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How does ethical leadership enhance employee work engagement? The roles of trust in leader and harmonious work passion

Talat Islam (Institute of Business Administration, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan)
Areela Khatoon (Institute of Business Administration, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan)
Amna Umer Cheema (Institute of English Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan)
Yasir Ashraf (Institute of Business Administration, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan)

Kybernetes

ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 28 February 2023

904

Abstract

Purpose

Employee work engagement has become a major concern for managers as hardly 21% of employees are engaged in their work. Therefore, this study aims to unveil the association between ethical leadership and employee engagement. Specifically, the study explores the mediating role of trust in leader between ethical leadership and employee work engagement and moderating role of harmonious work passion in the association between trust in leader and employee work engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

This study collected data from 491 employees and their immediate supervisors working in various organizations (in Pakistan) through “Google Forms”. The data were analyzed through analysis of moment structure (AMOS) and structural equation modeling (SEM) was applied to examine measurement model (for unidimensionality) and structural model (for hypotheses testing).

Findings

The study noted that ethical leaders positively influence their subordinates to engage in their work. In addition, employees' trust in leader was noted to mediate the association between ethical leadership and employee work engagement. Finally, employees high in harmonious work passion are more likely to engage in their work when perceived their leaders ethical style.

Practical implications

The study suggests to management that fair dealing and involvement in decision-making (ethical leadership) improve employee work engagement as such practices build employees' level of trust in their leaders. In addition, management is suggested to give freedom to employees while selecting their tasks as it positively contributes to their harmonious work passion which ultimately benefits the organization.

Originality/value

Drawing upon social exchange and self-determination theory, this study is the first of its kind that explored the moderating role of harmonious work passion and mediating role of trust in leader between ethical leadership and employee work engagement.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to the Editor, Associate Editors, Reviewers and volunteer Participants of this study.

Corrigendum: It has come to the attention of the publisher that the article “How does ethical leadership enhance employee work engagement? The roles of trust in leader and harmonious work passion” by Talat Islam, Areela Khatoon, Amna Umer Cheema and Yasir Ashraf, published in Kybernetes, Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print, https://doi.org/10.1108/K-09-2022-1343, contained an affiliation error for the author Amna Umer Cheema. Amna Umer Cheema is not affiliated with the Institute of Business Administration, University of the Punjab. This error has now been corrected in the online version. The authors sincerely apologise for this error and for any confusion caused.

Corrigendum: It has come to the attention of the publisher that the article “How does ethical leadership enhance employee work engagement? The roles of trust in leader and harmonious work passion” by Talat Islam, Areela Khatoon, Amna Umer Cheema and Yasir Ashraf, published in Kybernetes, Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print, https://doi.org/10.1108/K-09-2022-1343, contained the wrong sample size and response rate in the methodology section. This error has now been corrected in the online version and the authors apologise for any confusion caused.

Citation

Islam, T., Khatoon, A., Cheema, A.U. and Ashraf, Y. (2023), "How does ethical leadership enhance employee work engagement? The roles of trust in leader and harmonious work passion", Kybernetes, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-09-2022-1343

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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