Journal of Business Ethics 156 (4):919-940 (2019)

Despite urgent calls for more research on the integration of business ethics and the meaning of work, to date, there have been few corresponding efforts, and we know surprisingly little about this relationship. In this study, we address this issue by examining when and for whom ethical leadership is more effective in promoting a sense of work meaningfulness among employees, and their subsequent work attitudes. Drawing on the contingency theories of leadership and work meaningfulness literature, we speculate that both employees’ core self-evaluation and perceived organizational support moderate the relationship, but in different ways, and these associations carry over to employees’ subsequent work attitudes in terms of job satisfaction, organizational commitment and turnover intention. We test our hypotheses with two-wave survey data collected from 377 employees. Results indicate that ethical leadership is effective in eliciting work meaningfulness and attitudes for employees higher in CSE or when POS is lower, and ineffective for those lower in CSE or when POS is higher. A supplementary analysis reveals a three-way interaction between ethical leadership, CSE and POS in predicting a sense of work meaningfulness and subsequent work attitudes. Our research cautions that ethical leadership is not a universally positive practice; it can be ineffective or even have a negative impact under some circumstances.
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-017-3563-x
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Meaning in Life and Why It Matters (Markus Rüther).Susan Wolf - 2011 - Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger 64 (3):308.

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