The Influence of Ethical Leadership and Regulatory Focus on Employee Outcomes

Business Ethics Quarterly 23 (2):269-296 (2013)
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Abstract

Regulatory focus theory is proposed as offering an explanation for the influence of ethical leadership on organizational citizenship behaviors and employee commitments. The prevention focus mindset of an employee is argued to be the mechanism by which an ethical leader influences extra-role compliance behavior as well as normative commitment, whereas the promotion focus mindset of an employee is argued to be the mechanism by which an ethical leader influences extra-role voice behavior as well as affective commitment. Moreover, leader-member exchange is proposed as a moderator of the relationship of ethical leadership to regulatory focus mindsets and employee behavior and commitments. Using the data collected in two waves from 250 working adults, we tested the proposed relationships with moderated mediation bootstrap procedures. The findings generally support the hypothesized relationships and point toward important implications for ethical leadership in work settings.

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