ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (6): 665-683.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00665

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Benefits and costs of employee boundary-spanning behavior: A meta-analytic review

LAN Yuanmei, LI Chaoping(), WANG Jiayan, MENG Xue   

  1. Department of Organizational and Human Resources Management, School of Public Administration and Policy, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China) (The Center for Talent and Leadership, School of Public Administration and Policy, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
  • Received:2021-06-28 Published:2022-06-25 Online:2022-04-26
  • Contact: LI Chaoping
  • Supported by:
    key projects (72132001) and general projects (71772171) of the National Natural Science Foundation of China;Outstanding Innovative Talents Cultivation Funded Programs 2021 of Renmin University of China;cloud platform of Renmin University of China.provides computing resources


Employee boundary-spanning behavior is critically important for organizations. Through a literature search, a meta-analysis of 52 independent samples (total sample size N = 14366) from 50 studies on employee boundary-spanning behavior shows that employee boundary-spanning behavior has benefits and costs. The benefits show that employee boundary-spanning behavior improves job satisfaction, organizational commitment, performance, and innovation, and the costs show that boundary-spanning behavior triggers role stress. The relationships between employee boundary-spanning behavior and outcome variables are moderated by employee types (knowledge workers-non-knowledge workers), individualism-collectivism, and power distance. Job attitude plays a mediating role in the relationship between employee boundary-spanning behavior, performance, and innovation, but it has a suppressing effect on the relationship between boundary-spanning behavior, stress, and exhaustion. The meta-analysis provides a comprehensive and reliable conclusion for employee boundary-spanning behavior, which provides evidence for future research on employee boundary-spanning behavior.

Key words: employee boundary-spanning behavior, meta-analysis, job attitude, performance and innovation, stress and exhaustion, moderating effect