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Exploitative leadership and constructive voice: the role of employee adaptive personality and organizational identification

Abdulah Bajaba (Davis School of Business, Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction, Colorado, USA)
Saleh Bajaba (Department of Management, Lutgert College of Business, Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida, USA)
Abdullah Alsabban (Department of Business Administration, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance

ISSN: 2051-6614

Article publication date: 23 March 2023

Issue publication date: 8 November 2023




The purpose of this paper is to examine the mediating role of organizational identification (OI) and the moderating role of adaptive personality (AP) between exploitative leadership (EL) and constructive voice (CV) relationship.


This study samples 154 full-time employees from Saudi Arabia and records their self-reported responses to closed-ended items in the survey. Hierarchical regression and PROCESS Macro are used for the analysis.


Utilizing social identity theory and social exchange theory, the authors demonstrate EL adversely affect CV through OI. AP also moderates EL-OI relationships. The indirect effects of EL on CV via OI are moderated by AP. In other words, adaptive employees are more likely to neutralize the adverse effects of such exploitation by adapting to the situation.

Practical implications

Human resource professionals and organizations must identify indicators of EL when evaluating job candidates. Organizations should also adopt communication systems that encourage employees to report any misconduct. Finally, organizations should speak out against exploitative leaders and educate their employees on ethics.


The originality is in extending the nomological network of EL to incorporate reduced employee OI and constructive deviance. It also discusses how adaptive employees mitigate exploitative behavior's negative effects.



Bajaba, A., Bajaba, S. and Alsabban, A. (2023), "Exploitative leadership and constructive voice: the role of employee adaptive personality and organizational identification", Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 601-623.



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