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Drawing on signaling theory, the purpose of this study is to explore how high-performance work systems (HPWS) interact with leader–member exchange (LMX) to predict employees' proactive behavior and job engagement. Moreover, the present study also proposes the mediating role of job engagement in the interactive effects of HPWS and LMX quality on proactive behavior.Design/methodology/approachThe data of this study include 228 customer-contact employees and 44 store managers from chain store enterprises in the service sector in Taiwan. The proposed models were tested with hierarchical linear modeling and Monte Carlo simulation.FindingsThe results show a significant interactive effect of HPWS and LMX on job engagement and proactive behavior. In addition, job engagement serves as a vital mechanism linking the interactive effect of HPWS and LMX quality on proactive behavior.Originality/valueThis study uses signaling theory to unpack the question when and how HPWS can be more influential on employees' proactive behavior. In particular, the positive effect of HPWS on proactive behavior is more prominent only when employees enjoy high LMX quality with their respective line managers. In addition, the interactive effects of HPWS and LMX quality on proactive behavior are mediated by job engagement. The findings provide valuable theoretical and managerial contribution by integrating HRM and leadership research.
Personnel Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 13, 2022
Keywords: High-performance work systems; Job engagement; Leader–member exchange; Proactive behavior; Signaling theory
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