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Effects of ethical leadership, job satisfaction and affective commitment on the turnover intentions of accountants

Nuri Gökhan Torlak (Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Business Administration, Doğuş University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Cemil Kuzey (Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky, USA)
Muhammet Sait Dinç (Department of Human Resource Management, American University of the Middle East, Kuwait, Kuwait)
Ali Haydar Güngörmüş (Independent Scholar, Koblenz, Germany)

Journal of Modelling in Management

ISSN: 1746-5664

Article publication date: 22 February 2021

Issue publication date: 25 May 2021




The paper aims to analyze the relationships between ethical leadership (EL), job satisfaction (JS), affective commitment (AC) and turnover intention (TI) that might make accountants quit withdrawal and become productive and useful in private organizations operating in Istanbul.


Data were collected through an online survey using a simple random sampling methodology, obtained from 153 accountants working in companies in Istanbul. The methodology included descriptive statistics, factor analysis, structural equation modeling and mediation analysis.


Concerning direct relationships between EL, JS, AC and TI, EL has significant positive associations with JS and AC, whereas EL has a significant negative association with TI. JS has a significant positive association with AC, whereas JS has a significant negative association with TI. Also, AC has a weak significant negative association with TI. Given indirect relationships among EL, JS, AC and TI, JS and AC mediate the relationship between EL and TI. Finally, a similarity is found when comparing Generation X and Generation Y in terms of overall JS, AC and TI.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited solely to companies functioning in Istanbul and incorporates a low number of respondents. Therefore, the results cannot be considered to be accurate for the whole country. The study might guide both private and public organizations in which owners/managers develop strategic plans.


The study fills the gap in research on organizational behavior where little has existed until now that probes the EL–JS–AC–TI links in Turkey. A few studies measure the TIs of accountants. Furthermore, EL and AC are rarely evaluated in the field of accounting in Turkey.



Torlak, N.G., Kuzey, C., Dinç, M.S. and Güngörmüş, A.H. (2021), "Effects of ethical leadership, job satisfaction and affective commitment on the turnover intentions of accountants", Journal of Modelling in Management, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 413-440.



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