Date: 31 Jul 2012
Ethical Leadership: Assessing the Value of a Multifoci Social Exchange Perspective
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In this study, we comprehensively examine the relationships between ethical leadership, social exchange, and employee commitment. We find that organizational and supervisory ethical leadership are positively related to employee commitment to the organization and supervisor, respectively. We also find that different types of social exchange relationships mediate these relationships. Our results suggest that the application of a multifoci social exchange perspective to the context of ethical leadership is indeed useful: As hypothesized, within-foci effects (e.g., the relationship between organizational ethical leadership and commitment to the organization) are stronger than cross-foci effects (e.g., the relationship between supervisory ethical leadership and commitment to the organization). In addition, in contrast to the “trickle down” model of ethical leadership (Mayer et al. in Org Behav Hum Decis Process 108:1–13, 2009), our results suggest that organizational ethical leadership is both directly and indirectly related to employee outcomes.
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- Ethical Leadership: Assessing the Value of a Multifoci Social Exchange Perspective
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 115, Issue 3 , pp 435-449
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Ethical leadership
- Social exchanges
- Leader–member exchange
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. John B. Goddard School of Business & Economics, Weber State University, 3848 Harrison Blvd., Ogden, UT, 84408, USA
- 2. Krannert Graduate School of Management, Purdue University, 403 W. State Street, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA
- 3. Sam and Irene Black School of Business, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, 4701 College Drive, Erie, PA, 16563, USA