Informed by implicit leadership theories, this study investigates contemporary Chinese employees’ preferences for paternalistic leadership (including three components: moral leadership, benevolent leadership and authoritarian leadership) and transformational leadership. It further examines the relationship between power distance orientation, core self-evaluation (CSE) and leadership preferences. The study finds that contemporary Chinese employees most prefer moral leadership, but are also highly receptive to transformational leadership. They prefer authoritarian leadership least. Moreover, preferences for authoritarian leadership is predicated on followers’ power distance orientation. However, the opposite is true for moral leadership. CSE is positively related to followers’ preference for authoritarian leadership, benevolent leadership and transformational leadership, but not moral leadership. A positive interaction effect is found between power distance orientation and CSE with regard to authoritarian leadership preference. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.
- leadership preference