Culture matters : the leader-follower relationship in the Chinese organizational context
Published inJyväskylä studies in business and economics
In this dissertation, the dynamics between leader and follower is the focus. This dissertation contributes to knowledge and understanding of the leader-member exchange (LMX) theory in Chinese organizational settings. The research has three aims. The first aim is to increase knowledge of the LMX theory by contextualizing the theory in the Chinese setting. Drawing upon discussion of the role of guanxi, Chinese social values is elaborated in LMX. The second aim is to analyze the connections between LMX, ethical culture of an organization and employee work engagement. Finally, the third aim is to examine the construct validity of the measurement of the ethical culture of an organization, namely Kaptein’s (2008) Corporate Ethical Virtues (CEV) model. To reach the first aim, a literature analysis was conducted. To reach the second and third aims a quantitative survey approach was adopted. The empirical data came from three different organizations in Mainland China, with total 720 employees who returned the entire survey. The results showed that the personal and emotional side of leadership relationships need to be emphasized more strongly in Chinese organizational life than the LMX theory. It is suggested that it would be appropriate to make the emotional elements part of LMX theory when it is used in research in China. Further, the empirical results showed that the ethical organizational culture can have a socializing effect on leader-member relationship and employee work engagement. On one hand, the ethical culture of an organization is helpful to strengthen leader-follower relationships; alternatively, it showed that the leader-member relationship plays a positive role in nurturing employees’ work engagement. It is suggested that LMX can be taken as a mediator in the relationship between ethical organizational culture and employee work engagement. Finally, the findings support a seven- dimension CEV scale for measuring the ethical culture of an organization, rather than the original eight-dimension scale. This means that the CEV scale can be partially used in the Chinese organizations to assess ethical culture in their organizations. In sum, this study provides a more comprehensive understanding of LMX from the socio-context point of view than previous studies, and a specific ethical and emotional viewpoint are suggested to be worth further consideration and discussion in LMX research and practice in the future. ...
PublisherUniversity of Jyväskylä
China työhön sitoutuminen eettinen organisaatiokulttuuri johtaja-alaissuhdeteoria leader-member exchange theory LMX CEV guanxi leadership ethical organizational culture virtue work engagement Kyselytutkimus johtaminen johtajat alaiset esimiehet arvot hyve sitoutuminen työn imu työmotivaatio vuorovaikutus organisaatiokulttuuri eettisyys työelämän suhteet ihmissuhteet sosiaaliset verkostot tunteet hyveet ohtaminen Kiina
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