Examining the impact of ethical leadership and organizational justice on employees’ ethical behavior: Does person–organization fit play a role?

Ethics and Behavior 30 (7):514-532 (2020)
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Abstract

ABSTRACT Leadership studies on corporate ethical behavior and practices have grown considerably, contributing significant knowledge on ethical leadership challenges that are organizational and industry focused. However, complex socio-ecological systems are placing pressure on organizational culture and old patterns of leadership behavior that play a role in organizational justice. In this study, we argue that scholars of business ethics must consider the role of organizational justice and use person-organization fit. To address this, our study investigates the mediating effect of organizational justice on the relationship between ethical leadership and employees’ ethical behavior. We also examine the moderating role of P–O fit on the relationship between organizational justice and employee’s ethical behavior. The study survey focused on 295 employees belonging to organizations in Iraq. We show that ethical leadership positively influences employees’ ethical behavior, and this relationship is shaped by organizational justice. The findings reflect the positive impact of organizational justice on ethical behavior, and this relationship is more pronounced in employees with high rather than low P–O fit. This study clarifies the importance of employee’s P–O fit and its impact on organizational processes for creating a positive impact on ethical behavior in the workplace. We also share practical implications of the study and recommend systemic research that explores this area.

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