ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B
主办:中国心理学会
   中国科学院心理研究所
出版:科学出版社

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (9): 1121-1131.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01121

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Linking emotional appraisal ability congruence of leader-followers with employee voice: The roles of perceived insider status and gender similarity

LI Shuwen(), LUO Jinlian()   

  1. School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai 201804, China
  • Received:2019-12-23 Online:2020-09-25 Published:2020-07-24
  • Contact: LI Shuwen,LUO Jinlian E-mail:lishuwen7730@163.com;luojl@tjhrd.com

Abstract:

In recent years, employee voice has become a popular topic in organizational behavior research. However, existing research has failed to identify that voice is a risky behavior on the basis of employees and leaders’ evaluation of each other. Among the few studies that have examined the antecedents of voice behavior from employees or leaders, little attention has been paid to the interaction or mutual evaluation process between leaders and employees, leading to an incomplete understanding of the antecedents of voice. Hence, the present study attempts to broaden our understanding of improving voice behavior.

Specifically, based on theory of person-environment fit and conservation of resource, we suggest that emotional appraisal ability congruence between leaders and subordinates is an effective way to improve employees’ voice. Subordinates can make voice according to the observed changes in leaders’ emotions, and leaders can also set voice expectations according to the changes in subordinates’ emotions. Importantly, we highlight the role of perceived insider status as an important path. Interaction between leaders and employees can help employees develop a sense of mutual responsibility and thus strengthen the perception of insider status. Meanwhile, employees more likely make voice to maintain insider status. Furthermore, we suggest that certain significant differences determine whether subordinates can perceive insider status in cognition and behavior between men and women. Therefore, this study constructs a moderated mediation model and analyzes the influential path and boundary of emotional appraisal ability congruence on employees’ voice from the gender similarity between leaders and subordinates.

To test our conceptual model, we collected sample in three phases at a monthly interval from multiple department employees and their direct leaders from four large manufacturing enterprises in Shandong, Shanghai, and Hong Kong of China. Through the paired questionnaire survey of 43 leaders and 182 subordinates, the data were tested by polynomial regression analysis, response surface analysis, and bootstrapping method. The results reveal that (1) four matching situations exist between leaders and subordinates’ emotional appraisal ability. Compared with “low leader and low subordinate” emotional appraisal ability congruence, employees’ perceived insider status is stronger in “high leader and high subordinate” emotional appraisal ability congruence; (2) compared with “high leader and low subordinate” emotional appraisal ability in-congruence, employees’ perceived insider status is stronger in “low leader and high subordinate” emotional appraisal ability in-congruence; (3) perceived insider status plays a mediating role among emotional appraisal ability congruence, promotive voice, and prohibitive voice; (4) when the gender between leaders and subordinates is different, the mediating effect of perceived insider status is stronger than when the gender is the same.

This study makes three main contributions to literature. First, responding to researchers’ recommendations in recent years, the study investigated the antecedents of voice behavior from the perspective of leader and subordinate congruence. Second, the research explained the effects of emotional appraisal ability congruence on voice, thereby enhancing our understanding of why employees respond to leaders with voice. Third, the study drew on theory of person-environment fit to highlight the boundary condition of gender similarity in the relationship between emotional appraisal ability and perceived insider status, clarifying when emotional appraisal ability congruence more likely or less likely leads to perceived insider status and thus enhancing voice behavior.

Key words: gender similarity between leader and follower, emotional appraisal ability, voice, perceived insider status, response surface analysis

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