Humility Harmonized? Exploring Whether and How Leader and Employee Humility (In)Congruence Influences Employee Citizenship and Deviance Behaviors

Published on Aug 8, 2019in Journal of Business Ethics
· DOI :10.1007/S10551-019-04250-4
Xin Qin8
Estimated H-index: 8
(SYSU: Sun Yat-sen University),
Xin Liu4
Estimated H-index: 4
(RUC: Renmin University of China)
+ 2 AuthorsBradley P. Owens14
Estimated H-index: 14
(BYU: Brigham Young University)
Various studies have recognized the importance of humility as a foundational aspect of virtuous leadership and have revealed the beneficial effects of leader humility on employee moral attitudes and behaviors. However, these findings may overestimate the benefits of leader humility and overlook its potential costs. Integrating person–supervisor fit theory and balance theory with the humility literature, we employ a dyadic approach to consider supervisor and employee humility simultaneously. We investigate whether and how the (in)congruence of supervisor and employee humility influences employee citizenship and deviance behaviors. We conducted a multilevel, multiphase, and multisource field study to test our hypotheses. The results of cross-level polynomial regression analyses revealed that when supervisors and employees were incongruent in humility, employees experienced higher levels of negative affect toward supervisors. Also, compared to those in low–low congruent dyads, employee negative affect toward supervisors was lower in high–high congruent dyads. The results further revealed asymmetric incongruence effects: employees experienced the highest levels of negative affect toward supervisors when their own humility was lower than their supervisors’. In addition, we found that employee negative affect toward supervisors mediated the impacts of supervisor–employee (in)congruence in humility on employee organizational citizenship behavior and counterproductive work behavior.
  • References (132)
  • Citations (1)
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
78% of Scinapse members use related papers. After signing in, all features are FREE.
#1Xin Qin (SYSU: Sun Yat-sen University)H-Index: 8
#2Peter W. HomH-Index: 33
Last. Minya Xu (PKU: Peking University)H-Index: 6
view all 3 authors...
Developing-world rural migrants provide crucial labor for global supply chains and economic growth in their native countries. Yet their high turnover engenders considerable organizational costs and disruptions threatening those contributions. Organizational scholars thus strive to understand why these workers quit, often applying turnover models and findings predominantly derived from the United States, Canada, England or Australia (UCEA). Predominant applications of dominant turnover theories h...
3 CitationsSource
#1Arménio RegoH-Index: 29
#2Bradley P. Owens (BYU: Brigham Young University)H-Index: 14
Last. Wenxing Liu (ZUEL: Zhongnan University of Economics and Law)H-Index: 1
view all 10 authors...
Although there is a growing interest toward the topic of leader humility, extant research has largely failed to consider the underlying mechanisms through which leader humility influences team outcomes. In this research, we integrate the emerging literature of leader humility and social information processing theory to theorize how leader humility facilitates the development of collective team psychological capital, leading to higher team task allocation effectiveness and team performance. While...
18 CitationsSource
#1Yucheng Zhang (SWUFE: Southwestern University of Finance and Economics)H-Index: 3
#2Xin Liu (RUC: Renmin University of China)H-Index: 4
Last. Timothy C. Bednall (Swinburne University of Technology)H-Index: 13
view all 5 authors...
Studies on abusive supervision have adopted justice and resource perspectives to explain its effects on employee organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and counterproductive work behavior (CWB)....
4 CitationsSource
#1Bradley P. Owens (BYU: Brigham Young University)H-Index: 14
#2Kai Chi Yam (NUS: National University of Singapore)H-Index: 15
Last. David W. Hart (BYU: Brigham Young University)H-Index: 7
view all 5 authors...
: This study utilizes social-cognitive theory, humble leadership theory, and the behavioral ethics literature to theoretically develop the concept of leader moral humility and its effects on followers. Specifically, we propose a theoretical model wherein leader moral humility and follower implicit theories about morality interact to predict follower moral efficacy, which in turn increases follower prosocial behavior and decreases follower unethical behavior. We furthermore suggest that these eff...
3 CitationsSource
#1Xin Qin (SYSU: Sun Yat-sen University)H-Index: 8
#2Mingpeng Huang (UIBE: Beijing Institute of Foreign Trade)H-Index: 2
Last. Dong Ju (BNU: Beijing Normal University)H-Index: 4
view all 5 authors...
Ethical leadership exerts a powerful influence on employees, and most studies share a basic premise that leaders display the same level of ethical leadership to all subordinates. However, we challenge this assumption and suggest that subordinates’ characteristics and supervisors’ characteristics may jointly influence supervisor ethical leadership behavior. Drawing upon research on person–supervisor fit and moral identity, we explore the questions of whether and how supervisor–subordinate (in)con...
7 CitationsSource
#1Amy Y. Ou (NUS: National University of Singapore)H-Index: 8
#2David A. Waldman (ASU: Arizona State University)H-Index: 58
Last. Suzanne J. Peterson (ASU: Arizona State University)H-Index: 25
view all 3 authors...
We propose a mediation model to explain the relationship between CEO humility and firm performance. Building on upper echelons, power, and paradox theories, we hypothesize that when a more humble CEO leads a firm, its top management team (TMT) is more likely to collaborate, share information, jointly make decisions, and possess a shared vision. The firm will also tend to have lower pay disparity between the CEO and the TMT. The humble CEO and TMT, in turn, will be more likely to adopt an ambidex...
47 CitationsSource
#1Annelies E. M. Van Vianen (UvA: University of Amsterdam)H-Index: 33
This review addresses the three basic principles of person–environment fit theory: (a) The person and the environment together predict human behavior better than each of them does separately; (b) outcomes are most optimal when personal attributes (e.g., needs, values) and environmental attributes (e.g., supplies, values) are compatible, irrespective of whether these attributes are rated as low, medium, or high; and (c) the direction of misfit between the person and the environment does not matte...
16 CitationsSource
#1Isaac H. Smith (Cornell University)H-Index: 7
#2Maryam Kouchaki (NU: Northwestern University)H-Index: 14
Abstract If behavioral ethics research from the past two decades has taught us nothing else, it has made it abundantly clear that humans are morally fallible. Indeed, there are everyday examples—in the workplace and beyond—of people who unwittingly violate their personal moral values, finding numerous ways to rationalize and justify otherwise morally objectionable behavior. In this article, we argue that acknowledging one’s own moral fallibility and developing moral humility can be an influentia...
1 CitationsSource
#1Amy Y. Ou (NUS: National University of Singapore)H-Index: 8
#2Jungmin Jamie Seo (CSUF: California State University, Fullerton)H-Index: 1
Last. Peter W. Hom (ASU: Arizona State University)H-Index: 33
view all 4 authors...
Top management in organizations must effectively retain middle managers (MMs)—who are central linking pins in strategy processes—as loss of their human and social capital can threaten strategy implementation. While long envisioning how leaders motivate subordinates to stay, management scholars have largely neglected how teams in which leaders belong (e.g., top management teams [TMT]) constitute an organizational context that moderates their ability to retain subordinates. Building on recent theo...
22 CitationsSource
#1Kelly Schwind Wilson (Purdue University)H-Index: 7
#2Heidi M. Baumann (Bradley University)H-Index: 4
Last. Ellen Ernst Kossek (Purdue University)H-Index: 46
view all 5 authors...
Previous research on interrole (family-to-work and work-to-family) conflict has demonstrated that such conflict is detrimental for outcomes in the work and home domains for employees and their fami...
6 CitationsSource
Cited By1