Moral Burden of Bottom-Line Pursuits: How and When Perceptions of Top Management Bottom-Line Mentality Inhibit Supervisors’ Ethical Leadership Practices

Rebecca L. Greenbuam, Mayowa Babalola, Matthew J. Quade, Liang Guo, Yun Chung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Drawing on theoretical work on humans’ adaptive capacity, we propose that supervisors’ perception of top management’s high bottom-line mentality (BLM) has a dysfunctional effect on their ethical leadership practices. Specifically, we suggest that these perceptions hinder supervisors’ empathy, which eventuates in less ethical leadership practices. We also investigate, in a first-stage moderated mediation model, how supervisors high in trait mindfulness are resistant to the ill effects of perceptions of top management’s high BLM. Supervisors high (versus low) in this trait are less likely to respond to perceptions of top management’s high BLM with reduced empathy that then hinders ethical leadership. Results from a multi-wave, multi-source sample of working adults from the Chinese high technology industry provide general support for our theoretical model. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bottom-line mentality
  • Empathy
  • Ethical leadership
  • Trait mindfulness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law

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