Ethical leadership and follower voice and performance: The role of follower identifications and entity morality beliefs

Weichun Zhu, Hongwei He, Linda K. Treviño, Melody M. Chao, Weiyue Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


Previous studies have established the relationship between ethical leadership and a variety of positive 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, along with organizational identification, 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 of 302 followers under the supervision of 27 leaders, 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)702-718
Number of pages17
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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