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Acta Psychologica Sinica    2015, Vol. 47 Issue (5) : 653-662     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00653
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How Self-sacrificial Leadership Influences Subordinates’ Work Performance: The Mediating Roles of Strategic Orientation and Supervisor Identification
LI Ye1; ZHANG Wenhui2; LONG Lirong3
(1School of Psychology,Central China Normal University;Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior, Ministry of Education, Wuhan 430079, China) (2School of Business and Management,Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan 430073, China) (3School of Management, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China)
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Abstract  

Self-sacrificial leaders are willing to abandon or postpone personal interests in order to achieve organizational or group goals. They act as role models and motivate the followers to engage in similar behaviors. The mechanism through which self-sacrificial leadership influences followers’ behavior, however, is still unclear. The current paper explores potential mediators between self-sacrificial leadership and subordinates’ work performance from cognitive and relational perspectives, specifically by examining strategic orientation and supervisor identification. The research highlights psychological effects of self-sacrificial leadership on subordinates’ work performance. Data were collected from 54 leaders and 224 subordinates. The leaders evaluated their subordinates’ work performance and their organizational citizenship behavior. The subordinates rated their leaders in terms of self-sacrificial leadership, and reported their own strategic orientation and identification with the leader. The results indicated that self-sacrificial leadership was positively related to subordinates’ task performance and organizational citizenship behavior. Strategic orientation partially mediated the relationship between self-sacrificial leadership and subordinates’ task performance, and the relationship between self-sacrificial leadership and organizational citizenship behavior. supervisor identification fully mediated the relationship between self-sacrificial leadership and subordinates’ task performance. In addition, identification with the leader partially mediated the relationship between self-sacrificial leadership and subordinates’ organizational citizenship behavior. In conclusion, the present research, with a cross-level design, examined the mechanism through which self-sacrificial leadership influences subordinates’ work performance. The research expands our understanding of the psychological mechanisms between self-sacrificial leadership and followers’ behavior. It has significant implications for managerial practice.

Keywords self-sacrificial leadership      strategic orientation      supervisor identification      work performance     
Corresponding Authors: LONG Lirong, E-mail: lrlong@mail.hust.edu.cn   
Issue Date: 25 May 2015
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LI Ye; ZHANG Wenhui; LONG Lirong. How Self-sacrificial Leadership Influences Subordinates’ Work Performance: The Mediating Roles of Strategic Orientation and Supervisor Identification[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica,2015, 47(5): 653-662.
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00653     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2015/V47/I5/653
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