The effect of subordinate motivation on performance The moderating role of subordinate attributional style on leader emotional display

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Euijin Kang
EunKyoung Chung
YoungWoo Sohn


The purpose of this study is to examine whether subordinate attribution style on leader emotional (positive and negative) display moderates the relationship between subordinate achievement motivation/personal need for structure(PNS) and performance. 75 employees in the sales department of a pharmaceutical company participated in the survey. Results showed that subordinates using person-attribution style on leader negative emotional display performed better than those using performance-attribution style, though they had the same high level of explicit achievement motivation and PNS. That is, the moderating role of subordinate attributional style on leader negative emotional display was verified. On the contrary, subordinate attributional style on leader positive emotional display did not moderate the relationship between subordinate explicit achievement motivation/PNS and performance. Theoretical and practical implications, limitations, and future research are discussed.


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Kang, E., Chung, E., & Sohn, Y. (2011). The effect of subordinate motivation on performance: The moderating role of subordinate attributional style on leader emotional display. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 24(3), 553–574.
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