رهبری اخلاقی، رفتار شهروندی کارمند و رفتار خارج از کار : بررسی میانجی گری و تعدیل فرآیندها
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1668||2013||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Leadership Quarterly, Volume 24, Issue 1, February 2013, Pages 284–297
The present study examined the mediating and moderating processes in the relationship between ethical leadership and employee citizenship behavior as well as work withdrawal behavior using a sample of 277 employees and their supervisors from the People's Republic of China. Results revealed that ethical leadership negatively relates to politics perceptions and that politics perceptions partially mediate the negative influence of ethical leadership on uncertainty. We also found that uncertainty partially mediates the politics perceptions-emotional exhaustion relationship. Further, politics perceptions interact with political skill to influence emotional exhaustion through uncertainty. Finally, emotional exhaustion fully mediates the uncertainty-citizenship behavior as well as the uncertainty–work withdrawal behavior relationships. We discuss implications of these findings for research and practice.
Organizational scientists have long recognized the political implications of leadership in organizations (Bolman and Deal, 2008, House, 1995 and House and Aditya, 1997). Despite this recognition, leadership research is largely lacking in conceptual and empirical studies that link specific leadership behavior or style to perceptions of organizational politics or POP (Ammeter et al., 2002, Davis and Gardner, 2004 and Vigoda-Gadot, 2007) in predicting important organizational outcomes. Ammeter and colleagues (2002) succinctly captured this limitation of leadership research in their observation that “Conspicuous in its absence has been a conceptualization of leadership from a political perspective, despite appeals for such a theory and the widely acknowledged view of political processes in organizations” (p. 751). Given the recognized importance of leadership (Avolio et al., 2009 and Barling et al., 2010) and POP (Chang et al., 2009, Ferris et al., 2002 and Kacmar and Baron, 1999) in influencing employees' experience of work and resulting behaviors, it is important to integrate these two literatures in order to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the leadership process. We seek to address this important research issue by focusing on ethical leadership (Brown, Treviño, & Harrison, 2005). Brown and colleagues (2005) defined ethical leadership 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” (p. 120). This study has two main purposes. First, although ethical leadership has been shown to relate to a range of follower behaviors such as organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and deviant or work withdrawal behavior (e.g., Avey et al., 2011, Brown et al., 2005, De Hoogh and Den Hartog, 2008, Kalshoven et al., 2011, Mayer et al., 2012 and Mayer et al., 2009), few studies have examined the mechanisms that link ethical leadership to these important individual-level behaviors (see Walumbwa & Schaubroeck, 2009 for an exception of a related construct of voice). This is surprising, given that leadership researchers have often lamented the lack of adequate attention to the underlying processes of leadership influence (Avolio et al., 2009). As Barling and colleagues (2010) note, “much is known about the outcomes of leadership, but less is known about how and why these effects occur” (p. 206). Our first main objective is to address this important issue by focusing on POP as a potential intervening variable in the ethical leadership process. POP which involves the individual's subjective evaluation about the extent to which the work environment is characterized as political (Ferris et al., 2000 and Harrell-Cook et al., 1999), has been shown to relate to aversive work environments that may result in employee withdrawal behaviors and withholding of discretionary behaviors—two outcomes of interest in this study (Aryee et al., 2004, Chang et al., 2009, Cropanzano et al., 1997 and Ferris et al., 2002). Because leaders define and shape the ‘reality’ in which followers work (Piccolo & Colquitt, 2006), we argue that ethical leadership may be a theoretically relevant contextual variable that shapes POP and reactions in organizations (Brown & Mitchell, 2010). Second, although POP has received increased research attention in the last two decades, the majority of studies have focused on the direct influence of POP on employee attitudes and behaviors (Chang et al., 2009). With a few exceptions (e.g., Parker et al., 1995, Rosen et al., 2009a, Rosen et al., 2009b, Rosen et al., 2006 and Vigoda-Gadot, 2007), less attention has been given to the processes linking POP and its demonstrated outcomes in a single study. Furthermore, Chang and colleagues (2009) argued that “despite intuitive appeal of the idea that perceived organizational politics will have an impact on individual-level outcomes associated with organizational effectiveness, research has failed to consistently demonstrate such an impact” (p. 779). For instance, a recent study by Kacmar, Bachrach, Harris, and Zivnuska (2011) found that POP was neither related to task-focused nor person-focused citizenship behavior. These inconsistent findings suggest the existence of potentially unidentified mediators and/or moderators. Our second objective is to contribute to this understanding by examining uncertainty (a state of anxiety or ambiguity at work) and emotional exhaustion (a state of physical and emotional depletion resulting from excessive job demands and continuous stress) as two underlying psychological mechanisms that sequentially mediate the relationships between POP and employee OCB (discretionary behaviors that are not part of one's prescribed job role ) and work withdrawal behavior (counter-productive job behaviors such as absence from work without any tangible reason). We further explore the role of political skill as a boundary condition (i.e., moderator) in the influence of POP on emotional exhaustion through uncertainty. Political skill refers to the capacity to understand others at work, and to apply such knowledge to induce others to act in ways that promote one's personal or organizational goals (Blickle et al., 2011, Ferris et al., 2005b and Ferris et al., 2005a). By addressing these two broad objectives, we hope to make at least two important contributions. First, we contribute to the ethical leadership literature by shedding light on how ethical leadership relates to OCB and deviant or work withdrawal behavior. Specifically, by investigating underlying mechanisms of the ethical leadership-OCB as well as the ethical leadership-deviant or work withdrawal behavior relationships, we not only address the question of how and why an ethical approach to leadership is important but more importantly, how such a leadership approach can be sustained in organizations. Second, by examining uncertainty and emotional exhaustion as sequential intervening variables in the relationship between POP and OCB as well as between POP and deviant or work withdrawal behavior, and political skill as a moderator in these relationships, we also contribute to the POP literature by showing how and when POP relates to these important individual-level outcomes. Indeed, although POP has been noted to constitute a workplace stressor (Ferris, Russ, & Fandt, 1989) which undermines employees' energy levels leading to the withholding of discretionary efforts such as citizenship behavior, prior research has either examined uncertainty or emotional exhaustion as outcomes of POP or the behaviors that lead to politics perceptions (Hochwarter, Ferris, Zinko, Arnell, & James, 2007) but not examined them as underlying strain reactions that lead to the outcomes of politics perceptions. To develop our arguments, we draw on affective events theory (AET; Weiss & Cropanzano, 1996) as an overarching theoretical framework. According to AET, features of work environment or events (e.g., political activities) influence behaviors (e.g., OCB and work withdrawal behavior) through affective states (e.g., uncertainty) that these work events create. Work events are things that employees experience every day at work and leaders are a major source of these work events (Dasborough and Ashkanasy, 2003 and Valle and Perrewé, 2000). The theory also suggests emotions as important mediating mechanisms through which work events and affective states influence judgment-driven behaviors such as OCB and work withdrawal. AET further posits that rather than being passive recipients, individuals (e.g., their political skill) can also influence work environment or events. Thus, AET is an important theoretical framework for conceptualizing the influence of ethical leadership on POP, and boundary conditions as well as underlying psychological processes through which POP relates to employee citizenship and work withdrawal behaviors. We focus on employee citizenship behavior because it is important for effective functioning of organizations (Hoffman et al., 2007 and Podsakoff et al., 2009) and work withdrawal because it can be very costly to the organization in terms of both human and financial resources (Cascio, 1991). Our underlying argument in the present paper is that ethical leadership is a proximal antecedent of POP, and that the influence of POP on employee citizenship behavior as well as work withdrawal behavior is sequentially through uncertainty and emotional exhaustion. With the exception of Rosen, Chang, and colleagues (2009), Rosen, Harris, and colleagues (2009) who investigated the role of frustration and job satisfaction, and Chang and colleagues (2009) who examined the role of psychological strain and morale, we are not aware of any prior research that has simultaneously investigated the role of political skill, uncertainty, and emotional exhaustion in explaining the influence of POP on employee behaviors.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study was a response to calls to investigate the role of politics perceptions in the leadership process (Ammeter et al., 2002, Davis and Gardner, 2004 and Vigoda-Gadot, 2007), focusing on ethical leadership as a theoretically relevant leadership construct (Brown et al., 2005). In doing so, we also examined a boundary condition and underlying psychological mechanisms that link POP to employee OCB and work withdrawal. First, we found that POP partially mediated the ethical leadership-uncertainty relationship. Second, we found that the relationship between POP and emotional exhaustion was partially mediated by uncertainty. Third, uncertainty fully mediated the influence of the interaction term of POP and political skill on emotional exhaustion. Finally, we found uncertainty to have an indirect influence on both employee OCB and work withdrawal, with this relationship fully mediated through emotional exhaustion. The implications of our findings, the limitations of our research, and future research directions are discussed below. 5.1. Theoretical and practical implications Our study makes several contributions to both ethical leadership (leadership in general) and organizational politics literatures in several important ways. First, previous research has suggested that organizational politics (Bolman and Deal, 2008, House, 1995 and House and Aditya, 1997) may play an important role in the leadership process. Drawing on AET (Weiss & Cropanzano, 1996), our results complement this work by demonstrating perhaps for the first time, that ethical leadership is an important predictor of POP. Ethical leaders may do this by using their position to reward ‘organizationally desired’ behavior, leading by example (i.e., self-discipline and demonstrating high moral standards, fairness, and trustworthiness), setting clear expectations, and listening to employees' concerns and inputs (Brown et al., 2005). Second, we contribute to the ethical leadership literature by examining the mediating mechanisms through which ethical leadership ultimately influences employee OCB and work withdrawal. Our findings complement previous research (Avey et al., 2011, Piccolo et al., 2010, Walumbwa and Schaubroeck, 2009 and Walumbwa et al., 2011) by revealing how and when ethical leadership may be related to employee citizenship behavior and work withdrawal behavior. However, because this might be the first study to have shown politics perceptions as a proximal mediator in the ethical leadership process, it is clear that more research is needed to extend our current findings to other contexts. Third, previous research linking politics perceptions and individual-level outcomes is equivocal. Our study contributes to this literature by examining the boundary conditions and psychological mechanisms through which POP influences employee OCB and work withdrawal (Brouer et al., 2011 and Chang et al., 2009). Consistent with this study, Rosen, Chang, and colleagues (2009) and Rosen, Harris, and colleagues (2009) used AET framework (Weiss & Cropanzano, 1996) to describe the mechanisms that relate POP to emotional reactions, job satisfaction, and distal outcomes. Our research complements this study by introducing uncertainty as a proximal mediator to POP, which, in turn, influences emotional exhaustion, and consequently employee OCB and work withdrawal. More importantly, we introduce employee political skill as a situational variable that interacts with POP to influence emotional exhaustion through uncertainty. Finally, it is important to note that we did not find a direct relationship between uncertainty and OCB. Although we do not know why this was the case, it is intuitively plausible that the mechanisms linking uncertainty and positive work outcomes such as OCB may be more complex and indirect than the mechanisms linking uncertainty and work withdrawal. Future research may wish to further investigate how and why uncertainty relates to employee work outcomes. Our findings have implications for fostering a work environment that motivates employees to engage in discretionary behaviors that contribute to organizational effectiveness. First and in view of the documented negative influence of politics perceptions on employee work outcomes, our finding that ethical leadership negatively related to employees' perceptions of politics suggests that organizations should consider training leaders in ethical leadership behaviors to deal with unwanted self-serving behaviors in the workplace. The grounding of ethical leadership in social learning theory suggests that training interventions may take the form of senior level managerial employees' role-modeling ethical leadership behaviors through a mentoring relationship with junior level managerial employees (Brown et al., 2005). Such a training intervention and its trickle-down effects will foster an ethical climate which will militate against the non-sanctioned means of pursuing self-interest and the resulting perceptions of politics. Second, our finding of the moderating influence of political skill in the POP-uncertainty relationship underscores the role of individual differences in the ability to cope with stress. For individuals high in political skill relative to those low in political skill, this skill or competency serves as a resource to mitigate the stress engendered by POP and therefore are able to conserve resources to devote to performing OCB and reduced levels of withdrawal behavior. Given that exhausted employees cannot constitute a source of competitive advantage, organizations may be advised to consider training their employees in political skill as an intervention strategy to equip them with the coping skills needed to ameliorate the consequences of stress. Although political skill may be inborn, Ferris, Davidson, and colleagues (2005), Ferris, Treadway, and colleagues (2005) argue that it is a trainable skill. Consequently, organizations may need to train employees in the competencies that will enable them to mitigate the deleterious effects of stress both on their well-being and work behaviors. Ferris, Davidson, and colleagues (2005, p. 35), Ferris, Treadway, and colleagues (2005, p. 35) suggest drama-based training and executive coaching as potentially effective techniques for developing political skill. 5.2. Limitations and conclusions Our findings should be interpreted against a backdrop of the limitations of our study. First, with the exception of supervisor-rated OCB, data on the other study variables were obtained from the same source (e.g., employees) giving rise to concerns about possible common source bias. We attempted to address this limitation by aggregating individual ratings of ethical leadership to create a more ‘objective’ measure of the independent variable. Although the ratings are still subjective, the fact that they are based on several employees' perceptions and that there is acceptable agreement suggests this is a more ‘objective’ measure. We also conducted a CFA to assess the distinctiveness of our self-report measures and results clearly showed the constructs were distinct. Moreover, our correlations also showed differential relationships among the self-report measures despite their common measurement source. However, given the inherent limitation of the current design which prevented us from making causal claims, future research that adopts a longitudinal design may help ascertain the causal basis of the relationships we reported. Second, although we drew on AET (Weiss & Cropanzano, 1996) as an overarching theoretical framework to link our constructs, there might be other unmeasured variables that could help extend our current findings. For example, future research may consider employee attitudes such as organizational commitment or psychological well-being as potential mediators. Lee and Ashforth (1996) reported a meta-analytic corrected correlation (r) of − .43 between organizational commitment and burnout, suggesting that organizational commitment could serve as a potential mediator in the emotional exhaustion-OCB and emotional exhaustion–work withdrawal relationships. Future research may also consider including potential moderators that may enhance or inhibit the strength of the relationship between emotional exhaustion and OCB as well as between emotional exhaustion and work withdrawal. Such moderators could include contextual variables such as organization structure and task interdependence, individual differences such as employee personality or demographic variables such as age and gender. Finally, future research may also consider additional criterion variables such as job performance which may result from uncertainty (Colquitt, LePine, Piccolo, Zapata, & Rich, 2012) or actual turnover and employee incivility, which have been found to result from emotional exhaustion (e.g., van Jaarsveld et al., 2010 and Wright and Cropanzano, 1998). Third, because our findings are based on a sample from the People's Republic of China and a single organization, albeit a large one, they may not generalize to other cultural contexts. For example, although the general tenets of ethical leadership may be universal, consistent with other types of leadership such as transformational leadership (Kirkman et al., 2009 and Walumbwa et al., 2007), specific aspects of ethical leadership may be emphasized differently across cultures (Resick, Hanges, Dickson, & Mitchelson, 2006). Specifically, Resick and colleagues (2006) found the four aspects of ethical leadership (i.e., Character/Integrity, Altruism, Collective Motivation, and Encouragement) as measured by the Global Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness (GLOBE) project are universally endorsed as important for effective leadership. However, they also reported that cultures varied significantly in the degree of endorsement for each dimension. We therefore call for future research to replicate our current findings by conducting cross-cultural research in two or more countries with distinct cultural orientations before any meaningful generalizations can be made. Such research should also identify both differences and similarities in the core attributes of ethical leadership across and within countries. Additionally, as more and more organizations operate in a global environment, future research might extend our findings not only by using samples from other national cultures but also explore the role of cultural and individual differences within specific countries. Power distance, for example, may be particularly relevant to ethical leadership because it not only describes how authority (i.e., supervisors) is perceived, but also how decision-making authority functions and affects their direct report's thinking (Dorfman, 2004 and Hofstede and Hofstede, 2005). With its rapid industrialization and the increased diversity in values (Xie, Schaubroeck, & Lam, 2008), China, in particular, provides a rich ground for testing the extent to which contextual and individual difference variables may affect the emergence and functioning of ethical leadership. In conclusion, our study adds to knowledge of an important emerging construct, ethical leadership. Specifically, our findings highlight the importance of ethical leadership for reducing organizational politics perceptions, which, in turn, was positively related to uncertainty and emotional exhaustion. However, individuals high in political skill are able to mitigate the influence of politics perceptions on their experience of uncertainty but not for those low in political skill. Furthermore, our findings provide evidence that uncertainty influenced employee OCB and work withdrawal through emotional exhaustion. We hope this study will stimulate additional research to further explore the dynamics between leadership and politics perceptions, and how and when they relate to important organizational and individual outcomes.