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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
To date, research on possible mediators of the effects of leader reward behavior has been scarce.
Jackson, E.M., Rossi, M.E., Rickamer Hoover, E. and Johnson, R.E. (2012), "Relationships of leader reward behavior with employee behavior: Fairness and morale as key mediators", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 33 No. 7, pp. 646-661. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437731211265232
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