ارتباط دادن رهبری اخلاقی به عملکرد کارمند : نقش مبادله ای رهبر - عضو، خودکارآمدی، و شناسایی سازمانی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|1641||2011||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||1 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 115, Issue 2, July 2011, Pages 204–213
This research investigated the link between ethical leadership and performance using data from the People’s Republic of China. Consistent with social exchange, social learning, and social identity theories, we examined leader–member exchange (LMX), self-efficacy, and organizational identification as mediators of the ethical leadership to performance relationship. Results from 72 supervisors and 201 immediate direct reports revealed that ethical leadership was positively and significantly related to employee performance as rated by their immediate supervisors and that this relationship was fully mediated by LMX, self-efficacy, and organizational identification, controlling for procedural fairness. We discuss implications of our findings for theory and practice.
Ethical leadership is defined as “the demonstration of normatively appropriate conduct through personal actions and interpersonal relationships, and the promotion of such conduct to followers through two-way communication, reinforcement, and decision-making” (Brown, Treviño, & Harrison, 2005, p. 120). In proposing the theory of ethical leadership, Brown et al. (2005) suggested that ethical leadership behavior plays an important role in promoting enhanced employee attitudes and behaviors. In support, prior work has linked ethical leadership to prosocial and negatively deviant behaviors (e.g., Avey et al., 2010, Brown et al., 2005, Mayer et al., in press, Mayer et al., 2009 and Walumbwa and Schaubroeck, 2009). However, relatively few studies have tested how and why ethical leadership relates to task performance, and if so, the mechanisms through which ethical leadership relates to task performance. An important exception is recent research by Piccolo, Greenbaum, Den Hartog, and Folger (2010) that examined the roles of task significance, autonomy, and effort in the relationship between ethical leadership and task performance. Piccolo et al. (2010) found that ethical leadership increases task significance, which, in turn, results in improved performance. Accordingly, the primary goal of the present research is to extend this early and more recent research by examining the role of leader–member exchange (LMX) as a social exchange process, self-efficacy as a social learning process, and organizational identification as a social identity process in the ethical leadership–performance relationship. Leader–member exchange is defined as the quality of exchange between a supervisor and an employee (Graen & Scandura, 1987). These exchanges are posited to fall along a continuum. For example, leaders may form high-quality social exchanges that are based on trust, open communication, information sharing, and liking of followers, whereas with others, they may form lower-quality, economic exchanges that do not extend beyond the employment contract ( Erdogan et al., 2006 and Sparrowe and Liden, 1997). Self-efficacy is defined as individuals’ perceptions of their ability to execute a specific task and is a major component of social learning theory ( Bandura, 1977, Bandura, 1986 and Bandura, 1997). Organizational identification refers to a feeling of oneness or belongingness to a particular group or institution ( Smidts et al., 2001, van Knippenberg et al., 2004, van Knippenberg et al., 2002 and van Knippenberg and van Schie, 2000), and is derived primarily from social identity theory (Tajfel, 1981). Together, we argue that the reason why ethical leadership predicts performance is that ethical leadership behavior enhances high-quality LMX, employees’ self-efficacy, and identification with the organization. In turn, high-quality LMX, self-efficacy, and organizational identification improve employee performance. Our contribution is to further increase understanding of the complex relationship between ethical leadership and employee performance by drawing on three major traditions in testing mediation in leadership research. We view identification and self-efficacy as representing two major themes in self and identity (i.e., self-construal and self-evaluation) perspectives as mediators. Additionally, LMX represents both the social exchange and trust perspectives as psychological states that mediate the ethical leadership effect on follower performance. Until now, the ethical leadership literature focused solely on social learning and social exchange explanations for the effects of ethical leadership. Thus, we contribute to the ethical leadership literature by integrating social identity theory and including organizational identification in our theoretical model. However, some research regarding social exchange and social identity suggests that LMX and identification may not be independent influences. For example, Sluss, Klimchak, and Holmes (2008) argued that LMX and perceived organizational support are precursors to identification, suggesting that identification mediates the influence of LMX. Similarly, van Knippenberg, van Dick, and Tavares (2007; see also Hogg et al., 2005) argued that identification and LMX may interact in predicting performance. Specifically, van Knippenberg et al. (2007) found that supervisor and organizational support interact with identification such that social exchange becomes less important with higher identification. However, to our knowledge, we are aware of no prior research that has simultaneously tested these perspectives to explain the influence of leadership on employee performance. Building on and extending the above research, we believe it is worthwhile to draw from the distinct advantages of each perspective to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the underlying mechanisms that link ethical leadership to follower performance. Attention to the mediating mechanisms in the ethical leadership–follower performance relationship also highlights important practical benefits. For example, if research can specify the proximal processes through which ethical leadership works to increase performance, it could provide organizations with a framework to enhance performance through ethical leadership training. Finally, research on ethical leadership has not been conducted in China. Considering its rapid industrialization and the increased diversity in values held by Chinese people (Xie, Schaubroeck, & Lam, 2008), China provides an ideal setting for extending ethical leadership research and its practical utility.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The present study has some limitations. First, because employees provided ratings of ethical leadership, LMX, organizational identification, and self-efficacy, the hypothesized relationships between ethical leadership and the three mediating variables must be interpreted with caution due to same-source concerns. For example, it is possible that employees’ evaluations of ethical leadership biased their ratings of perceptions of LMX, self-efficacy, and organizational identification. To address this potential limitation, we obtained performance evaluations from direct reports’ supervisors. Nevertheless, future research should strive to measure all predictors and performance ideally from different sources or utilize manipulations or objective outcomes. Second, because our study is cross-sectional by design, we cannot infer causality. Indeed, it is possible that, for example, LMX could drive perceptions of ethical leadership as opposed to the causal order we predicted. Additionally, employing an experimental research design to address causality issues would be useful. For example, a lab study could aid in making causal claims for each of the specific mediators investigated in the present study. Third, we measured employee performance with evaluations from supervisors. Because prior research has shown meta-analytically that objective performance and subjective performance ratings cannot be equated (Bommer, Johnson, Rich, Podsakoff, & MacKenzie, 1995), we encourage future studies to replicate our findings using objective performance, such as sales or revenue growth. Further, given our research design, we were unable to have an objective measure of ethical leadership. However, we aggregated ethical leadership data to provide a more objective measure but manipulating ethical leadership in future work could be useful. Fourth, although we did examine three theoretically relevant mediators and test their effects simultaneously, other mechanisms could help explain the relationship between ethical leadership and employee performance. For example, Piccolo et al. (2010) found that task significance mediated this relationship. Future research should provide a more exhaustive test of different mediators including task significance, the mediators we assessed, as well as other potential mediators such as supervisor support, dedication, psychological safety, and cohesion. Finally, aside from procedural justice, we did not control for other forms of related leadership theories. Future research could benefit by controlling for other styles of leadership that have been found to positively relate to ethical leadership such as transformational leadership (Bass & Avolio, 1994) to examine whether ethical leadership explains additional unique variance (see Brown et al., 2005, Mayer et al., in press and Walumbwa and Schaubroeck, 2009, for examples of ethical leadership effects while controlling for related leadership styles). Despite these potential limitations, the present study has some notable strengths worth highlighting. For example, we collected data from distinct sources which helped to reduce potential problems associated with common method bias (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Lee, & Podsakoff, 2003). We also controlled for procedural fairness to provide further evidence of the discriminant and incremental validity of ethical leadership. In summary, despite the importance of ethical leadership and ethical behavior in organizations, research investigating the potential mechanisms through which ethical leadership influences effective performance has been lacking. This study makes an important contribution by examining how and why ethical leadership is more effective in enhancing employee performance by highlighting the importance of LMX, self-efficacy, and organizational identification. Thus, we provide a more complete picture on how to translate ethical leader behavior into follower action such as effective employee performance. We hope the present findings will stimulate further investigations into the underlying mechanisms and the conditions under which ethical leadership relates to various individual and group outcomes, including counterproductive behaviors.