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Why do Chinese employees build supervisor-subordinate guanxi? A motivational analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Long Zhang

    () (Hohai University)

  • Yulin Deng

    () (Hohai University)

  • Xin Zhang

    () (Hohai University)

  • Enhua Hu

    () (Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics)

Abstract

Abstract Supervisor-subordinate guanxi is an informal leader-member relationship that is of utmost importance in Chinese organizations. This paper explores Chinese employees’ motives for building supervisor-subordinate guanxi through two studies. Study 1 develops an indigenous scale of motives for supervisor-subordinate guanxi. Four motive types (i.e., career advancement, team concern, personal life, and impression management) are identified, and the scale’s convergent and discriminant validity is established. Study 2 examines the predictive power of these motive types. The results indicate that they, as a whole, account for unique variances in supervisor-subordinate guanxi. Furthermore, as single motive types, they have unequal impacts on this relationship and its dimensions. This research enhances understanding of what underlies supervisor-subordinate guanxi from a motivational perspective and has implications for Chinese indigenous research of guanxi.

Suggested Citation

  • Long Zhang & Yulin Deng & Xin Zhang & Enhua Hu, 2016. "Why do Chinese employees build supervisor-subordinate guanxi? A motivational analysis," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 617-648, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:asiapa:v:33:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s10490-015-9430-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s10490-015-9430-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Ping Li & Tomoki Sekiguchi & Kevin Zhou, 2016. "The emerging research on indigenous management in Asia," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 583-594, September.

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