Relationships of leader reward behavior with employee behavior

Erin M. Jackson (Department of Psychology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA)
Michael E. Rossi (Department of Psychology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA)
E. Rickamer Hoover (Department of Psychology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA)
Russell E. Johnson (Department of Psychology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Publication date: 21 September 2012

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine employee perceptions of fairness and work morale as mediators of the relationship between leader reward behavior and employee behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

A matrix of meta‐analytic estimates containing the focal variables (leader reward behavior, fairness, morale, and employee behavior) was constructed following a literature review of published studies. This matrix was then analyzed using structural equation modeling to test a series of nested models.

Findings

Leader reward behavior is positively related to higher task performance and organizational citizenship behavior, and fewer intentions to turnover. These relationships are mediated by employees’ perceptions of fairness and work morale.

Research limitations/implications

The paper extends the leadership literature by identifying two mechanisms (viz., fairness and morale) through which leader reward behavior relates to employee behavior. Possible limitations are the drawbacks associated with meta‐analysis (e.g. inability to make causal inferences).

Practical implications

Rewarding subordinate performance alone is not sufficient to increase task performance and organizational citizenship behavior and decrease turnover intentions. Instead, managers must ensure that their contingent reward behaviors are seen as fair by employees in order to have favorable effects.

Originality/value

To date, research on possible mediators of the effects of leader reward behavior has been scarce.

Keywords

Citation

Jackson, E., Rossi, M., Rickamer Hoover, E. and Johnson, R. (2012), "Relationships of leader reward behavior with employee behavior", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 33 No. 7, pp. 646-661. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437731211265232

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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