Leaders’ Core Self-evaluation, Ethical Leadership, and Employees’ Job Performance: The Moderating Role of Employees’ Exchange Ideology

Journal of Business Ethics 148 (2):457-470 (2018)
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Abstract

With the increasing demand for ethical standards in the current business environment, ethical leadership has received particular attention. Drawing on self-verification theory and social exchange theory, this study investigated the effect of leaders’ core self-evaluation on the display of ethical leadership and the moderating role of employees’ exchange ideology in the relationship between ethical leadership and employees’ job performance. Consistent with the hypotheses, the results from a sample of 225 dyads of employees and their immediate leaders showed a positive relationship between leaders’ core self-evaluation and ethical leadership. Moreover, the results showed that ethical leadership mediates the effects of leaders’ core self-evaluation on employees’ job performance. Furthermore, we found that employees’ exchange ideology moderates the relationship between ethical leadership and job performance. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

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