Do as I say, not as I do Driving ethical leadership towards employee outcomes in an emerging market

DAWIE, BORNMAN (2018) Do as I say, not as I do Driving ethical leadership towards employee outcomes in an emerging market. In: Eighth Intl. Conf. On Advances In Economics, Social Science and Human Behaviour Study - ESSHBS 2018, 23-24 June, 2018, Paris, France.

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Abstract

In an emerging market such as South African, corporate governing bodies such as the King Code legitimise and promote ethical codes and their importance in organisations (South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, 2017:11-12). As employees have frequent customer interactions, and the quality of these interaction directly affect the customer‟s perception of the organisation; an aspect such as ethical leadership should not be ignored as it greatly affects employees which in turn impacts organisational performance. Bornman and Puth (2017:6) identified four main aspects of what leadership is: (1) it is about who you are, (2) how you act, (3) what you do, and (4) how a leader works with others. Ethical leadership fuses these principles together and includes the fair treatment of employees, integrity and setting ethical guidelines (Yukl, Mahsud, Hassan & Prussia, 2013:38; Yang & Wei, 2018), and according to Shin, Sung, Choi and Kim (2015:45), employees learn ethical behavior from their leaders. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine employees‟ perceptions of the relationship between ethical leadership and selected employee outcomes (i.e. (1) organisational commitment, (2) job satisfaction, (3) employee satisfaction and (4) extra effort). For leaders, the study highlights the importance of leading ethically due to the effect on the selected employee outcomes. The employee outcomes in turn then have an effect an organisation‟s performance through the quality of the organisation‟s products, services and customer service. The study collected data through twelve semistructured interviews which were one-on-one, and were conducted at twelve different organisations in Gauteng, South Africa. By asking open-ended questions, participants were able to voice their experiences in their own words, in the true sense. Open-ended questions prevented the participants from falling victim to potential researcher bias, but instead allow them to freely answer the questions posed (Creswell, 2012:218). The data collected during the study was analysed using a thematic analysis which is a process of identifying, organising and reporting on themes from data collected (Braun & Clarke, 2012:57). In terms of determining whether or not employees imitate their leaders‟ behaviour, the study found that most employees base their behaviour on their own morals regardless of how ethical they perceive their leaders to be. Therefore, most employees do not imitate their leaders‟ behaviour which contradicts literature of Keskes, Sallan, Simo and Fernandez (2018); Kim and Brymer (2011:1021); Shin et al. (2015:45); Yidong and Xinxin (2013:442) as the vast majority of employees did not want to compromise their own morals. In the study, it is also ascertained in which cases employees may imitate their leader‟s behaviour, and how this will have certain managerial implication, as well as, limitations and recommendations for future research and practice.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ethical leadership, employee perceptions, organisational commitment, job satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and extra effort
Depositing User: Mr. John Steve
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2019 14:47
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2019 14:47
URI: http://publications.theired.org/id/eprint/117

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