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Global responsible leadership traits and employee sustainable performance in Malaysia: a gender comparative analysis

Chee Hua Chin (School of Business and Management, University of Technology Sarawak, Sibu, Malaysia)
Siew Chen Sim (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Nottingham Malaysia, Semenyih, Malaysia)
Jun Zhou Thong (Faculty of Economics and Business, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Malaysia)
Ying Sin Chin (Faculty of Economics and Business, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Malaysia)

Journal of Global Responsibility

ISSN: 2041-2568

Article publication date: 28 September 2023

322

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to address existing gaps in the literature and theories by investigating the influence of responsible leadership traits on employees’ sustainable performance (E-SuPer) in the Malaysian service sector. Specifically, the authors focus on three key responsible leadership traits: relationship building, relational governance and sharing orientation. Additionally, the authors explore how these traits interact with leader-member exchange (LMX) and whether gender plays a role in this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 235 usable responses were analysed using partial least squares structural equation modelling. Multi-group analysis (MGA) was employed to examine the moderating impact of gender.

Findings

The results showed that both relationship building and relational governance significantly affect E-SuPer among organisations in the service industry. LMX was found to be a significant moderating condition influencing the association between responsible leaders’ sharing orientation and E-SuPer. Interestingly, the MGA results suggest that the effect on male employees was greater than on female employees across the relationships examined. The findings suggest that responsible leadership traits are essential for sustainable employee performance, but there is room for improvement in how these traits are perceived by female employees.

Social implications

The present study contributes to gender equality agenda, supports the sustainable development goals, adds to the growing body of knowledge on the relationship between responsible leadership traits and E-SuPer within one of the most important economic sectors in Malaysia and sheds lights on the moderating effect of LMX.

Originality/value

This study investigates how responsible leadership traits affect E-SuPer in the service industry, particularly among male and female employees. Moreover, this study is one of the early investigations into the significance of responsible leadership within Malaysian service sector and offers valuable information for industry actors to improve their management approaches.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the University of Technology Sarawak (UTS) for supporting this research.

Citation

Chin, C.H., Sim, S.C., Thong, J.Z. and Chin, Y.S. (2023), "Global responsible leadership traits and employee sustainable performance in Malaysia: a gender comparative analysis", Journal of Global Responsibility, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JGR-04-2023-0072

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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