Linking employee boundary spanning behavior to task performance: the influence of informal leader emergence and group power distance

Songbo Liu, Kaifeng Jiang, Jianxun Chen, Jingzhou Pan, Xiaoshuang Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Driven by fierce global competition, flatter organizational structures and the growing complexity of tasks, boundary spanning behavior (BSB) in externally dependent work teams has increasingly been emphasized in both theory and practice. The current study aims to answer the questions of whether, when and how an individual’s BSB impacts his or her task performance within a team. Based on a sample of 272 employees from 57 new product development teams in China, we found that informal leader emergence mediated the relationship between an individual’s BSB and his or her performance within a team. Moreover, group-level power distance positively moderated the association between BSB and informal leader emergence. An overall mediated moderation model of the effect of the interaction between BSB and group power distance (PD) on task performance via informal leadership emergence was also confirmed. In particular, the relationship between BSB and task performance via informal leadership emergence was stronger for teams with less PD than for those with more PD. The implications of the research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1879-1899
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Volume29
Issue number12
Early online date24 Sep 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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