Ethical Leadership and Employee Creative Behaviour: A Case Study of a State-Owned Enterprise in South Africa
Keywords:Ethical Leaders, Employee Creative Behaviour, State-Owned Enterprises
Purpose: The aim of this explanatory study was to critically understand how ethical leadership impacts employee creative behaviour as well as the creative behaviour dimensions, in a South African transport and logistics State Owned Enterprise.
Theoretical framework: Leaders set the tone which has a major effect on the organizational climate and the organizational approach and the moral facet of leadership is significant because of the leader’s impact on employees and organizational conduct. Thus, this study is underpinned by the style of leadership which is ethical, since the autocratic style is often seen as lacking ethical conduct.
Method: The quantitative method was chosen since a deductive approach was needed to interpret the data. The target population comprised middle and executive managers representing the leaders and low-level managers representing followers and referred to as the employees. Although a sample of 348 employees (followers) was generated using the Raosoft (2004) sample size calculator. The data from 160 respondents comprising managers and employees was collected using predeveloped questionnaires. and analysed through structural equation modelling and multiple regression techniques conducted with the Smart PLS statistical software. The reliability of the research instrument was measured using Cronbach tests, and composite reliability. Validity was also confirmed using lower-order and higher-order construct validity tests.
Results and conclusion: It was confirmed that ethical leadership has a significant positive influence on employee creative behaviour, as well as with each of the creative behaviour dimensions namely: idea exploration, idea generation, and idea championing.
Originality/value: The influence of ethical leadership on employee creative behaviour in South African SOEs is also not fully understood and large private corporates and government entities have been rocked by corporate governance scandals, resulting in the call for ethical leadership to save companies from collapse and astounding costs from a financial, social and human perspective. No research was conducted on the topic in South African state-owned enterprises and thus the new knowledge generated would contribute to improving leadership and making the enterprises more innovative and thus improve performance.
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