How supervisor narcissism contributes to employee silence: Roles of negative anticipations and leader–member exchange

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Hua-qiang Wang
Guang-lei Zhang
Zhi-hui Ding
Zhi-hui Cheng
Cite this article:  Wang, H., Zhang, G., Ding, Z., & Cheng, Z. (2018). How supervisor narcissism contributes to employee silence: Roles of negative anticipations and leader–member exchange. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 46(4), 653-666.


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We integrated the theory of reasoned action and leader–member exchange (LMX) to construct a research model of the relationship between supervisor narcissism and employee silence. Through a 3-wave survey with 292 employees of 3 Chinese companies, we examined the relationship between supervisor narcissism and employee silence, the mediating role of negative anticipations, and the moderating role of LMX. Results showed that supervisor narcissism had a significant positive impact on employee silence, and negative anticipations played a partial mediating role between them. LMX significantly moderated the relationship between supervisor narcissism and negative anticipations, with a positive correlation between supervisor narcissism and negative anticipations that was more significant in the condition of low LMX than in high LMX. We also found that LMX negatively moderated the mediating effect of negative anticipations on the relationship between supervisor narcissism and employee silence, whereby the higher the quality of the LMX the weaker was the mediating effect.

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