Influence behaviors and organizational commitment : A comparative study

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

14 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-78
Journal / PublicationLeadership and Organization Development Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Purpose: Prior research has identified the outcomes of influence tactics as short-term task commitment, compliance and resistance. This paper argues that leaders' downward influence behaviors should also have an impact on followers' organizational commitment. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of three influence strategies (11 downward influence tactics) on organizational commitment, and the moderating effect of national culture. Design/methodology/approach: The study draws on survey data (n=185) and follow-up interviews (n=19) from Hong Kong Chinese employees who work for Hong Kong Chinese or Japanese managers. Findings: The quantitative results show that all rational tactics, the inspirational appeal and pressure tactics had effects on organizational commitment. Drawing on the survey and follow-up interview data, three specific factors in the use of influence tactics on organizational commitment are identified. Results suggest that some tactics are more universal and able to provide "long-lasting" effects compared with other tactics in enhancing or reducing employees' organizational commitment. The results of the entire study also show that most rational influence tactics seem to be convergent; yet, there is also evidence that other tactics are more culturally specific in generating employee commitment. Originality/value: This is the first empirical study to examine the effects of influence behaviors on organizational commitment with both inter- and intra-cultural samples. The study has also drawn on interview data to demonstrate examples of effective and ineffective influence tactics used by superiors, thereby offering managerial hints to managers on how to exercise their influence behaviors effectively. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Research Area(s)

  • A comparative study, Influence strategies, Influence tactics, National culture, Organizational commitment