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Paradoxical leadership and hospitality employees' service performance: The role of leader identification and need for cognitive closure


Author:  Zhuolin She, Quan Li, Baiyin Yang, Bin Yang

Abstract: Based on the social identity theory, this study examined the relationship between paradoxical leadership and employees’ service performance in the hospitality industry. Data were collected from a multisource, time-lagged survey of 72 leaders and 556 employees in eight full-service hotels in China. Using hierarchical linear modeling, paradoxical leadership was found to be positively related to employees’ leader identification, which consequently enhanced their service performance. Furthermore, the level of an employee’s need for cognitive closure moderated the relationship between paradoxical leadership and leader identification such that paradoxical leadership exerted a stronger positive influence on leader identification for those employees with a lower need for cognitive closure. These findings have implications for both paradoxical leadership and hospitality management practices.