Linking ethical leadership to employee voice: The role of trust

Jianji Zeng1, Guangyi Xu2
1School of Medical Business, Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, People’s Republic of China
2School of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Zeng, J., & Xu, G. (2020). Linking ethical leadership to employee voice: The role of trust. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 48(8), e9200.

Volume 48 Issue 8 | e9200 | Published: August 2020 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.9200

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Ethical leadership is purported to foster employees’ extrarole behaviors; however, there have been few empirical studies conducted to verify this effect. Therefore, we examined the relationship between ethical leadership and employees’ voice behavior, and the mediating roles of both supervisor and organizational forms of trust in this relationship. Participants were 205 university teachers from 15 universities in China. The results show that ethical leadership positively predicted university teachers’ use of voice. Moreover, the relationship of ethical leadership with university teachers’ voice behavior was mediated by both supervisor trust and organizational trust. These findings expand the literature on ethical leadership and voice behavior and provide meaningful guidance for managers to encourage employees to make suggestions about ways to improve existing work processes.

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