Read how ethical leadership can make a difference in employee behaviour and attitude.

Servant leadership and OCB 
While the link between servant leadership and organisational citizenship behaviour (OCB) has been established, the individual-level mechanisms underlying this relationship and its boundary conditions remain poorly understood. In this study, the authors investigate the salience of the mediating mechanisms of leader–member exchange (LMX) and psychological empowerment in explaining the process by which servant leaders elicit discretionary OCB among followers.

The authors also examine the role of followers’ proactive personality in moderating the indirect effects of servant leadership on OCB through LMX and psychological empowerment. Analysis of survey data collected from 446 supervisor–subordinate dyads in a large Chinese state-owned enterprise suggests that while servant leadership is positively related to subordinate OCB through LMX, psychological empowerment does not explain any additional variance in OCB above that accounted for by LMX. Moderated mediation tests confirm the moderating effect of proactive personality through LMX.

By providing a nuanced understanding of how and when servant leadership leads followers to go above and beyond their job role, this study assists organisations in deciding how to develop and utilise servant leaders in their organisations.

A. Newman, G. Schwarz, B. Cooper and S. Sendjaya. 2017. How Servant Leadership Influences Organizational Citizenship Behavior: The Roles of LMX, Empowerment, and Proactive Personality.  
Journal of Business Ethics, 145(1), 49–62.


Moral identity, citizenship behaviours and unethical prosocial behaviours  
This article examines the influence of both individual and organisational moral identity centrality on prosocial behaviours. Furthermore, these authors hypothesise that the centrality of these two offer a substitute effect on these behavioural outcomes. Validated measures of organisational moral identity centrality and unethical prosocial behaviour are introduced.

Data were collected via two separate samples, University Greek Life organisation members (n = 499) and restaurant workers (n = 137). Regression results supporting that individuals who claim centrality of moral identity and see their organisations to also embrace the centrality are more likely to engage in citizenship behaviours and less likely to commit unethical prosocial acts.

Furthermore, results support that both forms of centrality of moral identity were substitutes in terms of affecting these two outcomes. Research that contributes to understanding how individuals within an organisation consciously choose to act on behalf of the organisation even when these very actions conflict with generally accepted morals of right and wrong within their society is valuable to academics and practitioners alike.

This study contributes to this body of knowledge. Despite extensive attention to topics of ethics and identity, previous studies have largely overlooked the impact of an organisational moral identity. The results provide a framework for understanding the role of moral identity and the prediction of organisational citizenship and unethical prosocial behaviours.

Curtis F. Matherne, J. Kirk Ring and Steven Farmer. 2017. Organizational Moral Identity Centrality: Relationships with Citizenship Behaviors and Unethical Prosocial Behaviors.
Journal of Business and Psychology


Role of ethical leadership in organisational commitment in the Thai Public Service
Much of the work in public management indicates that public service motivation (PSM) generally leads to higher levels of organisational commitment. The authors argue that this relationship is more complex than generally assumed.

First, drawing from self-determination theory, they propose that intrinsic motivation is conceptually distinct from PSM and that the two variables could interact. Second, drawing from the fit perspective, the researchers further propose that ethical leadership is a contextual variable that will enhance the effect of PSM.

A field study of public employees in Thailand provides support for this contingency perspective. The study found that intrinsic motivation moderated the effect of PSM, such that the effect was positive only for individuals with high-intrinsic motivation but negative for those with low-intrinsic motivation. Furthermore, the analysis revealed a three-way interaction, which indicated that PSM was most positively related to organisational commitment when accompanied by high-intrinsic motivation and ethical leadership.

Wisanupong Potipiroon and Michael T. Ford. 2017. Does Public Service Motivation Always Lead to Organizational Commitment? Examining the Moderating Roles of Intrinsic Motivation and Ethical Leadership.
Public Personnel Management, 46(3), 211-238.


Ethical leadership and meaningful work on follower engagement, organisational identification and envy 
This study examines a proposed model whereby ethical leadership positively influences the level of meaning followers experience in their work, which in turn positively impacts followers’ levels of work engagement and organisational identification, as well as reduces their levels of workplace envy.

The authors further hypothesised that cognitive reappraisal strategies for emotional regulation would moderate the ethical leadership–meaningful work relationship. The model was tested in a stratified random field sample of 440 employees and their direct supervisors in the aviation industry in Turkey.

Results based on data collected at two points in time showed that ethical leadership has a significant and positive direct effect on engagement and organisational identification, as well as indirect effects on those two outcomes through meaningfulness. Finally, results show that ethical leadership has a significant negative direct effect on workplace envy. Further, results showed that cognitive reappraisal emotion regulation strategy positively moderates, i.e., strengthens, the relationship between ethical leadership and meaningful work.

Ozgur Demirtas, Sean T. Hannah, Kubilay Gok, Aykut Arslan and Nejat Capar. 2017. The Moderated Influence of Ethical Leadership, Via Meaningful Work, on Followers’ Engagement, Organizational Identification, and Envy. 
Journal of Business Ethics, 145(1), 183–199.


Restraining employee turnover intention through ethical leadership and pro-social rule breaking
Ethical leadership assumes a fundamental part of decreasing turnover intentions among employees. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of ethical leadership on employee turnover intentions through the lens of pro-social rule breaking in private sector higher education institutions of Pakistan.

Correlation and regression were employed in order to test the model where survey responses were gathered from 240 academicians employed in four private sector universities of Pakistan. Results showed that there exists a negative relationship between ethical leadership and employee turnover intention and pro-social rule breaking.

Furthermore, pro-social rule breaking has a positive relationship with employee turnover intention. The results of regression analysis showed that pro-social rule breaking acts as a partial mediator between ethical leadership and employee turnover intentions. Expanding on current theoretical knowledge, this study makes a significant contribution to leadership literature suggesting that firms should implement ethical leadership practices that support in reducing employee turnover intentions.

Read this article online for free

Majeed, Nauman; Jamshed, Samia; Mohd Mustamil, Norizah. 2018. Striving to Restrain Employee Turnover Intention Through Ethical Leadership and Pro-Social Rule Breaking.
International Online Journal of Educational Leadership, 2(1), 39-53.


The importance of high organisational support in breaking the silence of public accountants 
This paper reports the results of a survey with public accountants in Barbados on their intention to report a superior’s unethical behaviour. Specifically, it investigates to what extent perceived organisational support (POS) in audit organisations would moderate Barbadian public accountants’ intentions to blow the whistle internally and externally.

Results indicate that internal whistle-blowing intentions are significantly influenced by all five individual antecedents (attitudes, perceived behavioural control, independence commitment, personal responsibility for reporting and personal cost of reporting), and the influence of the antecedents is intensified when the level of POS is high.

However, further results indicate that external whistle-blowing intentions are significantly influenced by only three individual-level antecedents viz. attitudes, perceived behavioural control and personal cost of reporting, and their influence is intensified when the level of POS is low. The results suggest that POS is an important mechanism for controlling behaviour.

Philmore Alleyn, Mohammad Hudaib and Roszaini Haniffa. 2018. The Moderating Role of Perceived Organisational Support in Breaking the Silence of Public Accountants.  
Journal of Business Ethics, 147(3), 509–527.


Do rewards for creativity programs benefit or frustrate employee performance?
We explore the effect of a reward for creativity program on employee creativity in organisations by investigating the underlying mechanisms based on the transactional model of stress and coping—a novel theoretical perspective for this research area. The researchers theorise and find in two field studies that challenge appraisal of a reward for creativity program (perceived potential for gain, growth, or mastery) is positively related to problem-focused coping, which in turn predicts high creative performance.

By contrast, threat appraisal of a reward for creativity program (perceived potential for harms or losses) is positively related to emotion-focused coping in the form of blaming, which in turn predicts low creative performance. These findings also support the different indirect effects of the two appraisals of a reward for creativity program on creative performance through coping strategies. In addition, the authors find self-efficacy that is an antecedent of individual appraisals.

The writers discuss the implications of the findings for theory development and managerial practice and suggest some important avenues for future research.

Fuli Li, Tingting Chen, Xin Lai. 2018. How Does a Reward for Creativity Program Benefit or Frustrate Employee Creative Performance?
The Perspective of Transactional Model of Stress and Coping. 
Group & Organization Management, 43(1), 138-175.