PurposeThis paper aims to examine how ethical leadership alleviates knowledge contribution loafing among engineering designers through the mediating effect of knowledge-based psychological ownership and the moderating effect of emotion regulation strategies.Design/methodology/approachThis study adopts a questionnaire survey to obtain 344 valid sample from engineering designers and uses partial least squares-structural equation modeling to analyze data.FindingsThe results demonstrate that ethical leadership is a key factor to alleviate knowledge contribution loafing. Knowledge-based psychological ownership is a main factor causing knowledge contribution loafing and mediates the influence of ethical leadership on knowledge contribution loafing. Furthermore, cognitive reappraisal (a response-focused emotion regulation strategy) moderates the relationship between ethical leadership and knowledge contribution loafing, and the effect of ethical leadership on knowledge contribution loafing is stronger when cognitive reappraisal is high.Practical implicationsEngineering design organizations may inspire ethical leadership and pay attention to psychological state of designers. Leaders may help designers overcome knowledge-based psychological ownership by the influence of ethical leadership. During the process of knowledge interaction, designers may adopt cognitive reappraisal strategy consciously.Originality/valueThis study addresses the knowledge gap that ethical leadership affects knowledge contribution loafing with knowledge-based psychological ownership as the intermediary. This study also advances the literature on leadership and emotion regulation and extends the scope of social learning theory in knowledge management domain through examining the moderate role of emotion regulation strategies.
Journal of Knowledge Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 19, 2019
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