Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 127, Issue 1, pp 165–176 | Cite as

Ethical Leadership and Reputation: Combined Indirect Effects on Organizational Deviance

Article

Abstract

The interest in ethical leadership has grown in the past few years, with an emphasis on the mechanisms through which it affects organizational life. However, research on the boundary conditions that limit and/or enhance its effectiveness is still scarce, especially concerning one of the main misconceptions about ethical leadership, its incompatibility with effectiveness (Brown, Organ Dyn 36:140–155, 2007). Thus, the present study (a) examines the relationship between ethical leadership and organizational deviance via affective commitment to the organization, as a reflection of the quality of the employee–organization relationship and (b) proposes this relationship is conditional on the supervisor’s personal reputation for performance (i.e., the moral standards are coupled with work effectiveness). Using a sample of 224 employees and their respective supervisors from 18 organizations, we confirmed our hypotheses (moderated mediation model). Our findings suggest that ethical leadership is positively related to employees’ affective commitment to the organization, particularly when supervisor’s reputation for performance is high, which in turn is associated with decreased organizational deviance. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings conclude the paper.

Keywords

Ethical leadership Reputation for performance EOR Organizational commitment Organizational deviance 

References

  1. Aquino, K., Lewis, M. U., & Bradfield, M. (1999). Justice constructs, negative affectivity, and employee deviance: A proposed model and empirical test. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 20, 1073–1091.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aryee, S., Budhwar, P. S., & Chen, Z. X. (2002). Trust as a mediator of the relationship between organizational justice and work outcomes: Test of a social exchange model. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 23, 267–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Avey, J. B., Palanski, M. E., & Walumbwa, F. O. (2011). When leadership goes unnoticed: The moderating role of follower self-esteem on the relationship between ethical leadership and follower behavior. Journal of Business Ethics, 98, 573–582.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Avey, J. B., Wernsing, T. S., & Palanski, M. E. (2012). Exploring the process of ethical leadership: The mediating role of employee voice and psychological ownership. Journal of Business Ethics, 107, 21–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bass, B. M., & Avolio, B. J. (1994). Improving organizational effectiveness through transformational leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  6. Becker, T. E. (1992). Foci and bases of commitment: Are they distinctions worth making? Academy of Management Journal, 35, 232–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Becker, T. E., Billings, R. S., Eveleth, D. M., & Gilbert, N. L. (1996). Foci and bases of employee commitment: Implications for job performance. Academy of Management Journal, 39, 464–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bennett, R. J., & Robinson, S. L. (2000). Development of a measure of workplace deviance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85, 349–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bentler, P. M. (1995). EQS structural equations program manual. Encino, CA: Multivariate Software.Google Scholar
  10. Berry, C. M., Ones, D. S., & Sackett, P. R. (2007). Interpersonal deviance, organizational deviance, and their common correlates: A review and meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 410–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Blau, P. M. (1964). Exchange and power in social life. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  12. Brown, M. E. (2007). Misconceptions of ethical leadership: How to avoid potential pitfalls. Organizational Dynamics, 36, 140–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Brown, M. E., & Treviño, L. K. (2006). Ethical leadership: A review and future directions. The Leadership Quarterly, 17, 595–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Brown, M. E., Treviño, L. K., & Harrison, D. A. (2005). Ethical leadership: A social learning perspective for construct development and testing. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 97, 117–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cohen, J., Cohen, P., West, S. G., & Aiken, L. S. (2003). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences (3rd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  16. Colquitt, J. A., & Rodell, J. B. (2011). Justice, trust, and trustworthiness: A longitudinal analysis integrating three theoretical perspectives. Academy of Management Journal, 54, 1183–1206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Colquitt, J. A., Scott, B. A., & LePine, J. A. (2007). Trust, trustworthiness, and trust propensity: A meta-analytic test of their unique relationships with risk taking and job performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 909–927.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Colquitt, J. A., Scott, B. A., Rodell, J. B., Long, D. M., Zapata, C. P., Conlon, D. E., et al. (2013). Justice at the millennium, a decade later: A meta-analytic test of social exchange and affect-based perspectives. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98, 199–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Coyle-Shapiro, J. A.-M., & Shore, L. M. (2007). The employee–organization relationship: Where do we go from here? Human Resource Management Review, 17, 166–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cropanzano, R., & Mitchell, M. S. (2005). Social exchange theory: An interdisciplinary review. Journal of Management, 31, 874–900.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Den Hartog, D.N., & De Hoogh, H. B. (2009). Empowering behaviour and leader fairness and integrity: Studying perceptions of ethical leader behaviour from a levels-of-analysis perspective. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 18, 199–230.Google Scholar
  22. Den Hartog, D. N., & Belschak, F. D. (2012). Work engagement and Machiavellianism in the ethical leadership process. Journal of Business Ethics, 107, 35–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dirks, K. T., & Ferrin, D. L. (2002). Trust in leadership: Meta-analytic findings and implications for research and practice. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 611–628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Eisenbeiss, S. A. (2012). Re-thinking ethical leadership: AN interdisciplinary integrative approach. The Leadership Quarterly, 23, 791–808.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Eisenberger, R., Huntington, R., Hutchison, S., & Sowa, D. (1986). Perceived organizational support. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71, 500–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Eisenberger, R., Karagonlar, G., Stinglhamber, F., Neves, P., Becker, T. E., Steiger-Mueller, M., et al. (2010). Leader–member exchange and affective organizational commitment: The contribution of supervisor’s organizational embodiment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95, 1085–1103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Feldman, D. C. (1984). The development and enforcement of group norms. Academy of Management Review, 9, 47–53.Google Scholar
  28. Ferris, G. R., Blass, F. R., Douglas, C., Kolodinsky, R. W., & Treadway, D. C. (2003). Personal reputation in organizations. In J. Greenberg (Ed.), Organizational behavior: The state of the science (2nd ed., pp. 211–246). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  29. Gouldner, A. W. (1960). The norm of reciprocity: A preliminary statement. American Sociological Review, 25, 161–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hansen, S. D., Alge, B. J., Brown, M. E., Jackson, C. L., & Dunford, B. B. (2013). Ethical leadership: Assessing the value of a multifoci social exchange perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 115, 435–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hochwarter, W. A., Ferris, G. R., Zinko, R., Arnell, B., & James, M. (2007). Reputation as a moderator of the political behavior—Work outcomes relationships: A two-study investigation with convergent results. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 567–576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kacmar, K. M., Bachrach, D. G., Harris, K. J., & Zivnuska, S. (2011). Fostering good citizenship through ethical leadership: Exploring the moderating role of gender and organizational politics. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96, 633–642.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kalshoven, K., & Boon, C. T. (2012). Ethical leadership, employee well-being and helping: The moderating role of human resource management. Journal of Personnel Psychology, 11, 60–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kalshoven, K., Den Hartog, D. N., & De Hoogh, A. H. B. (2011). Ethical leadership at work questionnaire: Development and validation of a multidimensional measure. The Leadership Quarterly, 22, 51–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Keough, D. (2008). The Ten Commandments for business failure. New Delhi: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  36. Laird, M. D., Perryman, A. A., Hochwarter, W. A., Ferris, G. R., & Zinko, R. (2009). The moderating effects of personal reputation on accountability–strain relationships. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 14, 70–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Levinson, H. (1965). Reciprocation: The relationship between man and organization. Administrative Science Quarterly, 9, 370–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mayer, D. M., Aquino, K., Greenbaum, R. L., & Kuenzi, M. (2012). Who displays ethical leadership and why does it matter: An examination of antecedents and consequences of ethical leadership. Academy of Management Journal, 55, 151–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mayer, R. C., & Davis, J. H. (1999). The effect of the performance appraisal system on trust for management: A field quasi-experiment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 84, 123–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mayer, R. C., Davis, J. H., & Schoorman, F. D. (1995). An integrative model of organizational trust. Academy of Management Review, 20, 709–734.Google Scholar
  41. Mayer, D. M., Kuenzi, M., & Greenbaum, R. (2010). Examining the link between ethical leadership and employee misconduct: The mediating role of ethical climate. Journal of Business Ethics, 95, 7–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mayer, D. M., Kuenzi, M., Greenbaum, R., Bardes, & Salvador, R. (2009). How low does ethical leadership flow? Test of a trickle-down model. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 108, 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Meyer, J. P., & Allen, N. J. (1991). A three-component conceptualization of organizational commitment. Human Resource Management Review, 1, 61–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Meyer, J. P., Allen, N. J., & Smith, C. A. (1993). Commitment to organizations and occupations: Extension and test of a three-component conceptualization. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 538–551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Meyer, J. P., Stanley, D. J., Herscovitch, L., & Topolnytsky, L. (2002). Affective, continuance, and normative commitment to the organization: A meta-analysis of antecedents, correlates, and consequences. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 61, 20–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Neubert, M. J., Carlson, D. S., Kacmar, K. M., Roberts, J. A., & Chonko, L. B. (2009). The virtuous influence of ethical leadership behavior: Evidence from the field. Journal of Business Ethics, 90, 157–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Newman, A., Kiazad, K., Miao, Q., & Cooper, B. (2013). Examining the cognitive and affective trust-based mechanisms underlying the relationship between ethical leadership and organizational citizenship: A case of head leading the heart? Journal of Business Ethics, published online: 18 July 2013.Google Scholar
  48. Piccolo, R. F., Greenbaum, R., Den Hartog, D. N., & Folger, R. (2010). The relationship between ethical leadership and core job characteristics. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 31, 259–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Posner, R. (1997). Social norms and the law: An economic approach. American Economic Review, 87, 365–369.Google Scholar
  50. Preacher, K. J., Rucker, D. D., & Hayes, A. F. (2007). Addressing moderated mediation hypotheses: Theory, methods, and prescriptions. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 42, 185–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rhoades, L., & Eisenberger, R. (2002). Perceived organizational support: A review of the literature. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 698–714.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Robinson, S., & Bennett, R. (1995). A typology of deviant workplace behaviors: A multi-dimensional scaling study. Academy of Management Journal, 38, 555–572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Schaubroeck, J. M., Hannah, S. T., Avolio, B. J., Kozlowski, S. W. J., Lord, R. G., Treviño, L. K., et al. (2012). Embedding ethical leadership within and across organization levels. Academy of Management Journal, 55, 1053–1078.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Settoon, R. P., Bennett, N., & Liden, R. C. (1996). Social exchange in organizations: Perceived organizational support, leader–member exchange, and employee reciprocity. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81, 219–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Shin, Y. (2012). CEO ethical leadership, ethical climate, climate strength, and collective organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of Business Ethics, 108, 299–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Shore, L. M., Porter, L. W., & Zahra, S. A. (2004). Employer-oriented strategic approaches to the employee–organization relationship (EOR). In J. Coyle-Shapiro, L. M. Shore, S. Taylor, & L. E. Tetrick (Eds.), The employment relationship: Examining psychological and contextual perspectives (pp. 133–160). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Siemsen, E., Roth, A., & Oliveira, P. (2009). Common method bias in regression models with linear, quadratic, and interaction effects. Organizational Research Methods, 13, 456–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Stouten, J., Baillien, E., Van den Broeck, A., Camps, J., Witte, H., & Euwema, M. (2010). Discouraging bullying: The role of ethical leadership and its effects on the work environment. Journal of Business Ethics, 95, 17–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Stouten, J., van Dijke, M., & De Cremer, D. (2012). Ethical leadership: An overview and future perspectives. Journal of Personnel Psychology, 11, 1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tse, H., Huang, X., & Lam, W. (2013). Why does transformational leadership matter for employee turnover? A multi-foci social exchange perspective. The Leadership Quarterly, 24, 763–776.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Walumbwa, F. O., Cropanzano, R., & Hartnell, C. A. (2009). Organizational justice, voluntary learning behavior, and job performance: A test of the mediating effects of identification and leader–member exchange. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 30, 1103–1126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Walumbwa, F. O., Morrison, E. W., & Christensen, A. L. (2012). Ethical leadership and group in-role performance: The mediating roles of group conscientiousness and group voice. The Leadership Quarterly, 23, 953–964.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Walumbwa, F. O., & Schaubroeck, J. (2009). Leader personality and employee voice behavior: Mediating roles of ethical leadership and work group psychological safety. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 1275–1286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Wayne, S. J., Shore, L. M., & Liden, R. C. (1997). Perceived organizational support and leader–member exchange: a social exchange perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 40, 82–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Zinko, R., Ferris, G. R., Humphrey, S. E., Meyer, C. J., & Aime, F. (2012). Personal reputation in organizations: Two-study constructive replication and extension of antecedents and consequences. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 85, 156–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nova School of Business and Economics, INOVAUniversidade Nova de LisboaLisbonPortugal

Personalised recommendations