We propose that middle managers’ perceived organizational support enhances their performance through the sequential mediation of their behavioral integrity and follower organizational citizenship behaviors. We test our model with data collected from middle managers, their direct subordinates, and their direct superiors at 18 hotel properties in China. The current study’s findings contribute to the existing literature on perceived organizational support and behavioral integrity. They also add a practical self-interest argument for middle managers’ efforts to maintain their word-action alignment by demonstrating that middle manager behavioral integrity positively affects middle managers’ own task performance ratings, both directly and via its positive effect on subordinates’ organizational citizenship behaviors.
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The composite reliability values of the three-parameter direct subordinate OCBO behaviors and three-parameter direct subordinate OCBI behaviors variables (0.77 and 0.86, respectively) were higher than the 0.70 threshold, the AVE values (0.54 and 0.68, respectively) were also higher than the 0.50 threshold, and all six SRW values were greater than the 0.50 threshold with SRW values varying between 0.61 and 0.92.
Note that in contrast with the above “possible rival explanation” and consistent with the current study’s assertions, the results of auxiliary analyses showed that middle manager reported perceived organizational support had a direct, positive effect on direct subordinate-rated middle manager behavioral integrity, while middle manager-rated direct subordinate organizational citizenship behaviors were not related to subordinate-rated middle manager behavioral integrity.
While social desirability is certainly likely to inflate respondents’ ratings of the middle manager’s integrity, it is difficult to conceive how it would inflate the association between those ratings and the middle managers’ ratings of the follower’s citizenship behaviors or between those and the superior’s ratings of the middle manager’s task performance. Were these variables measured by a single respondent in a survey, social desirability could indeed be a factor. The fact that we use different informants for the different variables in the model substantially mitigates the possibility that a single intrapsychic phenomenon, such as social desirability, will uniformly inflate the variables within each case so as to yield a spurious association.
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Way, S.A., Simons, T., Leroy, H. et al. What is in it for Me? Middle Manager Behavioral Integrity and Performance. J Bus Ethics 150, 765–777 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-016-3204-9
- Behavioral integrity
- Perceived organizational support
- Task performance
- Subordinate organizational citizenship behaviors