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Combined influence of exchange quality and organizational identity on the relationship between authoritarian leadership and employee innovation: evidence from China

ShanLiang Zhang (School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai, China)
Yongwei Wang (School of Business Administration, Henan University of Economics and Law, Zhengzhou, China)
Jinhua Ye (School of Business Administration, Henan University of Economics and Law, Zhengzhou, China)
Yiru Li (School of Business Administration, Henan University of Economics and Law, Zhengzhou, China)

European Journal of Innovation Management

ISSN: 1460-1060

Article publication date: 1 June 2021

401

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the combined influence of exchange quality (i.e. leader-member exchange or LMX, and coworker exchange or CWX) and organizational identity on the relationship between authoritarian leadership and employee innovation based on social cognition theory and social exchange theory.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used mediation analysis, moderation analysis and bootstrapping method to test the proposed model with data from 286 supervisor-subordinate dyads in China, covering manufacturing and Internet companies. This study also used the time-lag design, and the questionnaires were collected by means of multi-source and multiphase.

Findings

The results indicate that authoritarian leadership can positively influence employee innovation behavior, and organizational identity mediates this relationship. Both LMX and CWX can significantly moderate the relationship between authoritarian leadership and organizational identity, while the moderating effect is the opposite. To be specific, CWX has appositive effect, while LMX has a negative effect. Furthermore, the indirect effect of authoritarian leadership on employee innovation behavior via organizational identity is also moderated by LMX.

Originality/value

At present, scholars have not yet reached a consensus on the relationship between authoritarian leadership and employee innovation behavior. Based on social cognition theory and social exchange theory, this study incorporates organizational identity and exchange quality into the research model to explore this lack of consensus. By verifying the research model, this study offers original views on when and how authoritarian leadership and exchange quality affect employee innovation behavior, which enriches the current research on employee innovation and the effectiveness of authoritarian leadership in different cultural contexts.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: The authors are grateful for the financial support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.71402046); Henan Province University Science and Technology Innovation Talent Support Plan (Humanities and Social Sciences) in 2021; Young Talents Fund Of HUEL in 2017. The digital capacity building of private enterprises helps Zhongyuan to make better research (HYK-2019017).

Citation

Zhang, S., Wang, Y., Ye, J. and Li, Y. (2021), "Combined influence of exchange quality and organizational identity on the relationship between authoritarian leadership and employee innovation: evidence from China", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJIM-01-2021-0019

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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