Deterrence Effects: The Role of Authoritarian Leadership in Controlling Employee Workplace Deviance

Yuyan Zheng*, Xu Huang, Les Graham, Tom Redman, Saiquan Hu

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Drawing upon two independent samples from mainland China, we propose and investigate the deterrence function of leadership behavior focused on control. We suggest that controlling leadership, specifically, authoritarian leadership, deters employees' deviance under certain conditions. That is, authoritarian leadership thwarts employees' interpersonal deviance behavior when leaders send clear signals of potential punishments of non-compliance by showing low leader benevolence, and when employees are highly dependent on the leaders for important work resources. Results from two independent studies largely support our key propositions. Overall, these results add to the range of possible impacts that a leader can play in decreasing employee deviance. Theoretical implications and directions for follow-up research are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)377-404
    Number of pages28
    JournalManagement and Organization Review
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Business and International Management
    • Strategy and Management

    User-Defined Keywords

    • authoritarian leadership
    • benevolent leadership
    • resource dependence
    • workplace deviance


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