ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

›› 2007, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (05): 909-917.

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Relationship between Paternalistic Leadership and Organizational Justice

Zhou Hao,Long Lirong   

  1. School of Management, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
  • Received:2006-09-12 Revised:1900-01-01 Published:2007-09-30 Online:2007-09-30
  • Contact: Long Lirong

Abstract: Many researchers in the field of organizational justice have started to focus on the factors that influence organizational justice. The relationship between leadership and organizational justice is one of the hot topics because researchers have found that employees percept organizational justice to depend on the sense of fairness in the day-to-day work experience, and these experiences often originate from the concrete administrative action taken by the supervisor. All previous studies have been conducted in the context of Western culture and consider Western leadership theory as the starting point. Hence, the purpose of this study was to discuss Chinese leadership theory, i.e., paternalistic leadership and organizational justice, in the context of Chinese culture. Paternalistic leadership (PL) is based on traditional Chinese culture and is different from Western leadership theories. It is the basic characteristic of organizations in Chinese culture and has been found to be prevalent in many Chinese organizations. Authoritarianism, benevolence, and moral leadership are regarded as 3 elements of PL.
A questionnaire that included paternalistic leadership scale (PLS) and Chinese organizational justice scale was employed as the tool in this study. A total of 428 samples were collected from 14 organizations. Statistical analysis revealed no significant common method bias in the data, and hierarchical regression was used to confirm the research hypothesis.
The results indicated that (1) both benevolence and moral leadership had a positive effect on every element of organizational justice; however, authoritarianism had a negative effect only on leader justice; (2) with regard to the interaction effects of the 3 elements of PL authoritarianism and moral leadership had a negative interaction effect on distributive justice and procedural justice, while benevolence and authoritarianism had a negative interaction effect on leader justice and leader interpretation.
The primary theoretical contribution of this study is that PL was proved to have a significant impact on organizational justice in the context of Chinese culture. This suggests that improvement in leadership is a practical way to enhance employee’s organizational justice. The second theoretical contribution is that the study clarified the specific relationship between PL and organizational justice and provides a theoretical reference for the selection and training of leaders

Key words: paternalistic leadership, organizational justice, distributive justice, procedural justice

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