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Understanding the dynamic nexus between ethical leadership and employees’ innovative performance: the intermediating mechanism of social capital

Abstract

Research suggests that ethical leadership influences employees’ behavior and organizational functioning. Thus, the purpose of this study is to investigate the role of ethical leadership in the improvement of employees’ innovative performance. Specifically, this research developed and tested a framework about the intermediating mechanism of social capital in the relationship between ethical leadership and employees’ innovative performance. The current study integrated assumptions of social learning and social exchange theories, which postulate that the leadership has a direct effect on the employees’ conduct, principally through role modeling and the reciprocal landscape. Data were collected through in-person administered questionnaire-based survey from 297 employees working in the manufacturing sectors of Pakistan. The conceptual model of our research was analyzed applying Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). The results exhibited that the ethical leadership plays an important role in fostering employees’ innovative performance. The present study also found that social capital plays an intermediating role between the ethical leadership and employees’ innovative performance relationship. The current study contributed to the leadership and innovation literature and provided insights in examining the ethical leadership-employees’ innovative performance relationship through the intermediating mechanism of social capital.

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Ullah, I., Mirza, B. & Hameed, R.M. Understanding the dynamic nexus between ethical leadership and employees’ innovative performance: the intermediating mechanism of social capital. Asian J Bus Ethics 11, 45–65 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13520-022-00141-6

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Keywords

  • Ethical leadership
  • Social capital
  • Innovative performance