Ethical Leadership Behavior and Employee Justice Perceptions: The Mediating Role of Trust in Organization

Journal of Business Ethics 134 (3):493-504 (2016)


Using data collected at two phases, this study examines why and how ethical leadership behavior influences employees’ evaluations of organization-focused justice, i.e., procedural justice and distributive justice. By proposing ethical leaders as moral agents of the organization, we build up the linkage between ethical leadership behavior and the above two types of organization-focused justice. We further suggest trust in organization as a key mediating mechanism in the linkage. Our findings indicate that ethical leadership behavior engenders employees’ trust in their employing organization, which in turn promotes their justice perceptions toward the organization. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed, and some directions for future research are suggested.

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