Previous studies have investigated a number of psychological mechanisms that mediate the relationships between ethical leaderships and follower outcomes. Follower organizational identification has been found to mediate the relationship between ethical leadership and follower job performance. In this research, we incorporate a second distinct and theoretically important type of social identification process, relational identification with the leader, and examine their mediating effects on follower performance and voice outcomes. Further, we bring the implicit theory of morality to the behavioral ethics literature and examine follower morality beliefs as a moderator. Using a Romanian sample, we found that ethical leadership has an indirect effect on follower job performance and voice (through the mediating mechanisms of both organizational and relational identifications) and that these relationships are stronger for followers who held the implicit theory that a person’s moral character is fixed. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
- ethical leadership
- relational identification
- organizational identification
- implicit theory of morality