Leader–Employee Congruence in Humor and Innovative Behavior: The Moderating Role of Dynamic Tenure

Drawing upon the literature on complementary fit theory, the purpose of this study is to examine how the dynamic tenure moderates the relationship between leader–employee congruence/incongruence in humor and employee innovative behavior. Data were collected from 108 leader–employee dyads from information technology companies in China. Polynomial regression combined with the response surface methodology was used to test the hypotheses. Four conclusions were drawn. First, employee innovative behavior was maximized when leaders and employees were incongruent in humor. Second, in the case of incongruence, employees had higher innovative behavior when employees were more humorous than their leaders. Third, in the case of congruence, employees had higher innovative behavior when a leader’s and an employee’s humor matched at high levels. Fourth, dynamic tenure moderated the leader–employee congruence/incongruence effect of humor on employee innovative behavior. This study enhanced theoretical developments by considering the importance of leaders’ congruence with employees in humor for the first time. Additionally, the research results provided better practical guidance for effectively promoting employee innovative behavior.

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