This research investigated the link between ethical leadership and performance using data from the People’s Republic of China. Consistent with social exchange, social learning, and social identity theories, we examined leader–member exchange (LMX), self-efficacy, and organizational identification as mediators of the ethical leadership to performance relationship. Results from 72 supervisors and 201 immediate direct reports revealed that ethical leadership was positively and significantly related to employee performance as rated by their immediate supervisors and that this relationship was fully mediated by LMX, self-efficacy, and organizational identification, controlling for procedural fairness. We discuss implications of our findings for theory and practice.
Walumbwa, F. O., Mayer, D. M., Wang, P., Wang, H., Workman, K., & Christensen, A. L. (2011). Linking ethical leadership to employee performance: The roles of leader–member exchange, self-efficacy, and organizational identification. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 115(2), 204-213.