Impact mechanism of direct supervisor’s leadership behaviors on employees’ extended use of information technologies

Zhen Shao (School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China)

Journal of Enterprise Information Management

ISSN: 1741-0398

Publication date: 3 July 2019



The purpose of this paper is to examine the mediating effect of job autonomy on the relationship between direct supervisor’s transformational leadership behaviors and employees’ extended use of information technologies (IT). In addition, this study considers IT innovativeness as a significant moderator in the research model, in order to examine if the relative influences of leadership behaviors on IT extended use are contingent upon employees’ IT innovativeness.


A field survey was conducted in China and empirical data were collected from 299 employees who use IT in support of daily work. Structural equation modeling technique was used to examine the research model and corresponding hypotheses.


The empirical results indicate that: three dimensions of transformational leadership, specifically interpersonal consideration, intellectual stimulation and inspirational motivation, are significant antecedents of employees’ IT extended use; perceived job autonomy partially mediates the relationships between transformational leadership behaviors and IT extended use; and employees’ IT innovativeness positively moderates the effects of transformational leadership behaviors on IT extended use.

Practical implications

This study can provide first-line managers with a better understanding of how to stimulate employees to make an extended use of IT by granting them more freedom in job assignments. Furthermore, the managers also need attend to subordinates’ personal IT innovativeness when exhibiting transformational leadership behaviors.


This study contributes to the extant literature of IT extended use through the lens of transformational leadership and job characteristics theory. In particular, this study identifies the boundary condition of the proposed research model by uncovering the moderating effect of IT innovativeness between transformational leadership behaviors and IT extended use.



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71771064), the Ministry of Education of Humanities and Social Science Project (17YJC630118) and the Postdoctoral Scientific Research Development Fund (LBH-Q17055).


Shao, Z. (2019), "Impact mechanism of direct supervisor’s leadership behaviors on employees’ extended use of information technologies", Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 626-645.



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