Ambidextrous Leadership and Employee Work Outcomes: A Paradox Theory Perspective

Numerous studies have examined the influence of ambidextrous leadership on employee work outcomes, but few have explored the issue through the congruence or incongruence of two seemingly conflicting leadership styles. Based on paradox theory, we adopted polynomial regression and surface analysis methods to investigate the congruent/incongruent effects of loose and tight leadership techniques. In order to reduce common method bias, we used a two-wave design with a two-month time interval. By using two-wave surveys of 301 employees, this study posited that ambidextrous leadership congruence creates higher leader–member exchange quality, and that loose and tight leadership with a high strength plays a more positive role in enhancing LMX quality. This study demonstrated that LMX quality mediates the relationship between ambidextrous leadership congruence/incongruence and employee work outcomes (i.e., job performance and creativity).

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