Too attached to speak up? It depends: How supervisor–subordinate guanxi and perceived job control influence upward constructive voice

Tina Davidson, Linn Van Dyne, Bilian Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In general, reciprocal supervisor–subordinate relationships (high leader–member exchange relationships) provide a supportive context for employees to speak up. In China however, supervisor–subordinate relationships or guanxi are characterized by affective characteristics and hierarchical characteristics which may respectively facilitate and inhibit employee voice. We draw on Guanxi Theory to develop a model of differential effects of two dimensions of supervisor–subordinate guanxi (affective attachment to the supervisor and deference to the supervisor) on voice. Results of a multi-source, lagged field study demonstrated that the affective attachment to the supervisor dimension of guanxi facilitated and the deference to supervisor dimension of guanxi inhibited voice, when employees experienced low job control. We discuss ways these findings extend our understanding of the nature of supervisor–subordinate relationships, guanxi, and their impact on voice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-53
Number of pages15
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Volume143
Issue numberNovember
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Research programs

  • RSM ORG

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