Paradoxical leadership and employee innovation: Organization-based self-esteem and harmonious passion as sequential mediators

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Miaomiao Wang
Jie Zhang
Jie He
Yanzhao Bi
Cite this article:  Wang, M., Zhang, J., He, J., & Bi, Y. (2022). Paradoxical leadership and employee innovation: Organization-based self-esteem and harmonious passion as sequential mediators. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 50(7), e11634.


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We applied self-concept theory and self-determination theory and proposed that the relationship between paradoxical leadership and employee innovation would be sequentially mediated by organization-based self-esteem and harmonious passion. We tested our hypotheses by surveying 374 full-time employees in China and adopting structural equation modeling. The results indicate that paradoxical leadership was positively associated with employees’ organization-based self-esteem, harmonious passion, and innovation. Moreover, the positive effect of paradoxical leadership on employees’ innovation behavior was sequentially mediated by organization-based self-esteem and harmonious passion. Our findings advance understanding of the mechanism underlying the relationship of paradoxical leadership with employees’ innovation behavior, and provide a meaningful extension of the leadership literature. We discuss implications for theory and practice.

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