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Loyalty to supervisor, organizational commitment, and employee outcomes : the Chinese case

Authors Chen, Zhen Xiong
Issue Date 1997
Summary This dissertation investigates the relationship between loyalty to supervisor (LS) and employee outcomes, compared with those of organizational commitment (OC). The samples consist of Chinese employees working in business organizations in China. First, a five-factor construct of LS is identified based on review of management literature and field interviews of Chinese employees. A research framework is then proposed, which describes the relationship among LS/OC and employee outcomes, including organizational citizenship behavior (OCB), in-role performance, and intent to stay, with the moderator effects of traditionality (an individual value). The major hypothesis of this study is that LS will be more strongly associated with OCB and inrole performance than will OC. Two theories, i.e., covenantal relationship and psychological contract, are applied to support the argument. In addition, cultural explanations are proposed for why LS is a more powerful predictor of in-role and extra-role performance than OC, based on several Chinese cultural characteristics, e.g., paternalism, personalism, and clientelism. The main body of this dissertation consists of two empirical studies. In the first study, a LS scale was developed and tested by using data from a survey of 253 employees in five companies in China. The results show that LS scale consists of 17 items with five dimensions: three Chinese indigenous dimensions (dedication, effort and following supervisor) and two Western dimensions (identification and internalization). In the second study, the proposed hypotheses were tested by the data collected from 333 supervisor-subordinate dyads in two regions of China. The evidence of the second study indicates that OC is significantly correlated with three of the five dimensions of OCB. LS is found to be a significant predictor of four of five dimensions of OCB. In addition, both OC and LS are correlated with in-role performance and intent to stay. The results also show that LS is more powerful than OC in predicting OCB and in role performance, while OC accounts for more variance in intent to stay than does LS. Finally, traditionality is found to be a significant moderator in several of the relationships among LS and employee outcomes. For employees with weaker traditional values, the relationship between LS and employee outcomes is stronger than for employees with stronger traditional values. Moreover, the three indigenous LS dimensions were found to be significantly correlated with employee outcomes, while two Western LS dimensions were not, except intent to stay. Findings are discussed in terms of their theoretical and managerial implications as well as further research directions.
Note Thesis (Ph.D.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 1997
Language English
Format Thesis
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