Effect of leaders' implicit followership theory on subordinates' career success

Peng Gao1, Weiku Wu1
1School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Gao, P., & Wu, W. (2019). Effect of leaders' implicit followership theory on subordinates' career success. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 47, e7180.

Volume 47 Issue 5 | e7180 | Published: May 2019 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.7180

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We explored the relationship between positive leaders’ implicit followership theory (LIFT) and employees’ career success using cognitive information processing theory and social exchange theory. Data were obtained from 296 employees and their immediate superiors at 12 large Chinese enterprises. Results showed that positive LIFT had a significantly positive effect on employees’ career success, that this positive relationship was partially mediated by leader–member exchange and perceived organizational support, and that leaders’ liking for their followers moderated the relationship between positive LIFT and leader–member exchange/perceived organizational support. We have not only extended the application of cognitive theory in leadership research, but also enriched the content of social exchange theory.

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