The effect of authoritarian leadership on silence and counterproductive work behaviors: Explaining the mediator's role of representational predicament

Document Type : Research Article (with quantitative approaches)


1 student

2 Assistant Professor

3 Management coach


The authoritarian leadership style is one of the negative and unethical styles of leadership and is guided by the dark side styles of leadership. Regarding the negative effects and consequences of this leadership style, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of authoritarian leadership on silence and counterproductive work behaviors, taking into account the mediator's role of representational predicament. The research is descriptive – correlation. The statistical population of the study consisted of employees of one of the law enforcement agencies of Tehran, a total of 89 people were selected by random sampling as a statistical sample. The instruments for collecting data were questionnaire. To analyze the collected data, Vertical Factor Analysis and Structural Equation Modeling and Smart PLS software were used. Based on the research results, the authoritarian leadership has a positive and significant impact on counterproductive work behaviors and representational predicament. The results showed that there is no significant relationship between authoritarian leadership with employees silence and the representational predicament with counterproductive work behaviors. Also, the mediator's role of representational predicament in the relationship between autocratic leadership and silence was confirmed but the mediator's role of representational predicament was not confirmed in the relationship between authoritarian leadership and counterproductive work behaviors.


  1. هاجران، بهناز و دیو بند، افشین. (1396). تحلیل رابطۀ سبک رهبری اخلاقی و سکوت سازمانی با خلاقیت کارکنان. اخلاق در علوم و فنّاوری، 12(2)، ۱۳۷-۱۴۸
  2. همتی نوعدوست گیلانی، مهناز و غلامی، فاطمه. (1397). رابطه بین رهبری اخلاقی و رفتارهای انحرافی کارکنان با نقش واسطه‌ای عزت نفس. اخلاق در علوم و فنّاوری، 13(3)، ۸۵-۹۱.
  3. هومن، حیدرعلی (1395). مدلیابی معادلات ساختاری با کاربرد نرم افزار لیزرل. تهران: سازمان مطالعه و تدوین کتب علوم انسانی دانشگاهها (سمت)
  4. Aryee, S., Chen, Z. X., Sun, L. Y., & Debrah, Y. A. (2007). Antecedents and outcomes of abusive supervision: test of a trickle-down model. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(1), 191-20.
  5. Ashforth, B. (1994). Petty tyranny in organizations. Human relations, 47(7), 755- 778.
  6. Berry, C. M., Ones, D. N., & Sackett, P. R. (2007). Interpersonal deviance, organizational
  7. deviance, and their common correlates: a review and meta-analysis. Journal of applied psychology, 92(2), 410-424.
  8. Blau, P. M. (1964). Exchange and Power in Social Life. New York, NY: Wiley.
  9. Bowen. F., & Blackmon, K. (2003). Spirals of silence: the dynamic effects of diversity on organizational voice. Journal of Management Studies, 40(6), 1393- 1417.
  10. Bruk-Lee, V., & Spector, P. E. (2006). The social stressors-counterproductive work behaviors link: are conflicts with supervisors and coworkers the same?. Journal of occupational health psychology, 11(2), 145-156.
  11. Chan, S. C., Huang, X., Snape, E., & Lam, C. K. (2013). The Janus face of paternalistic leaders: Authoritarianism, benevolence, subordinates' organization‐based self‐ esteem, and performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34(1), 108-128.
  12. Cheng, B., Chou, L., Wu, Y., Huang, M., & Farh, L. (2004). Paternalistic leadership and subordinate responses: Establishing a leadership model in Chinese organizations. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 7(1), 89–117.
  13. Chin, W. W. (1998). The partial least squares approach to structural equation modeling. In G. A. Macrolides (Ed.), Modern Methods for Business Research (pp. 295-358). Mahwan. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
  14. Cropanzano, R. C., & Ambrose, M. L. (2015). Organizational justice: Where we have been and where we are going. The Oxford Handbook of Justice in the Workplace (pp. 3-14). R. S. Cropanzano, & M. L. Ambrose (Eds.). New York: Oxford University Press.
  15. De Cremer, D. (2006). Affective and motivational consequences of leader selfsacrifice: The moderating effect of autocratic leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 17(1), 79-93.
  16. Diefendorff, J. M., & Mehta, K. (2007). The relations of motivational traits with workplace deviance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(4), 967-977.
  17. Duan, J. Y., & Huang, C. Y. (2013).The mechanism of employee’s sense of power on speaking-up: A power cognition perspective (in Chinese). Acta Psychologica Sinica, 45(2), 217–230.
  18. Duan, J., Bao, C., Huang, C., Brinsfield, C. T. (2018). Authoritarian leadership and employee silence in China. Journal of Management & Organization, 24(1), 62-80.
  19. Duan, J., Lam, W., Chen, Z., & Zhong, J. A. (2010). Leadership justice, negative organizational behaviors, and the mediating effect of affective commitment. Social Behavior and Personality, 38(9), 1287–1296.
  20. Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Evaluation structural equation models with unobserved variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18(1), 39-50.
  21. Fox, S., Spector, P. E., & Miles, D. (2001). Counterproductive work behavior (CWB) in response to job stressors and organizational justice: Some mediator and moderator tests for autonomy and emotions. Journal of vocational behavior, 59(3), 291-309.
  22. Gonos, J., & Gallo, P. (2013). Model for leadership style evaluation. Management, 18(2), 157- 168.
  23. Gouldner, H. P. (1960). Dimensions of organizational commitment. Administrative Science Quarterly, 4, 468–490.
  24. Jiang, H., Chen, Y., Sun, P., & Yang, J. (2017). The Relationship between Authoritarian Leadership and Employees’ Deviant Workplace Behaviors: The Mediating Effects of Psychological Contract Violation and Organizational Cynicism. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 732.
  25. Kesting, P., Ulhøi, J., Song, L., & Niu, H. (2016). The impact of leadership styles on innovation-a review. Journal of Innovation Management, 3(4), 22-41.
  26. Kiazad, K., Restubog, S. L. D., Zagenczyk, T. J., Kiewitz, C., & Tang, R. L. (2010). In pursuit of power: The role of authoritarian leadership in the relationship between supervisors’ Machiavellianism and subordinates’ perceptions of abusive supervisory behavior. Journal of Research in Personality, 44(4), 512-519
  27. Lee, S., Yun, S., & Srivastava, A. (2013). Evidence for a curvilinear relationship between abusive supervision and creativity in South Korea. The Leadership Quarterly, 24(5), 724-731.
  28. Morrison, E. W., & Milliken, F. J. (2000). Organizational silence: A barrier to change and development in a pluralistic world. Academy of Management Review, 25(4), 706–731.
  29. Mount, M., Ilies, R., & Johnson, E. (2006). Relationship of personality traits and counterproductive work behaviors: the mediating effects of job satisfaction. Personnel psychology, 59(3), 591-622.
  30. Nunnally, J. C., & Bernstein, I. H. (1994). Psychometric theory. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  31. Ocel, H. (2018). The Relations Between Authoritarian Leadership and Counterproductive Work Behaviors: The Role of Psychological Resilience. Journal of Entrepreneurship & Organization Management, 7(1), 1-6.
  32. Penney, L. M., & Spector, P. E. (2002). Narcissism and counterproductive work behavior: Do bigger egos mean bigger problems?. International Journal of selection and Assessment, 10(1‐2), 126-134.
  33. Puni, A., Agyemang, C. B., & Asamoah, E. S. (2016). Leadership styles, employee turnover intentions and counterproductive work behaviors. International Journal of Innovative Research and Development, 5(1), 1-7.
  34. Puni, A., Ofei, B., & Okoe, A. (2014). The effect of leadership styles on firm performance in Ghana. International Journal of Marketing Studies, 6(1), 177-185.
  35. Robinson, S. L., & Bennett, R. J. (1995). A typology of deviant workplace behaviors: A multidimensional scaling study. Academy of Management Journal, 38(2), 555- 572.
  36. Salgado, J. F. (2002). The Big Five personality dimensions and counterproductive behaviors. International journal of selection and assessment, 10(1‐2), 117-125.
  37. Schyns, B., & Schilling, J. (2013). How bad are the effects of bad leaders? A met-analysis of destructive leadership and its outcomes. The Leadership Quarterly, 24(1), 138-158.
  38. Shaw, M. E. (1955). A comparison of two types of leadership in various communication nets. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 50(1), 127- 134.
  39. Snell, R. S., & Wong, M. M. (2009). Representational predicaments at three Hong Kong sites. Organization Studies, 30(7), 779-802.
  40. Snell, R. S., Wong, M. M., Chak, A. M., & Hui, S. S. (2012). Representational predicaments at work: How they are experienced and why they may happen. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 30(1), 251-279.
  41. Snell, R. S., Yi, Z., & Chak, A. M. (2013). Representational predicaments for employees: their impact on perceptions of supervisors’ individualized consideration and on employee job satisfaction. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24(8), 1646-1670.
  42. Spector, P. E., Fox, S., Penney, L. M., Bruursema, K., Goh, A., & Kessler, S. (2006). The dimensionality of counterproductivity: Are all counterproductive behaviors created equal?. Journal of vocational behavior, 68(3), 446 460.
  43. Tangirala, S.,& Ramanujam, R. (2008). Employee silence on critical work issues: The cross level effects of procedural justice climate. Personnel Psychology, 61(1), 37-68.
  44. Walumbwa, F. O., & Schaubroeck, J. (2009). Leader personality traits and employee voice behavior: Mediating roles of ethical leadership and work group psychological safety. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(5), 1275–1286.
  45. Wang, N. (2017). The mediating role of representational predicaments: Between autocratic leadership and subordinates’ workplace behaviors (Master's thesis), Lingnan University, Hong Kong).