ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2023, Vol. 55 ›› Issue (3): 374-389.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.00374

• "中国人应对历史危机的心理特征与行为表现"专栏 • 上一篇    下一篇

辩证领导行为及其对企业创新能力和绩效的影响: 一项基于中国传统文化的领导行为探究

王辉1, 王颖2, 季晓得1(), 纪铭3   

  1. 1北京大学光华管理学院, 北京 100871
    2对外经济贸易大学国际商学院, 北京 100029
    3中国工商银行博士后科研工作站, 北京 100032
  • 收稿日期:2021-04-22 发布日期:2022-12-22 出版日期:2023-03-25
  • 通讯作者: 季晓得
  • 基金资助:

Dialectical leadership behavior and its impact on firm innovation and performance: An exploration based on the Chinese culture

WANG Hui1, WANG Ying2, JI Xiaode1(), JI Ming3   

  1. 1Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2Business School, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing 100029, China
    3Postdoctoral Research Center, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Beijing 100032, China
  • Received:2021-04-22 Online:2022-12-22 Published:2023-03-25
  • Contact: JI Xiaode


在探索中国人应对历史危机的心理特征与行为表现的大框架下, 本文研究了辩证领导行为这一概念的内涵、结构、测量方法、概念独特性, 并探讨了辩证领导行为对企业创新能力和绩效的影响。研究发现, 辩证领导行为这一基于东方传统思维模式和哲学思想提出的领导行为概念具有6个维度: 适时调整, 因人而异, 权衡矛盾, 恩威并施, 注重协调和整体管理。多个样本的数据提供的证据表明: 1) 辩证领导行为有别于其他现有的领导行为概念; 2) 中国高层管理者辩证领导行为更胜于美国高层管理者辩证领导行为; 3) 基于中国传统智慧的辩证领导行为可正向预测企业能否生存和发展的绩效指标——企业创新能力与企业绩效, 且企业战略柔性起到中介作用。文章最后讨论了本研究的理论和实践意义, 以及未来的研究方向。

关键词: 辩证领导行为, 战略柔性, 企业创新能力, 企业绩效, 中国情境


Although the continuous spread of the pandemic and the rapid development of technology has brought challenges for top managers in China, the environmental uncertainty also offers an opportunity for them to practice and develop leadership skills. To answer what leadership behaviors will help top managers improve organizations’ adaptability and performance in a rapidly changing and complex environment, we developed a new leadership construct, namely, dialectical leadership behavior based on dialectical thinking rooted in the Chinese culture.

Dialectical leadership behavior is characterized as a strategic leadership behavior including timely adapting organizational strategy and managerial practices to environmental changes, understanding and balancing between management contradictions, and holistically coordinating different departments and resources in organizations. According to upper echelon theory (Hambrick & Mason, 1984), CEOs’ leadership styles have a profound impact on the strategic choice and performance of the organization. We thus expect CEO dialectical leadership behavior to contribute to firm innovative capability and performance through strategic flexibility in a complex and uncertain business environment.

To better understand dialectical leadership, we first developed and validated a scale. We found that dialectical leadership behavior was composed of six dimensions: timely adjusting, individualized mentoring, weighing contradictions, balancing kindness and strictness, promoting coordination, and holistically managing. We further distinguished dialectical leadership behavior from other related leadership constructs with theoretical and empirical efforts. Besides, as top managers of Chinese firms displayed a significantly higher dialectical leadership behavior than those of U.S. companies, the cultural uniqueness of dialectical leadership behavior was justified. Finally, we revealed that CEO dialectical leadership behavior in Chinese companies positively affected firm strategic flexibility and ultimately improved firm innovative capability and performance.

We make several contributions. First, scholars constantly explore leadership constructs and practice based on the Western culture. However, the cultural difference between the East and the West matters when it comes to the effectiveness of leadership behaviors. Dialectical leadership behavior provides a new perspective for future exploration of indigenous leadership behaviors and influences by incorporating traditional wisdom of Eastern culture and the reality faced by Chinese enterprises. Second, by developing the measurement of dialectical leadership behavior, we contribute to the future investigation of dialectical leadership behavior and its correlations. Additionally, as we found that CEO dialectical leadership behavior is positively related to firm innovative capability and performance, which are critical for enterprises to survive and thrive during the crisis, we lend confidence in applying wisdom from the Chinese traditional culture to current management practice. Finally, by uncovering the role of firm strategic flexibility in mediating the influence of dialectical leadership behavior on firm innovative capability and performance, we extend understandings about the mechanism through which dialectical leadership behavior matters. We also provide the discussion on the limitation of the study and future research directions.

Key words: dialectical leadership behavior, strategic flexibility, firm innovative capability, firm performance, Chinese context