Asian Business & Management

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 313–338 | Cite as

Paradoxical leadership incongruence and Chinese individuals’ followership behaviors: moderation effects of hierarchical culture and perceived strength of human resource management system

  • Jianfeng Jia
  • Jiaqi YanEmail author
  • Yahua CaiEmail author
  • Yipeng Liu
Original Article


We examined the effect of paradoxical leadership incongruence on Chinese individuals’ followership behaviors. We also hypothesized that paradoxical leadership incongruence (and congruence) will differentially predict followership behaviors, with hierarchical culture and the perceived strength of the HRM system serving as moderators. With multi-source and multi-wave matched data and polynomial regression, our results corroborate the following: (1) paradoxical leadership incongruence (and congruence) can have consequential effects on followership behaviors, (2) paradoxical leadership incongruence increases followership behavior better when hierarchical culture is high, and (3) paradoxical leadership incongruence motivates followership behavior better when the perceived strength of the HRM system is high.


Followership Paradoxical leadership Hierarchical culture Perceived strength of HRM system Congruence 



Funding was provided by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 71672031, 71502094, 71632005 and 71332002), The Humanities and Social Science Foundation of the Ministry of Education of China (Grant No. 16YJA630018), The Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China (Grant No. N160602001), The Social Science Foundation of Liaoning in China (Grant No. L17AGL005), and National Nature Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 71772138 and 71472137).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business AdministrationNortheastern UniversityShenyangChina
  2. 2.School of Economics and ManagementTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.College of BusinessShanghai University of Finance and EconomicsShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Henley Business SchoolUniversity of ReadingReadingUK

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