Drawing on theory and research on ethical leadership and ethical climate, we examine ethical climate as a mediator of the relationship between ethical leadership and employee misconduct. Using a sample of 1,525 employees and their supervisors in 300 units in different organizations, we find support for our hypothesized model. We discuss theoretical and practical implications of these findings.
Research has demonstrated that employee reactions to monitoring systems depend on both the characteristics of the monitoring system and how it is implemented. However, little is known about the role individual differences may play in this process. This study proposes that individuals have generalized attitudes toward organizational control and monitoring activities. We examined this argument by assessing the relationship between employees’ baseline attitudes toward a set of monitoring and control techniques that span the employment relationship. We further explore the effects (...) of employees’ generalized attitudes toward monitoring and their individual ethical orientations on their attitudinal reactions to an Internet monitoring system implemented in their workplace. Results of a longitudinal study indicate that as expected, prior beliefs and ethical orientation interact to affect employees’ reactions to monitoring systems. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
Ethical leadership is an important construct in the literature on behavioral ethics in organizations, given its link with employee attitudes and behaviors. What remains unclear, however, is what leader characteristics are associated directly with ethical leader perceptions and indirectly with employee unethical behavior. In this paper, we use a socio-cognitive lens to integrate goal orientation theory with the literature on ethical behavior in organizations. Specifically, we propose that certain patterns of managers’ goal-oriented behavior provide signals and cues to employees about (...) their managers’ ethical leadership, which then relates to employee displays of more unethical behavior. Using a sample of 265 manager–employee dyads, our findings largely support our claims. We found that leader performance-avoid goal orientation was negatively related to perceptions of ethical leadership and positively related to employee unethical behavior. Moderated mediation tests indicated that the positive indirect effect of leader performance-avoid goal orientation on employee unethical behavior through perceptions of ethical leadership was attenuated by higher levels of leader learning goal orientation. Taken together, these findings suggest that when leaders emphasize avoiding failure while downplaying the importance of personal learning and development, employees perceive them as less ethical and are more willing to engage in ethical misconduct. We discuss implications of our findings for both theory and practice. (shrink)
ABSTRACT:We examine supervisor-subordinate agreement regarding perceptions of the supervisor’s ethical leadership and its relationship to organizational deviance. We find that, on average, supervisors rate themselves more favorably on ethical leadership compared to how followers rate them. In addition, polynomial regression results reveal that unit-level organizational deviance is higher when there is agreement about lower levels of ethical leadership, and disagreement when supervisors rate themselves higher on ethical leadership than subordinates’ ratings of the supervisors. Finally, drawing on social influence theories, we (...) look at antecedents of agreement and find that supervisors’ beliefs about themselves and others are associated with self-other agreement on ethical leadership. (shrink)