Journal of Business Ethics 111 (2):165-178 (2012)

Abstract
Behavioral integrity (BI) is the alignment pattern between an actor’s words and deeds as perceived by another person. Employees’ perception that their leader’s actions and words are consistent leads to desirable workplace outcomes. Although BI is a powerful concept, the role of leader referents, the relationship between perceived BI of different referents, and the process by which BI affects outcomes are unclear. Our purpose is to elaborate upon this process and clarify the role of different leader referents in determining various outcomes. To understand the impact of referents, we explicitly compared the BIs of two leader referents: senior management and supervisor. In contrast to previous research findings where supervisory BI was found to have a stronger relationship with outcomes than senior management, we find that both referents are important. However, their impact varies based upon the outcome studied. Only senior management BI predicted organizational commitment, while senior management BI, supervisory BI and supervisory trust predicted organizational cynicism. Only trust in supervisor, and not supervisory BI, impacted organizational citizenship behaviors. When senior management is the referent, trust and not BI might play an important role for outcomes that require extensive employee investments, such as organizational commitment. In contrast, when the outcome measured does not require employee investments, BI might have a direct impact on the outcome. We also uncovered that trust in supervisor substantially influences the trust employees have in their senior management.
Keywords Behavioral integrity  Dual referents  Leader integrity  Senior management behavioral integrity  Supervisory behavioral integrity  Trust
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-011-1199-9
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,077
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Who Do You Trust?: Attitudinal and Ethical Dimensions of Workplace Monitoring.William P. Smith & Filiz Tabak - 2005 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 16:33-37.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-01-17

Total views
32 ( #342,197 of 2,454,504 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,188 of 2,454,504 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes