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Leading well is not enough

Leading well is not enough While research on the influence of ethical and unethical behaviour on employee well-being abound, we still know little of how well-being is shaped under the dual positive and negative behavioural influences in the workplace. To address this limitation, this paper aims to investigate the relative effects of ethical behaviour of leadership and unethical bullying behaviour on employee well-being through the application of the conservation of resources theory.Design/methodology/approachThis study was conducted in the context of Pakistan by seeking views of 330 employees in academic work settings.FindingsThe data analysis revealed that occurrence of unethical behaviour plays a more potent role than ethical behaviour in shaping employee well-being. These findings lend support to the conservation of resources theoretical perspective by reiterating the salience of resource loss over resource gain in shaping employee well-being.Originality/valueThis study offers a new insight into the management literature by highlighting that combating workplace bullying not only conserves employee well-being, but also allows organisations to capitalise more fully on the positive process enabled by leadership. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Business Review Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0955-534X
DOI
10.1108/ebr-08-2018-0149
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

While research on the influence of ethical and unethical behaviour on employee well-being abound, we still know little of how well-being is shaped under the dual positive and negative behavioural influences in the workplace. To address this limitation, this paper aims to investigate the relative effects of ethical behaviour of leadership and unethical bullying behaviour on employee well-being through the application of the conservation of resources theory.Design/methodology/approachThis study was conducted in the context of Pakistan by seeking views of 330 employees in academic work settings.FindingsThe data analysis revealed that occurrence of unethical behaviour plays a more potent role than ethical behaviour in shaping employee well-being. These findings lend support to the conservation of resources theoretical perspective by reiterating the salience of resource loss over resource gain in shaping employee well-being.Originality/valueThis study offers a new insight into the management literature by highlighting that combating workplace bullying not only conserves employee well-being, but also allows organisations to capitalise more fully on the positive process enabled by leadership.

Journal

European Business ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 3, 2020

Keywords: Workplace bullying; Employee well-being; Ethical leadership; Conservation of resources theory

References