LMX-differentiation strengthens the prosocial consequences of leader humility: An identification and social exchange perspective

Joel Carnevale, Lei Huang, Ted Paterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current study proposes a cross-level moderated-mediation model to explain how and when leader humility motivates followers’ prosociality. Drawing on social identity theory, we theorize that humble leaders motivate their followers to engage in helping behavior by fostering a sense of shared identity. Moreover, consistent with research emphasizing the inclusion of the larger social environment in exploring leader-identity relationships, we draw from social exchange theory to investigate the role of LMX-differentiation in moderating this positive indirect effect. We collected survey data in three waves with a time lag of three weeks between each wave from 233 employees and their 45 supervising managers working at a large Chinese internet company. Our results provide support for the positive indirect effect of leader humility on follower helping via their identification with the leader. Further, our results show that this positive indirect effect is significant only in the presence of high LMX-differentiation, and becomes non-significant in the presence of low LMX-differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-296
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Business Research
Volume96
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

Keywords

  • Helping behavior
  • Identification
  • Leader humility
  • LMX differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing

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