Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 153, Issue 3, pp 615–628 | Cite as

The More You Care, the Worthier I Feel, the Better I Behave: How and When Supervisor Support Influences (Un)Ethical Employee Behavior

  • Francesco SgueraEmail author
  • Richard P. Bagozzi
  • Quy N. Huy
  • R. Wayne Boss
  • David S. Boss


This article investigates the effects of perceived supervisor support on ethical (organizational citizenship behaviors) and unethical employee behavior (counterproductive workplace behavior) using a multi-method approach (one experiment and one field survey with multiple waves and supervisor ratings of employees). Specifically, we test the mediating mechanism (i.e., supervisor-based self-esteem) and a boundary condition (i.e., employee task satisfaction) that moderate the relationship between support and (un)ethical employee behaviors. We find that supervisor-based self-esteem fully mediates the relationship between supervisor support and (un)ethical employee behavior and that employee task satisfaction intensifies the relationship between supervisor support and supervisor-based self-esteem.


Perceived supervisor support Ethical and unethical employee behavior Supervisor-based self-esteem Task satisfaction Organizational citizenship behavior Counterproductive workplace behavior 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Sguera
    • 1
    Email author
  • Richard P. Bagozzi
    • 2
  • Quy N. Huy
    • 3
  • R. Wayne Boss
    • 4
  • David S. Boss
    • 5
  1. 1.UCP, Católica-Lisbon School of Business and EconomicsLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Ross School of BusinessUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.INSEADSingaporeSingapore
  4. 4.Leeds School of BusinessUniversity of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA
  5. 5.Ohio College of BusinessAthensUSA

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