Ethical Leadership in a Malaysian Multinational


This thesis examines a trickle-down model of ethical leadership on lower-level line manager voice behaviour and work engagement in a large Malaysian multinational organisation. Seminal ethical leadership theory argued that higher-level management ethical leadership are critical for setting the ethical tone at the top and influence behaviour all the way to the lowest level. As such, proponents of this perspective suggested that higher-level management ethical leader will convey the ethical value in an organisation to inspire lower-level line manager behaviour via middle-level management. However, only Mozumder (2018) and Schaubroeck et al (2012) have tested the trickle-down model that incorporate three levels of management in a public sector organisation. There hence remains opened question about the influence of higher and middle management ethical leadership in private sector organisations. The current study aims to resolve this apparent argument by systematically testing the trickle-down model to explain the role of higher and middle management ethical leadership in promoting lower-level line manager voice behaviour and work engagement. This study draws on social learning theory and role theory and investigate the mediating mechanism of lower-level line manager ethical leader role. The results shown that the line manager ethical leader role is shaped by middle management manager ethical leadership, in turn, affecting their voice behaviour. A new boundary condition of moral identification is then presented to explain this relationship and result shown that lower-level line manager with higher a moral identification and ethical leader role will voice more to improve the organisation’s process. In doing so, this thesis provides a new understanding of why lower-level line manager will develop an ethical leader role in a new Malaysian multinational set-up.

Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Work & Organisational Psychology
Additional Information: © Sin Mun Chang, 2020 asserts their moral right to be identified as the author of this thesis. This copy of the thesis has been supplied on condition that anyone who consults it is understood to recognise that its copyright rests with its author and that no quotation from the thesis and no information derived from it may be published without appropriate permission or acknowledgement. If you have discovered material in Aston Publications Explorer which is unlawful e.g. breaches copyright, (either yours or that of a third party) or any other law, including but not limited to those relating to patent, trademark, confidentiality, data protection, obscenity, defamation, libel, then please read our Takedown Policy and contact the service immediately.
Institution: Aston University
Completed Date: 2020
Authors: Chang, Sin Mun



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