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Leader humor and newcomer adjustment: The mediating role of role breadth self-efficacy

Fei Kang (School of Urban Economics and Management, Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Beijing, China)
Jiyu Li (School of Urban Economics and Management, Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Beijing, China)
Han Zhang (Institutes of Science and Development, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China)
Ying Zhang (School of Urban Economics and Management, Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Beijing, China)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 6 October 2022

Issue publication date: 7 November 2022

597

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the increasingly growing empirical research on leader humor, the critical issue of how and when leader humor affects newcomer adjustment was largely overlooked. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between leader humor and newcomer adjustment. Based on social information processing theory, the authors identify newcomers' role breadth self-efficacy (RBSE) as the mediator and suggest that newcomers' cognitive flexibility moderates the effects.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were obtained from a 2-wave sample of 195 newcomers. The authors utilized the PROCESS procedure developed by Hayes to assess the hypothesized moderated mediation model.

Findings

The findings showed that leader humor could boost newcomers' RBSE which, in turn, was beneficial to newcomer adjustment. Besides, newcomers' cognitive flexibility plays a moderating role in the relationship between leader humor and newcomers' RBSE.

Research limitations/implications

This study utilized a cross-sectional research design, making the design difficult to obtain causal conclusions. Moreover, the data were all based on self-reports from newcomers, which may raise a concern of common method bias.

Originality/value

This paper extends the literature on leader humor and newcomer adjustment by treating RBSE as the mediator and newcomers' cognitive flexibility as the moderator. This study is one of several empirical studies to test the link between leader humor and newcomer adjustment.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work is supported by the National Social Science Fund of China (Grant No. 20BGL050).

Citation

Kang, F., Li, J., Zhang, H. and Zhang, Y. (2022), "Leader humor and newcomer adjustment: The mediating role of role breadth self-efficacy", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 43 No. 8, pp. 1201-1216. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-02-2021-0053

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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