Skip to main content Accessibility help

Perceived Interactional Justice and Trust-in-supervisor as Mediators for Paternalistic Leadership

  • Min Wu (a1), Xu Huang (a2), Chenwei Li (a3) and Wu Liu (a2)

This study identifies the influencing processes that underlie the effect of the three paternalistic leadership dimensions on subordinates' work performance/ organizational citizenship behaviours. The results, based on data collected from private firms in China, showed that perceived interactional justice mediated the effects of moral leadership and benevolent leadership on trust-in-supervisor. However, perceived interactional justice did not mediate the relationship between authoritarian leadership and trust-in-supervisor. In addition, trust-in-supervisor was found to be positively associated with work performance and organizational citizenship behaviours. Cultural and practical implications and future research directions are also discussed.

Hide All
Aryee, S., Budhwar, P. S., & Chen, Z. X. 2002. Trust as a mediator of the relationship between organizational justice and work outcomes: Test of a social exchange model. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 23(3): 267285.
Aryee, S., Chen, Z. X., Sun, L. Y., & Debrah, Y. A. 2007. Antecedents and outcomes of abusive supervisor: Test of a trickle-down model. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(1): 191201.
Bagozzi, R. P., & Edwards, J. R. 1998. A general approach for representing constructs in organizational research. Organizational Research Methods, 1(1): 4587.
Bandalos, D. L. 2002. The effects of item parceling on goodness-of-fit and parameter estimate bias in structural equation modeling. Structure Equation Modeling, 9(1): 78102.
Barling, J., & Phillips, M. 1993. Interactional, formal, and distributive justice in the workplace: An exploratory study. Journal of Psychology, 127(6): 649656.
Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. 1986. The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(6): 11731182.
Bass, B. M. 1985. Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York: Free Press.
Bies, R. J., & Moag, J. S. 1986. Interactional justice: Communication criteria of fairness. In Lewicki, R. J., Sheppard, B. H. & Bazerman, M. H. (Eds.), Research on negotiations in organizations, vol. 1: 4355. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Bies, R. J., & Shapiro, D. L. 1987. Interactional fairness judgments: The influence of causal accounts. Social Justice Research, 1(2): 199218.
Blau, P. M. 1964. Exchange and power in social life. New York: Wiley.
Bliese, P. D. 2000. Within-group agreement, non-independence, and reliability: Implications for data aggregation and analyses. In Klein, K. J. & Kozlowski, S. W. J. (Eds.), Multilevel theory, research, and methods in organizations: Foundations, extensions, and new directions: 349-381. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Bond, M. H., Wan, K. C., Leung, K., & Giacalone, R. A. 1985. How are responses to verbal insults related to cultural collectivism and power distance? Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 16(1): 111127.
Burns, J. M. 1978. Leadership. New York: Harper & Row.
Chen, C. C., & Farh, J. L. 2009. Developments in Chinese leadership: Paternalism and its elaborations, moderations, and alternatives. In Harris, B. M. (Ed.), Handbook of Chinese psychology: 599-622. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Chen, H. Y., & Kao, H. S. R. 2009. Chinese paternalistic leadership and non-Chinese subordinates' psychological health. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20(12): 25332546.
Chen, M. J. 2002. Transcending paradox: The Chinese ‘middle way’ perspective. Asian Pacific Journal of Management, 19(2/3): 179199.
Chen, X. P., Xie, X. F., & Chang, S. Q. 2011. Cooperative and competitive orientations in China: Scale development and validation. Management and Organization Review, 7(2): 353379.
Chen, Y. R., Chen, X. P., & Portnoy, R. 2009. To whom do positive norm and negative norm of reciprocity apply? Effects of inequitable offer, relationship, and relational-self orientation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(1): 2434.
Cheng, B. S. 1995. Authoritarian values and executive leadership: The case of Taiwanese family enterprises. Report prepared for Taiwan's National Science Council. Taiwan: National Taiwan University. (In Chinese).
Cheng, B. S., Chou, L. F., & Farh, J. L. 2000. A triad model of Paternalistic Leadership: The constructs and measurement. Indigenous Psychological Research in Chinese Societies, 14: 364. (In Chinese).
Cheng, B. S., Chou, L. F., Wu, T. Y., Huang, M. P., & Farh, J. L. 2004. Paternalistic leadership and subordinate responses: Establishing a leadership model in Chinese organizations. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 7(1): 89117.
Cheng, B. S., Huang, M. P., & Chou, L. F. 2002a. Paternalistic leadership and its effectiveness: Evidence from Chinese organizational teams. Journal of Psychology in Chinese Societies, 3(1): 85112. (In Chinese).
Cheng, B. S., Shieh, P. Y., & Chou, L. F. 2002b. The principal's leadership, leader-member exchange quality, and the teacher's extra-role behavior: The effects of transformational and paternalistic leadership. Indigenous Psychological Research in Chinese Societies, 17: 105161. (In Chinese).
Chiaburu, D. S., & Lim, A. S. 2008. Manager trustworthiness or interactional justice? Predicting organizational citizenship behaviors. Journal of Business Ethics, 83(3): 453467.
Chou, L. F., Cheng, B. S., &Jen, C. K. 2005. The contingent model of paternalistic leadership: Subordinate dependence and leader competence. Paper presented at the meeting of the Academy of Management, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Colquitt, J. A., Conlon, D. E., Wesson, M. J., Porter, C. O. L. H., & Ng, K. Y. 2001. Justice at the millennium: A meta-analytic review of 25 years of organizational justice research. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(3): 425145.
Cropanzano, R., Prehar, C. A., & Chen, P. Y. 2002. Using social exchange theory to distinguish procedural from interactional justice. Group & Organization Management, 27(3): 324351.
Dirks, K. T., & Skarlicki, D. P. 2004. Trust in leaders: Existing research and emerging issues. In Kramer, R. M. & Cook, K. S. (Eds.), Trust and distrust in organizations: Dilemmas and approaches: 21-40. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Ertürk, A. 2007. Increasing organizational citizenship behaviors of Turkish academicians: Mediating role of trust in supervisor on the relationship between organizational justice and citizenship behaviors. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 22(3): 257270.
Fang, T. 2012. Yin Yang: A new perspective on culture. Management and Organization Review, 8(1): 2550.
Farh, J. L., & Cheng, B. S. 2000. A cultural analysis of paternalistic leadership in Chinese organizations. In Li, J. T., Tsui, A. S. & Weldon, E. (Eds.), Management and organizations in the Chinese context: 84-127. London: Macmillan.
Farh, J. L., Cheng, B. S., Chou, L. F., & Chu, X. P. 2006. Authority and benevolence: Employees' responses to paternalistic leadership in China. In Tsui, A. S., Bian, Y. & Cheng, L. (Eds.), China's domestic private firms: Multidisciplinary perspectives on management and performance: 230-260. New York: Sharpe.
Farh, J. L., Earley, P. C., & Lin, S. C. 1997. Impetus for action: A cultural analysis of justice and organizational citizenship behavior in Chinese society. Administrative Science Quarterly, 42(3): 421444.
Farh, J. L., Liang, J., Chou, L. F., & Cheng, B. S. 2008. Paternalistic leadership in Chinese organizations: Research progress and future research directions. In Chen, C. C. & Lee, Y. T. (Eds.), Leadership and management in China: Philosophies, theories, and practices: 171-205. London: Cambridge University Press.
Fu, P. P., Chow, I. H., & Zhang, Y. L. 2001. Leadership approaches and perceived leadership effectiveness in Chinese township and village enterprises. Journal of Asian Business, 17(1): 115.
Huang, X., Iun, J., Liu, A. L., & Gong, Y. P. 2010. Does participative leadership enhance work performance by inducing empowerment or trust? The differential effects on managerial and non-managerial subordinates. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 31(1): 122143.
James, L. R., & Brett, J. M. 1984. Mediators, moderators, and test for mediation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 69(2): 307321.
James, L. R., Mulaik, S. A., & Brett, J. M. 2006. A tale of two methods. Organizational Research Methods, 9(2): 233244.
Kalton, G. 1977. Practical methods for estimating survey sampling errors. Bulletin of the International Statistical Institute, 47(3): 495514.
Kanfer, R. 1994. Work motivation: New directions in theory and research. In Cooper, C. L. & Robertson, I. T. (Eds.), Key reviews in managerial psychology: Concepts and research for practice: 1-53. New York: Wiley.
Kenny, D. A., Kashy, D. A., & Bolger, N. 1998. Data analysis in social psychology. In Gilbert, D., Fiske, S. T. & Lindzey, G. (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology, Vol. 1: 233265. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Kenworthy, J. B., & Jones, J. 2009. The roles of group importance and anxiety in predicting depersonalized ingroup trust. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 12(2): 227239.
Kish, L. 1965. Survey sampling. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Kish, L. 1982. Design effect. In Kotz, S. & Johnson, N. L. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of statistical sciences: 347-348. New York: Wiley.
Konovsky, M. A., & Pugh, S. D. 1994. Citizenship behavior and social exchange. The Academy of Management Journal, 37(3): 656669.
Kwon, S., Kim, M. S., Kang, S. C., & Kim, M. U. 2008. Employee reactions to gainsharing under seniority pay systems: The mediating effect of distributive, procedural, and interactional justice. Human Resource Management, 47(4): 757775.
Lee, K., & Allen, N.J. 2002. Organizational citizenship behavior and workplace deviance: The role of affect and cognitions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(1): 131142.
Leung, K. 2005. How gcneralizable are justice effects across cultures. In Greenberg, J. & Colquitt, J. A. (Eds.), Handbook of organizational justice: 555-586. London: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Leung, K., Tong, K. K., & Ho, S. S. Y. 2004. Effects of interactional justice on egocentric bias in resource allocation decisions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(3): 405415.
Li, P. P. 1998. Towards a geocentric framework of organizational form: A holistic, dynamic and paradoxical approach. Organization Studies, 19(5): 829861.
Li, P. P. 2008. Toward a geocentric framework of trust: An application to organizational trust. Management and Organization Review, 4(3): 413439.
Liang, S. K., Ling, H. C., & Hsieh, S. Y. 2007. The mediating effects of leader-member exchange quality to influence the relationships between paternalistic leadership and organizational citizenship behaviors. Journal of American Academy of Business, 10(2): 127137.
Liu, J., Kwan, H. K., Wu, L. Z., & Wu, W. K. 2010. Abusive supervision and subordinate supervisor-directed deviance: The moderating role of traditional values and the mediating role of revenge cognitions. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 83: 835856.
Luo, J. D. 2005. Particularistic trust and general trust: A network analysis in Chinese organizations. Management and Organization Review, 1(3): 437458.
MacKinnon, D. P., Lockwood, C. M., Hoffman, J. M., West, S. G., & Sheets, V. 2002. A comparison of methods to test mediation and other intervening variables effects. Psychological Methods, 7(1): 83104.
Macneil, I. R. 1985. Relational contracts: What we do and do not know. Wisconsin Law Review, 483525.
Mallin, M. L., O'Donnell, E., & Hu, M. Y. 2009. The role of uncertainty and sales control in the development of sales manager trust. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 25(1): 3042.
Martinez, P. G. 2003. Paternalism as a positive form of leader-subordinate exchange: Evidence from Mexico. Management Research: The Journal of Iberoamerican Academy of Management, 1(3): 227242.
Mayer, R. C., Davis, J. H., & Schoorman, F. D. 1995. An integrative model of organizational trust. The Academy of Management Review, 20(3): 709734.
Moorman, R. H., Blakely, G. L., & Niehoff, B. P. 1998. Does perceived organizational support mediate the relationship between procedural justice and organizational citizenship behavior? The Academy of Management Journal, 41(3): 351357.
Ng, K. Y., & Chua, R. Y. J. 2006. Do I contribute more when I trust more? Differential effects of cognition- and affect-based trust. Management and Organization Review, 2(1): 4366.
Niehoff, B. P., & Moorman, R. H. 1993. Justice as a mediator of the relationship between methods of monitoring and organizational citizenship behavior. The Academy of Management Journal, 36(3): 527556.
Niu, C. P., Wang, A. C., & Cheng, B. S. 2009. Effectiveness of a moral and benevolent leader: Probing the interactions of the dimensions of paternalistic leadership. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 12(1): 3239.
Organ, D. W. 1988. Organizational citizenship behavior: The good soldier syndrome. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.
Pellegrini, E. K., & Scandura, T. A. 2006. Leader-member exchange (LMX), paternalism and delegation in the Turkish business culture: An empirical investigation. Journal of International Business Studies, 37(2): 264279.
Pellegrini, E. K., & Scandura, T. A. 2008. Paternalistic leadership: A review and agenda for future research, Journal of Management, 34(3): 566593.
Pellegrini, E. K., Scandura, T. A., & Jayaraman, V. 2010. Cross-cultural generalizability of paternalistic leadership: An expansion of leader - member exchange theory. Group & Organization Management, 35(4): 391420.
Pillai, R., Scandura, T. A., & Williams, E. A. 1999a. Leadership and organizational justice: Similarities and differences across cultures. Journal of International Business Studies, 30(4): 763779.
Pillai, R., Schricsheim, C. A., & Williams, E. S. 1999. Fairness perceptions and trust as mediators for transformational and transactional leadership: A two-sample study. Journal of Management, 25(6): 897933.
Redding, S. G. 1990. The spirit of Chinese capitalism. New York: Walter de Gruyter.
Rempel, J. K., Holmes, J. G., & Zanna, M. P. 1985. Trust in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49(1): 95112.
Robinson, S. L., & Rousseau, D. M. 1994. Violating the psychological contract: Not the exception but the norm. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 15(3): 245259.
Rousseau, D. M., Sitkin, S. B., Burt, R. S., & Camerer, C. 1998. Not so different after all: A cross-discipline view of trust. Academy of Management Review, 23(3): 393404.
Schneider, B., Ehrhart, M. G., Mayer, D. M., Saltz, J. L., & Niles-Jolly, K. 2005. Understanding organization-customer links in service settings. The Academy of Management Journal, 48(6): 10171032.
Shrout, P. E., & Bolger, N. 2002. Mediation in experimental and nonexperimental studies: New procedures and recommendations. Psychological Methods, 7(4): 422445.
Silin, R. H. 1976. Leadership and value: The organization of large-scale Taiwanese enterprises. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Sobel, M. E. 1982. Asymptotic confidence intervals for indirect effects in structural equation models. In Lcinhart, S. (Ed.), Sociological methodology: 290-312. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Uhl-Bien, M., & Maslyn, M. 2005. Paternalism as a form of leadership: Differentiating paternalism from leader-member exchange. Honolulu, HI: Academy of Management Meeting.
Van der Vcgt, G. S., Van de Vliert, E., & Oosterhof, A. 2003. Informational dissimilarity and organizational citizenship behavior: The role of intrateam interdependence and team identification. Academy of Management Journal, 46(6): 715727.
Wang, A. C., & Cheng, B. S. 2010. When does benevolent leadership lead to creativity? The moderating role of creative role identity and job autonomy. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 31(1): 106121.
Wasti, S. A., Tan, H. H., & Erdil, S. E. 2011. Antecedents of trust across foci: A comparative study of Turkey and China. Management and Organization Review, 7(2): 279302.
Westwood, R. I., & Leung, S. M. 1996. Work under the reforms: The experience and meaning of work in a time of transition. In Westwood, R. I. (Ed.), China review: 368-423. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press.
Williams, L.J., & Anderson, S. E. 1991. Job satisfaction and organizational commitment as predictors of organizational citizenship and in-role behaviors. Journal of Management, 17(3): 601617.
Wolter, K. M. 1985. Introduction to variance estimation. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Wong, Y. T., Ngo, H. Y., & Wong, C. S. 2006. Perceived organizational justice, trust, and OCB: A study of Chinese workers in joint ventures and state-owned enterprises. Journal of World Business, 41(4): 344355.
Wong, Y. T., Wong, C. S., & Ngo, H. Y. 2002. Loyalty to supervisor and trust in supervisor of workers in Chinese joint ventures: A test of two competing models. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 13(6): 883900.
Wu, T. Y., Hsu, W. L., & Cheng, B. S. 2002. Expressing or suppressing anger: Subordinate's anger responses to supervisors' authoritarian behaviors in a Taiwan enterprise. Indigenous Psychological Research in Chinese Societies, 18: 349. (In Chinese).
Xu, E., Huang, X., Lam, C. K., & Miao, Q. 2011. Abusive supervision and work behaviors: The mediating role of LMX. Journal of Organizational Behavior, DOI: 10.1002/job.768.
Xu, E., Huang, X., Lam, W., Zhang, X. H., & Wai, A. Y. 2010. Paternalistic leadership and work behaviors: The mediating roles of fear, gratitude, and identification. Paper presented at the Asia Pacific Journal of Management Special Issue Symposium, Macau.
Yang, J., & Mossholder, K. W. 2010. Examining the effects of trust in leaders: A bases-and-foci approach. The Leadership Quarterly, 21(1): 5063.
Yang, J., Mossholder, K. W., & Peng, T. K. 2009. Supervisory procedural justice effects: The mediating roles of cognitive and affective trust. Leadership Quarterly, 20(2): 143154.
Yang, K. S. 1993. Chinese social orientation: An integrative analysis. In Cheng, L. Y., Cheng, F. M. C. & Chen, C. N. (Eds.), Psychotherapy for the Chinese: Selected papers from the first international conference: 19-56. Hong Kong: The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press.
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? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed