mechanism of workplace friendship in influencing employees’ innovative behavior. Based on a sample of 441 respondents from various Chinese companies, this paper used SPSS 22.0 and Amos 22.0 to examine the hypotheses.

Findings

Results indicate that workplace friendship positively related to innovative behavior and psychological safety functioned as a mediator between them. Moreover, it examines the moderating roles of transformational leadership and face. Transformational leadership and desire to gain face strengthen the relationship between psychological safety and employees’ innovative behavior but fear of losing face is negatively related to the strength of this relationship.

Originality/value

The current research is meaningful for managerial practice. Then, the theoretical framework will contribute to providing a new perspective for understanding complex friendship at studies thus explore its boundary conditions, which help to lead to desirable outcomes. Besides, the findings advance nascent theory on face under oriental culture background.

Keywords

Citation

Cao, F. and Zhang, H. (2020), "Workplace friendship, psychological safety and innovative behavior in China: A moderated-mediation model", Chinese Management Studies, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 661-676. https://doi.org/10.1108/CMS-09-2019-0334

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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