Employee Voice and Leader Humility: The Perspective of Sense of Power

Xiaoshuang Lin, Zhen Xiong George Chen, Giles Hirst, Herman H.M. Tse, Wu Wei, Chao Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


It has been shown that employee voice (e.g., making constructive suggestions) has significant positive effects on team and organizational effectiveness; however, many employees are often unwilling to speak up or voice their opinions. Understanding how to encourage employees to speak up has become increasingly important for today’s organizations. Drawing on the approach- inhibition theory of power and the emerging literature on leader humility, this study developed a moderated-mediation model under which leader humility influences employee voice by enhancing their personal sense of power (i.e., their ability to influence other individuals). The saliency of this mediating relationship was contingent upon the employees’ individual cultural value on power distance. Time-lagged supervisor-subordinate matched data was collected to test the model. Results of the mixed models analyses provided support for the hypothesized relationships; that is, employees’ personal sense of power mediated the relationship between leader humility and employee voice. Further, this relationship was stronger when employees’ individual cultural value on power distance is low (rather than high).
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Employee Voice and Leader Humility: The Perspective of Sense of Power'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this