Asia Pacific Journal of Management
We propose a new construct-role-based paternalistic exchange, or followers' awareness of and engagement in a family-like exchange relationship with leaders that builds upon both leaders' parent-like role and followers' child-like obligation. We use this construct to explain the joint effect of leader authoritarianism and benevolence, the essential components of paternalistic leadership, on two culture-specific follower outcomes in Chinese settings: emic organizational citizenship behavior and deference to supervisor. Using three independent samples, we develop a unidimensional measure. We then employ another sample to test how leader authoritarianism and benevolence relate to role-based paternalistic exchange and, thereby, the two follower outcomes indirectly. Our results indicate that, in contrast to authoritarianism- or benevolence-dominant paternalistic leadership, classical paternalistic leadership (the balanced display of leader authoritarianism and benevolence) has the greatest potential to facilitate role-based paternalistic exchange, which, in turn, positively relates to the two follower outcomes. These results suggest that role-based paternalistic exchange advances our understanding of how paternalistic leadership enhances emic outcomes in Chinese settings.
We propose a new typology of paternalistic leadership styles based on how leaders demonstrate authoritarianism and benevolence, the two essential components of this type of leadership. Benevolence-dominant paternalistic leadership refers to leaders sole dependence on the use of benevolence without their strong assertion of authority, whereas authoritarianism-dominant paternalistic leadership is based mainly on authoritarianism itself; classical paternalistic leadership, which best fits early observations of paternalistic leaders, refers to the salient combination of both leadership components. We used two distinct samples and methods to test this typology and the association with subordinate performance. Across the two studies, a field investigation with Taiwanese military supervisor-subordinate dyads and a hypothetical scenario experiment with U.S. working adults, we found a positive relationship between classical paternalistic leadership and subordinate performance as strong as that between benevolence-dominant paternalistic leadership and performance. Our findings echo the phenomenon that paternalistic leaders tend to combine benevolence with authoritarianism to affect subordinate performance.