Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Authoritarian Leadership and Extra-Role Behaviors: A Role-Perception Perspective

  • Yan Zhang (a1) (a2) and Yun-Hui Xie (a3) (a4)

Authoritarian leaders make unilateral decisions and prevail over subordinates. Such leadership, as a style of exercising formal authority and position power, may inhibit employees’ extra-role behaviors in the hierarchical role structure. We explore employees’ role perceptions to better understand how supervisors’ authoritarian leadership decreases extra-role behaviors (OCBs). Authoritarian behavior is expected to generate subordinate perceptions of role conflict, role ambiguity, and role overload, with consequent negative effects on OCB. Hypotheses are tested using data from 613 subordinate – supervisor dyads. Empirical results indicate that authoritarian leadership increases subordinate role conflict and overload which then decreases OCB. Authoritarian behavior also increases role ambiguity, but role ambiguity is not associated with OCB. The article concludes with research suggestions and practical implications.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Authoritarian Leadership and Extra-Role Behaviors: A Role-Perception Perspective
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Authoritarian Leadership and Extra-Role Behaviors: A Role-Perception Perspective
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Authoritarian Leadership and Extra-Role Behaviors: A Role-Perception Perspective
      Available formats
Corresponding author
Corresponding author: Yan Zhang (
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

T. D. Allen , & M. C. Rush 1998. The effects of organizational citizenship behavior on performance judgments: A field study and laboratory experiment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83 (2): 247260.

S. Aryee , Z. X. Chen , L. Y. Sun , & Y. A. Debrah 2007. Antecedents and outcomes of abusive supervision: Test of a trickle-down model. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92 (1): 191201.

T. A. Beehr , S. M. Jex , B. A. Stacy , & M. A. Murray 2000. Work stressors and coworker support as predictors of individual strain and job performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 21 (4): 391405.

T. A. Beehr , J. T. Walsh , & T. D. Taber 1976. Relationship of stress to individually and organizationally valued states: Higher order needs as a moderator. Journal of Applied Psychology, 61 (7): 4147.

D. M. Bergeron 2007. The potential paradox of organizational citizenship behavior: Good citizens at what cost? Academy of Management Review, 32 (4): 10781095.

B. J. Biddle 1979. Role theory: Expectations, identities, and behaviors. New York: Academic.

B. J. Biddle 1986. Recent development in role theory. Annual Review of Sociology, 12 (1): 6792.

M. C. Bolino , & W. H. Turnley 2005. The personal costs of citizenship behavior: The relationship between individual initiative and role overload, job stress, and work-family conflict. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90 (4): 740748.

M. C. Bolino , W. H. Turnley , & J. M. Bloodgood 2002. Citizenship behavior and the creation of social capital in organizations. Academy of Management Review, 27 (4): 505522.

S. C. H. Chan 2013. Paternalistic leadership and employee voice: Does information sharing matter? Human Relations, 67: 667693.

S. C. H. Chan , X. Huang , E. Snape , & C. K. Lam 2013. The Janus face of paternalistic leaders: Authoritarianism, benevolence, subordinates’ organization-based self-esteem, and performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34 (1): 108128.

X-P. Chen , M. B. Eberly , T-J. Chiang , J-L. Farh , & B-S. Cheng 2014. Affective trust in Chinese leaders: Linking paternalistic leadership to employee performance. Journal of Management, 40, 797819.

B. S. Cheng , L. F. Chou , T. Y. Wu , M. P. Huang , & J. L. Farh 2004. Paternalistic leadership and subordinate responses: Establishing a leadership model in Chinese organizations. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 7 (1): 89117.

M-Y. Cheng , & L. Wang 2015. The mediating effect of ethical climate on the relationship between paternalistic leadership and team identification: A team-level analysis in the Chinese context. Journal of Business Ethics, 129 (3): 639654.

W-J. Chou , C. G. Sibley , J. H. Liu , T-T. Lin , B-S. Cheng 2015. Paternalistic leadership profiles: A person-centered approach. Group and Organization Management, 40: 685710.

D. De Cremer 2006. Affective and motivational consequences of leader self-sacrifice: The moderating effect of autocratic leadership. Leadership Quarterly, 17 (1): 7993.

E. E. Eatough , C. H. Chang , S. A. Miloslavic , & R. E. Johnson 2011. Relationships of role stressors with organizational citizenship behavior: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96 (3): 619632.

A. Ertureten , Z. Cemalcilar , & Z. Aycan 2013. The relationship downward mobbing with leadership style and organizational attitudes. Journal of Business Ethics, 116 (1): 205216.

J. L. Farh , & B. S. Cheng 2000. A cultural analysis of paternalistic leadership in Chinese organizations. In J. T. Li , A. S. Tsui , & E. Weldon (Eds.), Management and organizations in the Chinese context: 84127. London: Macmillan.

P. C. Flood , E. Hannan , K. G. Smith , T. Turner , M. A. West , & J. Dawson 2000. Chief executive leadership style, consensus decision making, and top management team effectiveness. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 9 (3): 401420.

R. Foels , J. E. Driskell , B. Mullen , & E. Salas 2000. The effects of democratic leadership in group member satisfaction: An integration. Small Group Research, 31 (6): 676701.

Y-P. Gong , J-C. Huang , J-L. Farh 2009. Employee learning orientation, transformational leadership, and employee creativity: The mediating role of employee creative self-efficacy. Academy of Management Journal, 52 (4): 765778.

R. W. Griffin 1983. Objective and social sources of information in task redesign: A field experiment. Administrative Science Quarterly, 28 (2): 184200.

K. T. Hau , & H. W. Marsh 2004. The use of item parcels in structural equation modeling: Non-normal data and small sample sizes. British Journal of Mathematical & Statistical Psychology, 57 (2): 327351.

S. T. Hunter , K. E. Bedell-Avers , & M. D. Mumford 2007. The typical leadership study: Assumptions, implications, and potential remedies. The Leadership Quarterly, 18 (5): 435466.

S. E. Jackson , & R. S. Schuler 1985. A meta-analysis and conceptual critique of research on role ambiguity and role conflict in work settings. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 36 (1): 1678.

M. W. Johnston , A. Parasuraman , & C. M. Futrell 1989. Extending a model of salesperson role perceptions and work-related attitudes: Impact of job tenure. Journal of Business Research, 18 (4): 269290.

R. Karambayya , J. M. Brett , & A. Lytle 1992. Effects of formal authority and experience on third-party roles, outcomes, and perceptions of fairness. Academy of Management Journal, 35 (2): 426438.

M. J. Lankau , D. S. Carlson , & T. R. Nielson 2006. The mediating influence of role stressors in the relationship between mentoring and job attitudes. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 68 (2): 308322.

J. A. LePine , N. P. Podsakoff , & M. A. LePine 2005. A meta-analytic test of the challenge stressor-hindrance stressor framework: An explanation for inconsistent relationships among stressors and performance. Academy of Management Journal, 48 (5): 764775.

K. Lewin , R. Lippitt , & R. K. White 1939. Patterns of aggressive behavior in experimentally created social climates. Journal of Social Psychology, 10: 271301.

Y. Li , & J-M. Sun 2015. Traditional Chinese leadership and employee voice behavior: A cross-level examination. Leadership Quarterly, 26 (2): 172189.

T. D. Little , W. A. Cunningham , G. Shahar , & K. F. Widaman 2002. To parcel or not to parcel: Exploring the question, weighing the merits. Structural Equation Modeling, 9 (2): 151173.

T. F. Lyons 1971. Role clarity, need for clarity, satisfaction, tension and withdrawal. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 6 (1): 99110.

S. B. Mackenzie , P. M. Podsakoff , & G. A. Rich 2001. Transformational and transactional leadership and salesperson performance. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 29 (2): 115134.

R. H. Moorman 1991. Relationship between organizational justice and organizational citizenship behaviors: Do fairness perceptions influence employee citizenship? Journal of Applied Psychology, 76 (6): 845855.

B. P. Niehoff , & R. H. Moorman 1993. Justice as a mediator of the relationship between methods of monitoring and organizational citizenship behavior. Academy of Management Journal, 36 (3): 527556.

D. W. Organ 1997. Organizational citizenship behavior: It's construct clean-up time. Human Performance, 10 (2): 8597.

D. Örtqvist , & J. Wincent 2006. Prominent consequences of role stress: A meta-analytic review. International Journal of Stress Management, 13 (4): 399422.

E. K. Pelligrini , T. A. Scandura , & V. Jayaraman 2010. Cross-cultural generalizability of paternalistic leadership: An expansion of leader-member exchange theory. Group & Organization Management, 35 (4): 391420.

M. F. Peterson , P. B. Smith , A. Akande , S. Ayestaran , S. Bochner , V. Callan , N. G. Cho , J. C. Jesuino , M. D'Amorim , P. H. Francois , K. Hofmann , P. L. Koopman , K. Leung , T. K. Lim , S. Mortazavi , J. Munene , M. Radford , A. Ropo , G. Savage , B. Setiadi , T. N. Sinha , R. Sorenson , & C. Viedge 1995. Role conflict, ambiguity, and overload: A 21-nation study. Academy of Management Journal, 38 (2): 429452.

R. F. Piccolo , & J. A. Colquitt 2006. Transformational leadership and job behaviors: The mediating role of core job characteristics. Academy of Management Journal, 49 (2): 327340.

P. M. Podsakoff , M. Ahearne , & S. B. MacKenzie 1997. Organizational citizenship behavior and the quantity and quality of work group performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82 (2): 262270.

P. M. Podsakoff , S. B. MacKenzie , & D. G. Bachrach 2000. Organizational citizenship behaviors: A critical review of the theoretical and empirical literature and suggestions for future research. Journal of Management, 26 (3): 513563.

P. M. Podsakoff , S. B. MacKenzie , J-Y. Lee , & N. P. Podsakoff 2003. Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88 (5): 879903.

P. M. Podsakoff , S. B. MacKenzie , R. H. Moorman , & R. Fetter 1990. Transformational leader behaviors and their effects on followers trust in leader satisfaction and OCB. Leadership Quarterly, 1 (2): 107142.

D. E. Rast III , M. A. Hogg , & S. R. Giessner 2013. Self-uncertainty and support for autocratic leadership. Self and Identity, 12 (6): 635649.

J. R. Rizzo , R. J. House , & S. I. Lirtzman 1970. Role conflict and ambiguity in complex organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 15 (2): 150163.

C. Robert , T. M. Probst , J. J. Martocchio , F. Drasgow , & J. J. Lawler 2000. Empowerment and continuous improvement in the United States, Mexico, Poland, and India: Predicting fit on the basis of the dimensions of power distance and individualism. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85 (5): 643658.

J. M. Robins , & S. Greenland 1992. Identifiability and exchangeability of direct and indirect effects. Epidemiology, 3 (2): 143155.

T. A. Scandura , & G. B. Graen 1984. Moderating effects of initial leader-member exchange status on the effects of a leadership intervention. Journal of Applied Psychology, 69 (3): 428436.

S. C. Schuh , X-A. Zhang , & P. Tian 2013. For the good or the bad? Interactive effects of transformational leadership with moral and authoritarian leadership behaviors. Journal of Business Ethics, 116 (3): 629640.

O. Shenkar , & Y. Zeira 1992. Role conflict and role ambiguity of chief executive officers in international joint ventures. Journal of International Business Studies, 23 (1): 5575.

J. Singh 2000. Performance productivity and quality of frontline employees in service organizations. Journal of Marketing, 64 (2): 1534.

R. D. Smither 1993. Authoritarianism, dominance, and social behavior: A perspective from evolutionary personality psychology. Human Relations, 46 (1): 2343.

L. J. Song , A. S. Tsui , & K. S. Law 2009. Unpacking employee responses to organizational exchange mechanisms: The role of social and economic exchange perceptions. Journal of Management, 35 (1): 5693.

B. J. Tepper , & E. C. Taylor 2003. Relationships among supervisors’ and subordinates’ procedural justice perceptions and organizational citizenship behaviors. Academy of Management Journal, 46 (1): 97105.

H. B. Thompson , & J. M. Werner 1997. The impact of role conflict/facilitation on core and discretionary behaviors: Testing a mediated model. Journal of Management, 23 (4): 583601.

A. Tsui , H. Wang , K. Xin , L. Zhang , & P. P. Fu 2004. Let a thousand flowers bloom: Variation of leadership styles among Chinese CEOs. Organizational Dynamics, 33 (1): 520.

T. C. Tubre , & J. M. Collins 2000. Jackson and Schuler (1985) revisited: A meta-analysis of the relationships between role ambiguity, role conflict, and job performance. Journal of Management, 26 (1): 155169.

M. Van Sell , A. P. Brief , & R. S. Schuler 1981. Role conflict and role ambiguity: Integration of the literature and directions for future research. Human Relations, 34 (1): 4371.

A-H. Wang , J. G-J. Chiang , C-Y. Tsai , T-T. Lin , & B-S. Cheng 2013. Gender makes the difference: The moderating role of leader gender on the relationship between leadership styles and subordinate performance. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 122 (2): 101113.

Y. Zhang , A. Tsui , & D. X. Wang 2011. Leadership behaviors and group creativity in Chinese organizations: The role of group processes. The Leadership Quarterly, 22 (5): 851862.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Management and Organization Review
  • ISSN: 1740-8776
  • EISSN: 1740-8784
  • URL: /core/journals/management-and-organization-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 9
Total number of PDF views: 160 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 176 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 4th April 2017 - 27th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.