A selection of interesting articles we found recently, on issues in ethical leadership.

Multiple papers on sustainability and CSR
This special issue of Organizational Dynamics is devoted to leadership and sustainability. The whole issue takes a keen look at cutting edge topics regarding the leadership imperative for responsibility and sustainability, motivated by Craig Pearce & Günter Stahl’s increasing concern about the future. Is our current economic model sustainable? Are the corporations of today acting responsibly? What about the leadership crisis that is perceived by the overwhelming majority of the population? These and other questions are the focus of the articles that comprise this special issue. The authors and contributors hail from across the globe and come from academia, consulting and the C-suite. The authors draw upon decades of work and provide many vivid examples of how to develop sustainable responsibility.

See more: Craig L. Pearce & Günter K. Stahl. 2015. Introduction to the special issue: The leadership imperative for sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
Organizational Dynamics, 44(2), 83-86.


When ethical leadership moderates frequent change and turnover intention
In a multi-source study, Mayowa Babalola, Jeroen Stouten & Martin Euwema examine how frequent change interacts with ethical leadership to reduce turnover intentions. They argue that ethical leaders enhance employees’ state of self-esteem, which explains the moderating effect of ethical leadership.

Results from 124 employee-coworker-supervisor triads revealed that ethical leadership moderated the relationship between frequent change and turnover intention such that the relationship was positive only when ethical leadership was low. The moderating relationship could be shown to be mediated by employees’ state self-esteem.

Find the article at: Mayowa T. Babalola, Jeroen Stouten & Martin Euwema. 2016. Frequent change and turnover intention: the moderating role of ethical leadership.
Journal of Business Ethics, 134(2), 311-322.


What is the language of narcissistic CSR orientation like?
This paper takes a critical perspective on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and examines the ways in which an industry organisation discursively manages the relationship between the industry and its stakeholders in a situation where the legitimacy of the industry is called into question. Drawing on the literature on organisational narcissism and sensemaking the paper develops the construct of a narcissistic CSR orientation and empirically elaborates on three defensive rhetorical strategies through which the organization makes sense of the accountability and responsibility of the industry for the negative societal effects of their business.

The paper advances knowledge in the field of critical CSR by proposing a new framework for critically examining organisation-stakeholder relationships and organisational responses to stakeholder demands in contexts where the interests of organisations are in conflict with the public good.

Find details at: Kirsti Iivonen & Johanna Moisander. 2015. Rhetorical Construction of Narcissistic CSR Orientation.
Journal of Business Ethics, 131(3), 649-664.


When should entrepreneurially-oriented firms have narcissistic CEOs?
It depends according to Andreas Engelen, Christoph Neumann & Susanne Schmidt. Existing research has shown that firms with high levels of entrepreneurial orientation (EO) outperform competitors. The present study sheds light on this performance relationship in large, publicly listed high-tech firms by examining whether the strength of this relationship depends upon the CEO’s narcissism, an executive personality trait recently debated controversially in both academic and practitioner publications.

A theoretically derived research model is empirically validated by means of multisource secondary data for 41 S&P 500 firms from 2005 to 2007. Findings indicate that narcissistic CEOs usually weaken the EO-performance relationship, although the opposite is true under some conditions, such as in highly concentrated and dynamic markets.

Read more at: Andreas Engelen, Christoph Neumann & Susanne Schmidt. 2016. Should Entrepreneurially Oriented Firms Have Narcissistic CEOs?
Journal of Management, 2016, 42(3, 698-721.


Supervisor’s behavioural integrity affects the relationship between regulatory focus and managing impressions
The desire to control how others see us is a ubiquitous phenomenon. Decades of research have suggested that the results associated with how others see us are too great an influence to ignore. The tactics we use and behaviours we engage in to control how others see us is known as impression management. This study examines the relationship between regulatory focus and the use of exemplification or supplication impression management tactics. The authors use regulatory focus theory to examine this phenomenon.

First, they investigate the main effects that occur between prevention-focused individuals and exemplification, and between promotion-focused individuals and exemplification and supplication. They then introduce supervisor behavioural integrity as a moderator between regulatory focus and impression management.

Findings suggest a positive relationship between prevention-focused and exemplification, and between promotion-focused and exemplification and supplication. The researchers also find that behavioural integrity strengthens the relationship between prevention-focused and exemplification and promotion-focused and supplication, but not promotion-focused and exemplification. Implications and future research directions are discussed.

More details are at: K. Michele Kacmar & Reginald Tucker. 2016. The moderating effect of supervisor’s behavioral integrity on the relationship between regulatory focus and impression management.
Journal Of Business Ethics, 135(1), 87-98.


Do ethical leaders give followers the confidence to go the extra mile?
Based on social cognitive theory, this paper explored the cognitive mechanism between ethical leadership and the followers’ extra-role performance. We tested a moderated mediation model in which general self-efficacy mediated the relationship between ethical leadership and the employee extra-role performance, while intrinsic motivation moderated the relationship between ethical leadership and subordinate’s general self-efficacy.

Data were collected in two waves from 208 dyads. Results supported the time-lagged effect of ethical leadership on individual extra-role performance and the mediating role of general self-efficacy. Moreover, our findings revealed that intrinsic motivation positively moderated the effect of ethical leadership on general self-efficacy. Furthermore, intrinsic motivation also moderated the indirect effect of ethical leadership on extra-role performance via general self-efficacy. Theoretical and practical implications were further discussed.

For more detail see: Yidong Tu & , Xinxin Lu. 2016. Do ethical leaders give followers the confidence to go the extra mile? The moderating role of intrinsic motivation.
Journal Of Business Ethics, 135(1), 129-144.