Please wait a minute...
Acta Psychologica Sinica
|
Ethical Leadership and Employee Voice: Examining a Moderated-Mediation Model
LIANG Jian
Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200052, China
Download: PDF(460 KB)   Review File (1 KB) 
Export: BibTeX | EndNote | Reference Manager | ProCite | RefWorks    
Abstract  

Employee voice received more and more research attention recent years. Among this line of research, ethical leadership was proposed to be a key variable to motivate employee voice. The purpose of the present study is to examine the relationship between ethical leadership and employee voice. Drawing on the characteristics of employee voice and relevant theories about ethical leadership (i.e., social learning theory, Bandura, 1977; social exchange theory, Blau, 1964), we propose two psychological mediators to clarify the underlying mechanisms of ethical leadership on employee voice: psychological safety and felt obligations. Furthermore, we propose power distance orientation as a boundary variable to understand its interplay with ethical leadership on psychological mediators. Power distance orientation is expected to influence individuals’ sensitivity to the ethical signal of leadership. It helps to illustrate different psychological processes that better explain the mediating model of ethical leadership. A two-phase survey data were collected from 239 Chinese retailing employees. I administered two versions of surveys at two different time points. In the first survey, the focal employee was asked to provide information about ethical leadership, felt obligations, psychological safety, and power distance orientation. Six weeks later, the immediate manager was asked to assess the focal employee’s voice behavior. All the scales were well-established in the literature. The standard translation and back-translation procedures were employed to translate the English items into Chinese by the researcher. Structural equation modeling technique was employed to test the hypotheses about mediation and moderation, while bootstrap analysis procedures were used to test the moderated-mediation relationships among the study variables. Consistent with predictions, the results showed that both psychological safety and felt obligations mediated the influence of ethical leadership on voice behavior. Meanwhile, the results suggest that power distance orientation not only positively moderated the relationship between ethical leadership and two mediators (i.e., psychological safety and felt obligations): the relationship between ethical leadership and two psychological mediators was much stronger for high power distance employees than for the ones with low power distance orientation. Since both significant mediation and moderation relationships existed, I further examined the possibility of a mediated moderation relationship. The results suggest that two indirect relationships (i.e., ethical leadership-felt obligations-promotive voice and ethical leadership-psychological safety-prohibitive voice) were positively moderated by power distance orientation. Collectively, this research extends our understanding of the leadership-voice relationship and specifies how ethical leaders facilitate employee voice. Our study showed that ethical conducts from the power-holders would be important for motivating employee constructive voice, because the ethical type of leadership actively create two necessary conditions for voice behavior: felt obligations and psychological safety. Therefore, the full integration of ethical standards into leadership is not only preferable, but also necessary for long-term organizational innovation and survival. In addition, managers should play a critical role in advancing moral principles, setting moral examples and emphasizing moral persuasion in the Chinese context, where there is likely to be a much heavier concentration of individuals with a high power distance orientation than other places with low power distance tradition (i.e., the U.S.). Otherwise, employees’ unrest may be easily fuelled by suspicious of abuse of power and official corruption in the management side during the period of restructuring.

Keywords ethical leadership      employee voice      psychological safety      felt obligations      power distance orientation     
Corresponding Authors: LIANG Jian   
Issue Date: 25 February 2014
Service
E-mail this article
E-mail Alert
RSS
Articles by authors
LIANG Jian
Cite this article:   
LIANG Jian. Ethical Leadership and Employee Voice: Examining a Moderated-Mediation Model[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00252
URL:  
http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00252     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2014/V46/I2/252
[1] TU Xingyong; ZHANG Qi; WANG Zeyin; HE Xin. Trust climate, perceived insider status and employee’ in-role performance: A mediated moderator model[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2017, 49(1): 83-93.
[2] XU Shiyong; ZHU Jinqiang. Ethical leadership and pro-social rule breaking: A dual process model[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2017, 49(1): 106-115.
[3] LU Xinxin; SUN Jiaqing. When leader-member exchange increases emotional exhaustion? The role of belief in reciprocity and power distance orientation[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2016, 48(5): 566-577.
[4] TU Yidong; LU Xinxin; GUO Wei; WANG Zhen. What Benefits Do Ethical Leaders Gain? Ethical Leadership, LMX Mean and Leaders’ Benefits[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2014, 46(9): 1378-1391.
[5] DUAN Jinyun;Huang Caiyun. The Mechanism of Employee’s Sense of Power on Speaking-up: A Power Cognition Perspective[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2013, 45(2): 217-230.
[6] WANG Zhen;SUN Jian-Min;ZHANG Rui-Juan. Effect of Leader Core Self-Evaluation on Follower Organizational Citizenship Behavior: The Role of Ethical Leadership and Collectivistic Orientation[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2012, 44(9): 1231-1243.
[7] LI Rui, LING Wen-Quan, LIU Shi-Shun. The Mechanisms of How Abusive Supervision Impacts on Subordinates’ Voice Behavior[J]. , 2009, 41(12): 1189-1202.
[8] Li Ning,Yan Jin. The Mechanism of How Trust Climate Impacts on Individual Performance[J]. , 2007, 39(06): 1111-1121.
Viewed
Full text


Abstract

Cited

  Shared   
  Discussed   
Copyright © Acta Psychologica Sinica
Support by Beijing Magtech