How work-related capabilities influence job performance: a relational perspective

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Human Resource Management, 2019, 30 (7), pp. 1157 - 1180
Issue Date:
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© 2017, © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Employee relationships with supervisors can be based upon both work-focused activities and outcomes, as exemplified by leader–member exchange (LMX), and personal, non-work activities, as exemplified by Chinese guanxi. The purpose of this study is to examine the mediating role of supervisor–subordinate guanxi (SSG) and LMX in the relationship between the work-related human and social capital of employees and supervisors’ ratings of their job performance. Data were collected from 372 employees and 127 supervisors in a range of companies in China. The study demonstrates how human and social capital might play differing roles in influencing SSG and LMX. In particular, LMX partially mediated the relationship between human capital and job performance, and the relationship between social capital and job performance was fully mediated by SSG and LMX. The findings enrich understanding of how personal capabilities influence work and non-work relationships and assessments of job performance. The unique content of the Chinese construct of guanxi has implications for research and practice in modern organizations where the barriers between work and non-work are permeable and relationships include affective attachment as well as instrumental considerations.
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