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How (in)congruence of leader–follower learning goal orientation influences leader–member exchange and employee innovation

Junbang Lan (School of Tourism Management, Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, China)
Yuanyuan Huo (Department of People and Organizations, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK)
IpKin Anthony Wong (School of Tourism Management, Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, China)
Bocong Yuan (School of Tourism Management, Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, China)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 6 January 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the person–supervisor fit theory, this study aims to adopts a dyadic and relational approach to investigate the congruence between the leader’s and the follower’s learning goal orientation (LGO) on their leader–member exchange (LMX) quality and the follower’s innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

The participants were 213 frontline employees and their 69 immediate supervisors from a large five-star hotel in China. The authors analyze the multiple-wave data using the cross-level polynomial regression approach.

Findings

The results show that when the levels of LGO between the leader and the follower are congruent, follower innovation and LMX are higher; when the levels of LGO between the leader and the follower are incongruent, it hinders LMX but benefits follower’s innovation.

Research limitations/implications

This study implies that personality congruence and incongruence can be equally important in creating positive work outcomes, enriching the theoretical understanding and practical implications for promoting LMX and follower innovation in hospitality industry.

Originality/value

Prior research has identified the importance of employees’ LGO in promoting innovation. However, the fit between employees’ and their leaders’ LGO has not been investigated.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 72001218 and 72074230).

Citation

Lan, J., Huo, Y., Wong, I.A. and Yuan, B. (2023), "How (in)congruence of leader–follower learning goal orientation influences leader–member exchange and employee innovation", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-02-2022-0262

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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