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Effect of leaders' implicit followership theory on subordinates' career success.

Follower-centered leadership researchers have demonstrated that the follower perspective adds significantly to the understanding of leader cognition and behavior, how leaders process information--in particular, their perception of followers--and the formation of leadership (Uhl-Bien & Pillai, 2007). However, for the research to be more valuable, studies on followership from the employee perspective should be based on the common taxonomy of central tendency prototypes (i.e., how employees are) or goal-derived ideal prototypes (i.e., how employees should be; Schyns & Meindl, 2005). Research findings suggest that individual leaders may develop different implicit prototypes of followers (Shondrick & Lord, 2010). These questions have been addressed by researchers in the recent emergence of implicit followership theory (IFT; Epitropaki, Sy, Martin, Tram-Quon, & Topakas, 2013; Junker, Stegmann, Braun, & Van Dick, 2016; Junker & van Dick, 2014; Shondrick & Lord, 2010; Sy, 2010; Uhl-Bien, Riggio, Lowe, & Carsten, 2014; Whiteley, Sy, & Johnson, 2012), which involves "individuals' personal assumptions about the traits and behaviors that characterize followers" (Sy, 2010, p. 74). Following Sy (2010), in this study we have treated IFT as corresponding to central tendency prototypes that consist of a first-order six factor structure: positive prototypes (industry, enthusiasm, good citizen) and negative prototypes (conformity, insubordination, incompetence), and a second-order two factor structure: followership prototype and antiprototype.

From the IFT definition, leaders' implicit followership theory (LIFT) refers to leaders' beliefs about followers in general, rather than specific followers. LIFT serves as a function of sensemaking (Weick, 1995), from which leaders interpret, understand, and respond to followers' behaviors (Sy, 2010). According to implicit followership theory, leaders have preconceived perceptions about followers and make judgments based on these perceptions that then affect followers (Fiske & Taylor, 2013). When LIFT is activated, it triggers various types of associated conceptual representations (e.g., the concept of a good employee activates the associated notion of high performance). Behavioral patterns are consistent with the activated concept, that is, leaders have higher performance expectations of good employees and give them (vs. their peers) more sponsorship to help them achieve better performance (Whiteley et al., 2012). In other words, LIFT influences the leader's performance expectations for an employee, and these expectations lead to the employee's high performance (Sy, 2010). LIFT is also related to employee job satisfaction (Sy, 2010). Job performance and job satisfaction are both indispensable for employees' career success, which is defined as the accumulated positive work and psychological outcomes resulting from employees' work experience (Ng, Eby, Sorensen, & Feldman, 2005; Seibert & Kraimer, 2001). However, despite LIFT being closely related to employees' career success, few researchers have explored this relationship. Therefore, our main purpose in this study was to contribute to filling in this research gap.

We also explored the mediating mechanism and boundary conditions in the relationship between positive LIFT and employees' career success. First, in line with the sponsored-mobility perspective of career success (Turner, 1960), organizational sponsorship can facilitate employees' career success (Ng et al., 2005). When leader--member exchange and perceived organizational support are high, employees may receive more resources from leaders, such as sponsorship activities, which are conducive to the career success of employees. Leader--member exchange (LMX) is defined as an employee's perceptions of the quality of the social exchange relationship between a leader and his/her subordinate (Liden & Maslyn, 1998). Perceived organizational support (POS) refers to employees' "global beliefs concerning the extent to which the organization values their contributions and cares about their well-being" (Eisenberger et al., 1986, p. 501), and is indicative of the quality of the employee--organization social exchange relationship.

Second, Sy (2010) has called for exploration of the relationship between LIFT and employees' interpersonal interaction. Degree of mutual liking has been established as a critical variable in the study of interpersonal interaction (Zajonc, 1980). In response to Sy's call, in this study we explored the relationship between positive LIFT and leaders' degree of liking for their followers. Leaders' degree of liking for followers can be used to assess followers' evaluative concepts (Wayne & Ferris, 1990) and, more specifically, for the understanding of the development of exchange quality in the leader--member relationship (Dienesch & Liden, 1986). Moreover, the employee who matches his/her leader's positive LIFT (a perfect pair) would be more likely to realize career success when he or she is well-liked by the leader.

In sum, using data obtained from leaders and followers employed by 19 large Chinese enterprises, and following LIFT, we proposed the following research questions: (a) Can the employee who fits positive LIFT achieve career success? (b) If having positive LIFT is an effective way to realize career success, how does this work? (c) What boundary conditions are there in the positive LIFT--employee career success relationship? A representation of the study goals is illustrated in Figure 1.

Literature Review and Hypothesis Development Positive Leaders' Implicit Followership Theory and Employees' Career Success

Positive LIFT is defined as a leader's positive personal assumptions about the traits and behaviors that characterize followers in general. Looking at this definition from a broader viewpoint (Cronbach & Gleser, 1965), we consider that the traits of an outcome variable depend on the choice of an antecedent variable (Hogan & Roberts, 1996). In line with the perception--behavior link (Bargh, Chen, & Burrows, 1996; Chen & Bargh, 1997), when positive LIFT has been established and activated, it will trigger various types of associated concepts, such as the good employee being regarded as the one with high performance. At the same time, positive LIFT will also induce associated actions, for example, higher goals will be set for this employee (Bargh, 1997; Bargh et al., 1996). When Whiteley et al. (2012) examined a model of a naturally occurring Pygmalion effect, they found that leaders have a higher performance expectation for an employee who matches their positive LIFT. Thus, they express more liking toward that employee, exerting a positive influence on the employee's performance (Eden, 1992). Drawing on the perspective of this Pygmalion effect, we argued that the same logic can be adopted to explain why positive LIFT can lead to employees' career success.

Career success refers to the positive achievement or psychological sense of accomplishment related to work accumulated by an individual in his/her professional history (Seibert & Kraimer, 2001). Career success comprises two types: objective and subjective (Judge, Cable, Boudreau, & Bretz, 1995; Spurk & Abele, 2014). Objective career success, such as income and promotion times and speed, can be directly seen, measured, and verified by a third party (Ng et al., 2005; Spurk & Abele, 2014), whereas subjective career success refers to an individual's psychological feelings, which are gradually accumulated during his/her career development, being represented by his/her recognition, emotional response to work and career (Spurk & Abele, 2014), and job and career satisfaction (Judge et al., 1995).

The theoretical foundation of career success research is composed of two perspective: contest mobility and sponsored mobility (Turner, 1960). The sponsored-mobility perspective emphasizes that when the leader recognizes an employee as having potential, he/she will be chosen, and then given more attention, opportunities, support, and assistance, which enables him or her to more easily outperform others. From a perspective consistent with that of sponsored mobility, we argued that as the employee who fits positive LIFT will be provided with sponsoring activities and will, thus, quickly gain momentum in his/her career advancement, this will streamline his/her path to career success (Ng et al., 2005). Leaders have the power to formally and informally guide and evaluate employees (Eisenberger at al., 1986). Thus, they are willing to give the employee who matches positive LIFT more tangible or intangible valuable resources, such as coaching and guidance, meaningful and significant tasks, and useful information, which are all indispensable for an employee's career success. Thus, we proposed the following hypothesis:

Hypothesis 1: Positive leaders' implicit followership theory will positively influence employees' career success.

The Effect of Social Exchange

Employees develop exchange relationships (Wayne, Shore, & Liden, 1997) with others in an organization, including their leaders, such as owners, managers, and directors, as evidenced in research on LMX (Graen & Cashman, 1975; Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995) and POS (Eisenberger, Fasolo, & Davis-LaMastro, 1990; Eisenberger et al., 1986). LMX and POS are the two main forms of social exchange in organizations (Settoon, Bennett, & Liden, 1996; Wayne, Shore, Bommer, & Tetrick, 2002). Social exchange theory provides a theoretical basis for the relationship between LMX and POS to be understood, and it also explains the effect of these two aspects of the exchange relationship on employees' attitudes and behaviors (Blau, 1964). Each construct explains how cognitive and relational processes influence intraorganizational activity.

According to LMX theory, leaders develop a different quality relationship with each employee (Dienesch & Liden, 1986). Employees who develop high-quality LMX are their leaders' in-group members, and other employees are out-group members (Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995). Employees who match positive LIFT are more likely to become their leader's in-group members (Sy, 2010; Whiteley et al., 2012). In addition, employees who form a high-quality relationship with their leader can receive more trust and care from him or her, and they may even be given privileges, such as work autonomy and flexibility, as well as more promotion opportunities, material rewards (e.g., bonuses and material support), and spiritual rewards (e.g., public praise, spiritual support, and positive interaction). This makes it easier for them to achieve career success (Ng et al., 2005). Previous researchers have proposed that LMX mediates the relationship between positive LIFT and the outcome variables of follower job performance and interpersonal outcome (Sy, 2010; Whiteley et al., 2012).

In addition, when employees have a high level of POS, this meets their needs for emotional support, affiliation, esteem, and approval (Rhoades & Eisenberger, 2002). Further, this socioemotional function of POS can make followers more satisfied with their job and career (Rhoades & Eisenberger, 2002). When POS is high, the social exchange relationship quality is high, which is conducive to the formation of positive interaction between leaders and employees (Martin, Thomas, Legood, & Dello Russo, 2018). Leaders provide these employees with more resources, such as training, rewards, and skill development (Shoss, Eisenberger, Restubog, & Zagenczyk, 2013). As these resources enable them to perform better than those with low POS, it is easier for employees with a high level of POS to achieve career success. Therefore, we proposed the following hypotheses:

Hypothesis 2: Leader--member exchange will mediate the relationship between positive leadership implicit followership theory and employees' career success.

Hypothesis 3: Perceived organizational support will mediate the relationship between positive leaders' implicit followership theory and employees' career success.

The Moderating Effect of Liking

Wayne et al. (1997) found that leaders' liking of followers influences the relationships that develop between the parties, and is a significant predictor of LMX (Dockery & Steiner, 1990; Wayne & Ferris, 1990). Thus, we expected that leaders' liking would play a moderating role in the relationship between positive LIFT and LMX/POS. Researchers examining person perception have suggested that, when leaders are asked to make judgements about their followers, they either retrieve relevant judgments formed during earlier interaction or they create judgements on the basis of information from long-term memory (Hastie & Park, 1986).

Second, leaders' liking of followers influences the followers' interpretation of positive LIFT. Different levels of liking cause followers to have different feelings for their immediate leaders and also others in the organization, such as owners, managers, and directors. Leaders' liking evokes the followers' affection through social exchange. As followers develop positive emotions toward their leaders when they perceive liking, they will then devote more effort and attention to their job, and perceive a strong sense of meaning and self-efficacy; thus, their job performance will improve. Moreover, leaders' liking plays a strong role in the relationship between positive LIFT and employees' social exchange: When followers feel strong liking from their leaders, this reinforces the relationship between positive LIFT and LMX/POS, and vice versa. Thus, we proposed the following hypotheses:

Hypothesis 4a: Leaders' liking of followers will positively moderate the positive relationship between positive leaders' implicit followership theory and leader--member exchange.

Hypothesis 4b: Leaders' liking of followers will positively moderate the positive relationship between positive leaders' implicit followership theory and perceived organizational support.

Method

Participants and Procedure

To increase the external validity of our exploration of the proposed relationships, we conducted a survey with traditional work teams of full-time employees from 12 companies in China, representing diverse industries and job types. The composition of traditional (vs. nontraditional) work teams is that of low technology density, low demand for research and development, low risk taking, and low sensitivity to changes in the macroeconomic policy environment. To minimize common method variance (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Lee, & Podsakoff, 2003), we conducted two surveys 3 months apart. The respondents to the first survey (T1) were employees and their leaders, and the survey included measures of positive LIFT and leaders' liking of followers (leaders), and employees' demographic information, POS, and LMX (employees). Respondents to the second survey (T2) were employees, and we assessed their career success. Respondents sealed their completed survey form in an envelope, which they returned to their company's Human Resources Officer.

For the first survey (T1) we selected 500 followers and their leaders as possible respondents and distributed a survey form to each person, with a cover letter assuring confidentiality and the voluntary nature of participation. From this group, we received forms back from 412 leader--member dyads (82.4%). When the second survey (T2) was conducted with leaders and their followers, of these 412 dyads, three leaders and 12 followers had left their positions, and four followers now had different supervisors. We excluded these respondents from the second survey, and distributed 382 survey forms among the leaders and their followers, from whom 343 (89.79%) forms were collected. Thus, the final sample consisted of 296 leader--member dyads, who were composed of 156 (52.7%) men and 140 women (47.3%) with an average age of 29.27 years. Followers averaged 5.47 years of work experience, and the time that the leader and follower had worked together had a mean of 2.78 years (SD = 2.19). This data collection method should have greatly reduced the possibility of common method variance (Atwater & Carmeli, 2009).

Measures

The measures that we used were all adopted from papers in leading international journals, and have been shown to have good psychometric properties.

Positive leaders' implicit followership theory. Positive LIFT was measured with the nine positive attributes from the LIFT Scale (Sy, 2010). Leaders indicate their perception of their followers on a 7-point Likert scale ranging from 1 = strongly disagree to 7 = strongly agree. Sample items are "He works hard" and "His work performance is high." Cronbach's alpha was .93.

Career success. Employees' career success was measured with 11 items from the scale developed by Eby, Butts, and Lockwood (2003). Employees assess the items on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree. Sample items are "I could easily obtain a comparable job with another employer" and "There are many jobs available for me given my skills and experience." Cronbach's alpha was .89.

Leader--member exchange. LMX was measured at T2 by followers. We used Liden and Maslyn's (1998) 12-item inventory to evaluate followers' assessment of the quality of LMX with their leaders on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree. Sample items are "I admire the professional skills of my leader" and "I really like my leader." Cronbach's alpha was .89.

Perceived organizational support. Employees completed a shortened version of the Survey of Perceived Organizational Support (Eisenberger et al., 1986, 1990), comprising the eight items that loaded highest in Eisenberger et al.'s (1986) factor analysis. Employees assess these items on a 7-point Likert scale ranging from 1 = strongly disagree to 7 = strongly agree. Sample items are "The company cares about my welfare" and "The company pays attention to my contribution." Cronbach's alpha was .88.

Leaders' liking of followers. Leaders' liking of followers was measured with three items from Wayne et al. (1997), assessed on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree. The items are "I think my workgroup followers would make good friends," "I like my workgroup followers very much," and "I get along well with my workgroup followers." Cronbach's alpha was .82.

Control variables. We controlled for employees' age, gender, level of education, seniority and experience, and position in the organizational hierarchy.

Data Analysis

We examined the discriminant validity of the study measures and conducted a confirmatory factor analysis with LISREL 8.8 to examine the distinctiveness of the multi-item variables. We used the comparative fit index (CFI), incremental fit index (IFI), Tucker--Lewis index (TLI), and standardized root mean square residual (SRMR). As shown in Table 1, the hypothesized five-factor model provided the best fit to the data, indicating support for the distinctiveness of the study variables.

Results

Descriptive Statistics

Means, standard deviations, and correlations among the study variables are presented in Table 2, showing that positive LIFT was significantly correlated with employees' career success, LMX, and POS. In addition, LMX and POS were significantly correlated with employees' career success.

Testing Hypotheses

Per Table 3, positive LIFT had a significant positive effect on employees' career success. Therefore, Hypothesis 1 was supported.

As shown in Table 3, after we had controlled for employees' demographic variables, positive LIFT had a positive effect on LMX. Next, after we had entered LMX into the regression, LMX positively affected employees' career success, and the effect of positive LIFT on employees' career success was reduced. When we had combined the results from Models 5 and 8, we found initial support for the mediating role of LMX (Baron & Kenny, 1986; Mathieu & Taylor, 2007). Hypothesis 2 was, thus, supported.

In addition, positive LIFT had positive effect on POS (see Model 12). Next, after we had entered POS into the regression, POS had a positive effect on career success (see Model 6), and the effect of positive LIFT on employees' career success was reduced. When we combined the results from Models 6 and 12, we found initial support for the mediating role of POS (Baron & Kenny, 1986; Mathieu & Taylor, 2007). Hypothesis 3 was, thus, supported.

As shown in Models 10 and 14 of Table 4, the interactive effects were negative and significant; thus, Hypotheses 4a and 4b were supported. Following the procedure recommended by Aiken and West (1991), we conducted simple slope tests. As shown in Figure 2, the relationship between positive LIFT and LMX was especially strong for a low level of liking (slope = .05, ns), but not different from zero for a high level of liking (slope = .61, p < .001). Thus, Hypothesis 4a was supported. As shown in Figure 3, the relationship between positive LIFT and POS was especially strong for the low level of liking (slope = .03, ns), but not different from zero for the high level (slope = .41, p < .001). Therefore, Hypothesis 4b was supported.

Discussion

Our findings have several important theoretical implications. First, we found that positive LIFT had a significant positive effect on employees' career success, thus contributing to the literature on the consequences of LIFT and the antecedents of employees' career success. Previous researchers have examined the positive effect of positive LIFT on employees' performance, job satisfaction, and well-being (Epitropaki et al., 2013), which are necessary for employees to achieve career success. However, as few researchers have explored the relationship empirically, we have addressed this gap and found that an employee who matches positive LIFT becomes a member of his/her leader's in-group. According to the perception--behavior link (Whiteley et al., 2012) from the sociocognitive perspective, this employee is treated better than his or her peers and is given more sponsorship by the leader, leading to career success.

According to Ng et al. (2005), the components of career success can be affected by four categories of predictors: human capital, organizational sponsorship, sociodemographic status, and stable individual differences. However, as the perspective of these categories is mainly follower-centered, this leaves understudied the leadership factors that determine employees' career success. In this study we explained the relationship between positive LIFT and employees' career success by drawing on the perception--behavior link of social cognitive theory (Whiteley et al., 2012), thus yielding expertise and insight into the mechanism that forms career success from the leader-centered and sociocognitive perspectives.

Second, our finding that LMX and POS partially mediated the positive relationship between positive LIFT and employees' career success contributes to understanding of the underlying mechanism of the relationship. Specifically, from the social exchange theory perspective, in line with the perception--behavior link, as employees who match positive LIFT have a high level of LMX and POS, they are the most likely to achieve career success. The combination of employees and leaders will form LMX, and employees and organizations will form POS, an important position in organizations (Shoss et al., 2013).

Third, and we believe most interesting among our findings, we explored the boundary conditions of the positive LIFT--followers' career success relationship. The results suggest that leaders' liking of their followers plays an important moderating role in the process of positive LIFT influencing followers' career success. However, in traditional research in which the focus is more on the relational factors of the influence of LMX on employees' cognition and behavior, rather than the emotional factors of the influence of liking on employees' performance, followers whose leaders like them well are expected to feel compelled to reciprocate this good treatment with better performance (see, e.g., Gerstner & Day, 1997). In addition, followers whose leaders like them well (vs. their peers who are not so well liked) perform better because the increased resources and better treatment they receive give them the necessary tools and confidence to do so (see, e.g., Liden, Wayne, & Stilwell, 1993; Wayne et al., 1997). Indeed, there is support for such outcomes in leader-follower relationships in meta-analyses and other studies (e.g., Gerstner & Day, 1997; Wayne & Ferris, 1990). That is to say, the follower who is not well-liked by his or her leader will have a difficult path to success. However, is this a rule? Our results explain that, despite the difficult situation, followers in a low-liking relationship with their leader work hard to reach the leader's expectations, and to then become a member of the leader's in group, as is their counterpart who is well-liked. This finding provides insight into how and why LIFT could exert an influence on employees' positive outcomes.

Our findings also have several important practical implications. First, a positive relationship between positive LIFT and employees' career success suggests that to facilitate employees' career success, efforts from the organization, as the source of POS, and interaction between leaders and employees are required: Leaders in organizations should undertake intervention strategies to increase positive LIFT. For example, the organization can enact norms and policies for positive leader and follower interaction through frequent and constructive team-working tasks or outdoor outreach projects, such as a single log bridge. These psychologist-designed training activities give leaders more opportunities to capture their followers' good qualities and, thus, the activities are conducive to the formation of positive LIFT. In addition, leaders, rather than focusing on employees' poor qualities or weaknesses, should look for and pay more attention to their good qualities, and employees should adopt impression management strategies by highlighting their strengths and avoiding weakness in front of the leader to create a good impression on the leader, who will like them more.

Second, we found that employees who match positive LIFT and also have a high level of LMX and POS are the most likely to achieve career success. Thus, we can infer that employees wishing to facilitate their career success should try to build up a high-quality LMX relationship. In addition, organizational managers and leaders should take steps to boost employees' sense that their contribution is valued and that their well-being is cared about.

The conclusion that without the leader's liking the follower will not succeed, is supported by results from traditional researchers showing that leaders provide more resources and opportunities to followers they like in contrast to followers they do not like. As a result, followers who are liked by their leader are more likely to succeed (Dulebohn, Bommer, Liden, Brouer, & Ferris, 2012; Hakimi, Van Knippenberg, & Giessner, 2010; Sy, 2010; Whiteley et al., 2012). However, our results show that the follower who matches with a high level of positive LIFT is appreciated by the leader, for example when a follower who is not well-liked by his or her leader expends greater effort to reach the leader's expectations. This emphasizes the importance of being well-liked.

There are several strengths in this study, such as our use of multisource and multiwave data, so that the possibility of common method bias has been reduced and the causality of relationships between the core variables unequivocally demonstrated. However, there are limitations in this study. First, the IFT scales that we used were developed in a Western culture. Given the difference between Chinese and Western cultural backgrounds and with reference to previous IFT research, there would be some content and structural differences in these cultural contexts (Epitropaki et al., 2013). Although Sy (2010) pointed out that contextual effects likely reflect differences in endorsement for the same set of IFT core attributes rather than actual differences in the content of IFT attributes, localized scales would be a better choice to obtain results that can more accurately reflect local situations. Second, as we selected the enterprises ourselves, this may, to some extent, have affected the study's external validity. Future researchers can expand the scope to include a wider range of organizations. Third, although we were concerned with the positive relationship between positive LIFT and career success, the relationship may also be negative. Further studies should be conducted with a focus on the negative influence of negative LIFT on employees' career success.

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the National Natural Foundation of China (71421061, 71121001, 17ZDA051).

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Peng Gao (1), Weiku Wu (1)

(1) School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, People's Republic of China

How to cite: Gao, P., & Wu, W. (2019). Effect of leaders' implicit followership theory on subordinates' career success. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 47(5), e718o

CORRESPONDENCE Weiku Wu, School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, Haidian, Beijing 100084, People's Republic of China. Email: wuwk@sem.tsinghua.edu.cn

https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.7180
Table 1. Results of Confirmatory Factor Analyses of Alternative Models

Model                    [chi square]  df   CFI  TLI  IFI  SRMR

Five-factor model            705.25     94  .85  .81  .85  .08
Four-factor model (a)       1014.42     98  .78  .73  .78  .11
Three-factor model (b)      1289.82    101  .72  .66  .71  .13
Two-factor model (c)        2405.97    102  .45  .36  .45  .21
Single-factor model (d)     2702.83    104  .38  .28  .38  .22

Note. N = 296. (a) LMX and POS were combined; (b) Liking, LMX, and POS
were combined; (c) Positive LIFT, Liking, LMX, and POS were combined;
(d) All variables were combined into a single factor. CFI = comparative
fit index, IFI = incremental fit index, TLI = Tucker-Lewis index, and
SRMR = standardized root mean square residual.

Table 2. Means, Standard Deviations, and Correlations of Study
Variables

Variables                   M      SD       1          2         3

 1. Gender                 0.53  0.50
 2. Age                   29.27  3.25  -.33 (**)
 3. Education              1.39  0.49   .03       -.11
 4. Organizational tenure  5.47  2.57  -.26 (**)   .61 (**)  -.11
 5. Work with the leader   2.78  2.19  -.30 (**)   .45 (**)   .07
 6. Positive LIFT          5.45  0.56   .21 (**)  -.35 (**)   .17 (**)
 7. LMX                    3.84  0.46   .03       -.24 (**)   .33 (**)
 8. POS                    3.84  0.53  -.15 (**)   .00        .23 (**)
 9. Liking                 3.70  0.61  -.11        .06        .08
10. Career success         3.61  0.49   .17 (**)   .05        .14 (**)

Variables                     4          5         6          7

 1. Gender
 2. Age
 3. Education
 4. Organizational tenure
 5. Work with the leader   .49 (**)
 6. Positive LIFT         -.33 (**)  -.10
 7. LMX                   -.13 (**)   .00       .37 (**)
 8. POS                   -.07        .06       .28 (**)  .29 (**)
 9. Liking                 .17 (**)   .14 (**)  .21 (**)  .41 (**)
10. Career success        -.26 (**)   .24 (**)  .38 (**)  .18 (**)

Variables                     8         9

 1. Gender
 2. Age
 3. Education
 4. Organizational tenure
 5. Work with the leader
 6. Positive LIFT
 7. LMX
 8. POS
 9. Liking                .41 (**)
10. Career success        .36 (**)  .24 (**)

Note. N= 296. LIFT = leaders' implicit followership theory, LMX =
leader--member exchange, POS = perceived organizational support.
(*) p < .05, (**) p < .01.

Table 3. Results of Regression Analysis

                                      Career success
                           M1          M2          M3          M4

Gender                   .24 (**)    .21 (**)    .30         .27 (**)
Age                      .28 (**)    .35 (**)    .27         .31 (**)
Education                .07         .03        -.01         .04
Organizational tenure   -.59 (**)   -.52 (**)   -.54 (**)   -.64 (**)
Work with the leader     .47 (**)    .43 (**)    .46 (**)    .45 (**)
Positive LIFT                        .33 (**)
LMX                                              .34 (**)
POS                                                          .29 (**)
[R.sub.2]                .32         .41         .42         .40
[DELTA][R.sup.2]         .33         .09         .43         .41
F                      28.44 (**)  34.48 (**)  36.86 (**)  33.12 (**)
[DELTA]F               28.44 (**)  43.70 (**)  36.86 (**)  33.12 (**)

                           Career success
                           M5          M6

Gender                   .26 (**)    .23 (**)
Age                      .33 (**)    .36 (**)
Education               -.02         .02
Organizational tenure   -.50 (**)   -.57 (**)
Work with the leader     .42 (**)    .42 (**)
Positive LIFT            .24 (**)    .26 (**)
LMX                      .27 (**)
POS                                  .22 (**)
[R.sub.2]                .47         .45
[DELTA][R.sup.2]         .06         .04
F                      37.73 (**)  35.04 (**)
[DELTA]F               33.80 (**)  22.82 (**)

Note. N= 296. LIFT = leaders' implicit followership theory, LMX =
leader--member exchange, POS = perceived organizational support.
(*) p < .05, (**) p < .01.

Table 4. Results of Regression Analysis

                                               LMX
                            M7          M8         M9         M10

Gender                  -.17 (*)    -.21 (**)  -.16 (*)    -.14 (*)
Age                      .03         .10        .09         .12
Education                .22 (**)    .19 (**)   .14 (*)     .12 (*)
Organizational tenure   -.13        -.07       -.14        -.06
Work with the leader     .05         .01        .03        -.08
Positive LIFT                        .31 (**)               .33 (**)
Liking                                          .25 (**)    .13 (*)
Positive LIFT x Liking                                     -.28 (**)
[R.sup.2]                .07         .15        .12         .23
[DELTA][R.sup.2]         .09         .08        .14         .08
F                       5.54 (**)   9.49 (**)  7.85 (**)  11.92 (**)
[DELTA]F                5.54 (**)  26.80 (**)  7.85 (**)  16.21 (**)

                          LMX                    POS
                          M11        M12         M13         M14

Gender                  -.08       -.12        -.06        -.05
Age                     -.11       -.04         .01         .03
Education                .09        .05        -.05        -.07
Organizational tenure    .19 (*)    .25 (**)    .18         .23 (**)
Work with the leader     .07        .03         .04        -.03
Positive LIFT                       .29 (**)                .22 (**)
Liking                                          .45 (**)    .36 (**)
Positive LIFT x Liking                                     -.20 (**)
[R.sup.2]                .03        .12         .20         .25
[DELTA][R.sup.2]         .05        .07         .22         .15
F                       3.13 (*)   6.67 (**)  13.58 (**)  13.30 (**)
[DELTA]F                3.13 (*)  23.18 (**)  13.58 (**)  29.29 (**)

Note. LIFT = leaders' implicit followership theory, LMX =
leader--member exchange, POS = perceived organizational support. (*) p
< .05, (**) p < .01.
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Author:Gao, Peng; Wu, Weiku
Publication:Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal
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Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:May 1, 2019
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