The impact of status-leveling symbols on employee attitudes: a moderated mediational analysis

David Morand, Lu Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Status-leveling symbols (defined as physical, verbal, and behavioral manifestations in an organization that are designed to downplay hierarchical systems within the organization) are considered central to high-involvement work systems, yet these practices have received little attention in the empirical literature. Using data collected from 147 working adults, this study examined the relationship between status-leveling symbols and work-related attitudes, as mediated by organizational culture. We also examined how individual power-distance orientation moderated this mediated relationship. We found that perceived low power-distance organizational culture mediated the relationship between status-leveling symbols and attitudes. Furthermore, individual power-distance orientation moderated the second path of the mediated relationship, yet in a direction opposite to our prediction. This study advances the theory related to organizational symbols and, more broadly, to high involvement work practices. Our findings also provide practical guidance relative to the role of perceived organizational culture as an important mechanism for managing employees’ reactions to status-leveling symbols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2495-2520
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Volume31
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 27 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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