Boundary Conditions of Ethical Leadership: Exploring Supervisor-Induced and Job Hindrance Stress as Potential Inhibitors
- 244 Downloads
It is widely accepted that ethical leadership is beneficial for the organization, the leader, and followers. Yet, little has been said about potential limitations of ethical leadership, particularly boundary conditions involving the same person perceived to display ethical leadership. Drawing on conservation of resources theory, we argue that supervisor-induced hindrance stress and job hindrance stress are factors linked to the supervisor and work environment that may limit the positive impact of ethical leadership on employee deviance and turnover intentions. Specifically, we expect that high levels of hindrance stress drain resources, specifically perceptions of social support, by inhibiting the completion of work, particularly in combination with the high expectations of ethical leaders. We test our model across two time-lagged field studies (N = 310 and N = 299). Our results demonstrate that supervisor-induced hindrance stress mitigates some of the beneficial impact of ethical leadership and that job hindrance stress further strains these relationships. Overall, our results suggest that both forms of hindrance stress jointly impact the effectiveness of ethical leadership on important outcomes, and do so partly because of their influence on perceived social support. We discuss theoretical contributions to the ethical leadership and stress bodies of literature, as well as practical implications for managers and organizations wishing to develop ethical leaders.
KeywordsEthical leadership Supervisor-induced hindrance stress Job hindrance stress Organizational deviance Turnover intentions Conservation of resources theory Social support
This research was supported in part by funds from the Baylor University Research Committee and the Vice Provost for Research. This funding source had no involvement with this research beyond the funding of the data collections.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflicts of interest
All of the study’s authors declare they have no conflict of interest
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Avolio, B. J. (1999). Full leadership development. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
- Babalola, M. T., Stouten, J., Camps, J., & Euwema, M. (2017). When do ethical leaders become less effective? The moderating role of perceived leader ethical conviction on employee discretionary reactions to ethical leadership. Journal of Business Ethics, advanced online publication, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-017-3472-z.
- Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Bass, B. M., & Avolio, B. J. (2000). MLQ Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. Redwood City: Mind Garden.Google Scholar
- Coutu, D., & Kauffman, C. (2009). What can coaches do for you? Harvard Business Review, 87, 91–97.Google Scholar
- Greenbaum, R. L., Quade, M. J., Mawritz, M. B., Kim, J., & Crosby, D. (2014). When the customer is unethical: The explanatory role of employee emotional exhaustion onto work-family conflict, relationship conflict with coworkers, and job neglect. Journal of Applied Psychology, 99, 1188–1203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hayes, A. F. (2013). An introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Hong, D., Coyle-Shapiro, J., & Qian, Y. (2016). The role of resource depletion in explaining consequences of psychological contract violation. Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings, 2016(1), 177–182.Google Scholar
- Peters, L. H., & O’Connor, E. J. (1980). Situational constraints and work outcomes: The influences of a frequently overlooked construct. Academy of Management Review, 5, 391–398.Google Scholar
- Priesemuth, M., & Taylor, R. M. (2016). The more I want, the less I have left to give: The moderating role of psychological entitlement on the relationship between psychological contract violation, depressive mood states, and citizenship behavior. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 37, 967–982.CrossRefGoogle Scholar