Leader–member exchange social comparison and employee deviant behavior: Evidence from a Chinese context

Jiaxin Huang1, Lihua Shi2, Jun Xie3, Lin Wang2
1School of Business Administration, Guangdong University of Finance and Economics, People’s Republic of China
2Lingnan College, Sun Yat-sen University, People’s Republic of China
3Center for Cantonese Merchants Research, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Huang, J., Shi, L., Xie, J., & Wang, L. (2015). Leader–member exchange social comparison and employee deviant behavior: Evidence from a Chinese context. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 43(8), 1273-1286.

Volume 43 Issue 8 | e4757 | Published: September 2015 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2015.43.8.1273–1286

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We explored the effect of leader–member exchange social comparison (LMXSC) on employee deviant behavior within a Chinese context. We modified the measures for use in the Chinese context and used a multisource survey to collect data from employees in Chinese companies. The results of analysis of responses from a sample of 203 supervisor- subordinate dyads showed that LMXSC was negatively related to organizational deviance and supervisor-directed deviance. Procedural justice mediated the relationship between LMXSC and organizational deviance, and interpersonal justice mediated the relationship between LMXSC and supervisor-directed deviance. Furthermore, the negative relationship between interpersonal justice and supervisor-directed deviance was weaker for subordinates working with supervisors who had a higher degree of organizational embodiment. The results implied that supervisors need to balance the double-edged sword effect of LMXSC as well as strengthen their organizational embodiment.

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