ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2022, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (8): 964-978.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00964

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


李馨1, 刘培2, 李爱梅1(), 王笑天3(), 张俊巍4   

  1. 1暨南大学管理学院, 广州 510632
    2中山大学旅游学院, 广州 510275
    3广东财经大学人力资源学院, 广州 510320
    4广东邮电人才服务有限公司人力资源研究院, 广州 510632
  • 收稿日期:2021-08-02 发布日期:2022-06-23 出版日期:2022-08-25
  • 通讯作者: 李爱梅,王笑天;
  • 基金资助:

A multipath model of leader after-hours electronic communication expectations and employee job performance

LI Xin1, LIU Pei2, LI Aimei1(), WANG Xiaotian3(), ZHANG Junwei4   

  1. 1School of Management, Jinan University, Guangzhou, 510632, China
    2School of Tourism Management, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, China
    3School of Human Resource Management, Guangdong University of Finance and Economics, Guangzhou, 510320, China
    4Human Resources Research Institute, Guangdong P&T Talents Services Limited Company, Guangzhou, 510632, China
  • Received:2021-08-02 Online:2022-06-23 Published:2022-08-25
  • Contact: LI Aimei,WANG Xiaotian;


领导预期下属非工作时间随时保持联系、并且及时回复工作信息已成为当下数字经济时代中的职场新常态。文章基于资源保存理论, 构建领导非工作时间电子通信预期(After-hours electronic communication expectations, AECE)影响下属工作绩效的多路径模型。通过实验研究, 以及多时点、多来源的问卷调查研究, 结果发现:(1)在资源获益路径, 领导AECE会通过增强下属组织自尊, 提升工作绩效; (2)在资源损耗路径, 领导AECE会增加下属的压力感知; (3)在资源威胁路径, 领导AECE会引发下属的名声担忧, 进而降低工作绩效; (4)自我领导调节资源威胁路径, 即当下属自我领导水平较高时, 领导AECE通过名声担忧降低工作绩效的间接效应被削弱。整合的理论框架为解释领导AECE对下属工作绩效的复杂影响提供更全面的解释, 这不仅丰富了AECE相关文献, 拓展了资源保存理论在数字经济管理背景下的应用, 同时也为“随时待命”这一职场新常态提供管理实践启示。

关键词: 非工作时间电子通信预期, 组织自尊, 压力感知, 名声担忧, 工作绩效, 自我领导


In the digital economy era, leaders exert influence during work hours as well as beyond work hours, expecting employees to be available after work hours and responsive to work-related matters immediately via electronic communication devices, henceforth named “after-hours electronic communication expectations” (AECE). Previous studies have shed light on the promoting and inhibiting effects of AECE on employees’ job performance, but no research has adopted a unified perspective to explain this observation. Resultantly, we know little about the influence of leaders’ AECE affecting job performance and why it occurs. Drawing upon conservation of resources theory, we propose that leader AECE may affect employees’ job performance through three resource paths. Specifically, in the resource gain path, leader AECE improves employees’ job performance through organization-based self-esteem. In the resource loss path, leader AECE reduces job performance through stress perception. In the resource threat path, leader AECE reduces job performance through reputation maintenance concerns. Furthermore, we consider employee self-leadership an important boundary condition and suggest that it can enhance the resource gain effect and weaken the resource loss and threat effect.
To verify the theoretical framework, we carried out an experimental study (study 1) and a multi-wave, multi-source field study (study 2). In study 1, we recruited 224 full-time employees to participate in the experiment; 4 participants were dropped because they failed the attention test. Participants were randomly assigned to either the manipulation group (i.e., high leader AECE group, n = 111) or the control group (i.e., low leader AECE group, n = 109). Leader AECE was manipulated by presenting different WeChat screenshots. Specifically, we asked participants to imagine that they received a message from their immediate leader at 9 PM, and presented experimental materials in the WeChat screenshots. In the screenshot presented to the control group, the leader sent two messages including “Take your time, contact me when you are free”. In the screenshot presented to the manipulation group, leader sent three messages including “Please respond ASAP” as well as four unconnected voice calls. After reading different screenshots, participants were asked to complete questionnaires containing manipulation tests, organization-based self-esteem measurements, stress perception, reputation maintenance concerns, and demographic information. In Study 2, our sample comprised 418 full-time employees from state-owned enterprise in Guangdong Province and their immediate leaders. We collected data in three waves, each with a one-month interval in between. In Wave 1, the employees reported leaders’ AECE, self-leadership and demographic information. In Wave 2, the employees reported organization-based self-esteem, stress perception and reputation maintenance concerns. In Wave 3, we invited leaders to report subordinates’ job performance. Consequently, our final usable sample included 346 employees.
Study 1 revealed that compared to the control group, participants in the manipulation group reported higher levels of organization-based self-esteem, stress perception and reputation maintenance concerns. This finding confirmed the causal relationship between leader AECE and three mediators. Study 2 suggested that in the resource gain path, leaders’ AECE positively influenced subordinates’ organization-based self-esteem, which in turn enhanced job performance. Employees who received AECE from the leader were more likely to experience stress perception in the resource loss path. But stress perception did not have significant effects on job performance. In the resource threat path, reputation maintenance concerns played a mediating role between leaders’ AECE and job performance. Furthermore, self-leadership moderated the indirect effect of leaders’ AECE on employees’ job performance through organization-based self-esteem and reputation maintenance concerns, such that the effect was weaker when self-leadership was high compared to when self-leadership was low. Self-leadership did not moderate the relationship between leaders’ AECE and stress perception.
This study makes several important contributions. First, drawing on conservation of resources theory, we integrate the promoting and inhibiting effects of leader AECE on employees’ job performance in a theoretical framework, which helps form a more comprehensive and dialectical understanding of the mixed effects. Second, we explore the mediating mechanisms underlying the relationship between leaders’ AECE and job performance, contributing to the AECE literature by revealing the “black box” of new leadership's influence on job performance. Third, we demonstrate the role of self-leadership in moderating resource threat effects, which provide guidance for mitigating the negative effects of leaders’ AECE.

Key words: after-hours electronic communication expectations, organization-based self-esteem, stress perception, reputation maintenance concerns, job performance, self-leadership