Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 145, Issue 1, pp 183–199 | Cite as

The Moderated Influence of Ethical Leadership, Via Meaningful Work, on Followers’ Engagement, Organizational Identification, and Envy

  • Ozgur Demirtas
  • Sean T. Hannah
  • Kubilay Gok
  • Aykut Arslan
  • Nejat Capar


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 organizational identification, as well as reduces their levels of workplace envy. We further hypothesized 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 organizational 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.


Ethical leadership Meaningful work Meaningfulness Work engagement Workplace envy Organizational identification Cognitive reappraisal Emotion regulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ozgur Demirtas
    • 1
  • Sean T. Hannah
    • 2
  • Kubilay Gok
    • 3
  • Aykut Arslan
    • 4
  • Nejat Capar
    • 5
  1. 1.Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of Business AdministrationInonu UniversityMalatyaTurkey
  2. 2.School of BusinessWake Forest UniversityWinston SalemUSA
  3. 3.Department of Business Administration, College of BusinessWinona State UniversityWinonaUSA
  4. 4.Faculty of Economics and Administrative SciencesPiri Reis UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  5. 5.Faculty of Economics and Administrative SciencesMeliksah UniversityKayseriTurkey

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