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Effect of Ethical Climate on Turnover Intention: Linking Attitudinal- and Stress Theory

Abstract

Attitudinal- and stress theory are used to investigate the effect of ethical climate on job outcomes. Responses from 208 service employees who work for a country health department were used to test a structural model that examines the process through which ethical climate (EC) affects turnover intention (TI). This study shows that the EC–TI relationship is fully mediated by role stress (RC), interpersonal conflict (IC), emotional exhaustion (EE), trust in supervisor (TS), and job satisfaction (JS). Results show that EC reduces (RS) and increases TS. Lower stress levels result in lower EE, higher JS, and lower TI. Also, supervisor trust (TS) reduces IC and EE. The structural model predicts 53.9% of the variance of TI.

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Correspondence to Jorge F. Jaramillo.

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Jay Prakash Mulki is an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University. He has extensively published in the sales management area. His articles have been published in the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, Journal of Business Research, and Psychology and Marketing.

Jorge Fernando Jaramillo is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Texas at Arlington. His research interests include marketing strategy and sales force management. Dr. Jaramillo’s research has appeared in multiple journals including the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of Business Research, and the Journal of Marketing Education.

William B. Locander is the founding Director of the Davis Leadership Center at Jacksonville University. He is a former President of the American Marketing Association and has served as an examiner of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice. Dr. Locander has published in several business journals including the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Business Research, and the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management.

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Mulki, J.P., Jaramillo, J.F. & Locander, W.B. Effect of Ethical Climate on Turnover Intention: Linking Attitudinal- and Stress Theory. J Bus Ethics 78, 559–574 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-007-9368-6

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Keywords

  • emotional exhaustion
  • ethical climate
  • stress
  • trust in supervisor
  • turnover intention