The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of ethical leadership on surface acting, positive mood and affective commitment via the mediating effect of employee frustration. The authors also explored the moderating role of humor on the relationship between ethical leadership and frustration as well as its moderating effect on the mediational chain.
Data were collected in two separate surveys from 156 individuals working fulltime; data collections were separated by six weeks to reduce common method variance. The measurement model was confirmed before the authors tested the moderated mediation model.
Ethical leadership was negatively related to employee frustration, and frustration mediated the relationships between ethical leadership and surface acting and positive mood but not affective commitment. Humor moderated the relationship between ethical leadership and frustration such that when humor was low, the relationship was stronger.
Interestingly, the authors failed to find a significant effect for any of the relationships between ethical leadership and affective commitment. Ethical leaders can enhance positive mood and reduce surface acting among employees by reducing frustration. Humor may be more important under conditions of unethical leadership but may be distracting under ethical leadership.
This study demonstrates how frustration acts as a mediator and humor serves as a moderator in the unethical behavior-outcomes relationship.
Valle, M., Kacmar, M. and Andrews, M. (2018), "Ethical leadership, frustration, and humor: a moderated-mediation model", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 39 No. 5, pp. 665-678. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-02-2018-0083Download as .RIS
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