Getting Respect from a Boss You Respect: How Different Types of Respect Interact to Explain Subordinates’ Job Satisfaction as Mediated by Self-Determination

Journal of Business Ethics 131 (3):543-556 (2015)
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Abstract

Interpersonal respect can be differentiated into two kinds: horizontal respect, i.e. treating someone with dignity; and vertical respect, i.e. genuinely honoring someone’s merits. With the present research, we draw on motivation theory to explore their interplay in leadership relations. Specifically, we argue for a moderated mediation hypothesis in that leaders’ horizontal respect for their subordinates fundamentally speaks to subordinates’ self-determination and that the message of respectful leadership is enhanced by the vertical respect subordinates have for their leaders. As a result, subordinates are more satisfied with their jobs, which should also show in a decreased willingness to leave. The proposed model was supported in two survey studies and an experimental scenario study —thus suggesting that perceived leader behavior needs to be complemented by leader standing.

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