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   2011, Vol. 43 Issue (07) : 798-809     DOI:
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Operation Mechanism and Effects of Supervisor-Subordinate Guanxi in Chinese Organizations
WANG Zhong-Jun;LONG Li-Rong;LIU Li-Dan
(1 School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Hubei Province Key Lab for Human Development and Mental Health,
Wuhan 430079, China)
(2 School of Management, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China)
(3 Department of Social Science, Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, Wuhan 430065, China)
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Abstract  Different from western society, Chinese employees attached much importance to developing good personal relationship with their leaders. So, the concept of “guanxi” and “guanxi management” were the most important aspects in Chinese management. In perspective of social exchange theory, this study enriched the concept of supervisor-subordinate guanxi, developed a social exchange model of supervisor-subordinate guanxi, and then investigated the mechanism of supervisor-subordinate guanxi operation and its effects on subordinate in Chinese organizations.
By using questionnaire survey, the exploratory factor analysis (EFA) for data of 211 employees and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) for data of 426 employees were implemented. The results showed that subordinate’s guanxi input had only one dimension, and supervisor’s resources output had two dimensions, including instrumental resources output and affective resources output. The study also showed that the subordinate guanxi input and supervisor resources output questionnaires had good reliability and high validity.
By using questionnaire, Data was from a total of 426 matched supervisor-subordinate dyads in 54 work groups from different organizations. Hierarchical liner modeling (HLM) analysis was implemented. the results showed that after controlling task performance, subordinate’s guanxi input had a positive effect on supervisor’s instrumental resources output and affective resources output. Subordinate’s guanxi input had a positive effect on leader-member exchange (LMX). The results also indicated that LMX partially mediated the relationship between subordinate’s guanxi input and supervisor’s resources output. Although our hypothesis that guanxi-based human resources management practice in work group had a positive moderating effect on the relationship between subordinate’s guanxi input and supervisor’s resources output was not tested, the results indicated that guanxi-based human resources management practices of work group were significantly relative to supervisor’s affective resources output and LMX.
The present study contributes to our understanding of the private guanxi operation behavior happened outside of work and its mechanism involved between supervisor and subordinate, as well as LMX in Chinese organizations. The results of this study will be of benefit to the guanxi management practices in organizations. Finally, the limitations in this study were discussed, and the future directions were also presented.
Keywords supervisor-subordinate guanxi      guanxi input      resources output      leader-member exchange (LMX)      guanxi-based human resources management practice     
Corresponding Authors: LONG Li-Rong   
Issue Date: 30 July 2011
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WANG Zhong-Jun
LONG Li-Rong
LIU Li-Dan
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WANG Zhong-Jun,LONG Li-Rong,LIU Li-Dan. Operation Mechanism and Effects of Supervisor-Subordinate Guanxi in Chinese Organizations[J]. , 2011, 43(07): 798-809.
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/      OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2011/V43/I07/798
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