Ethical Leadership and Follower Unethical Pro-organizational Behavior: Examining the Dual Influence Mechanisms of Affective and Continuance Commitments

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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This paper aims to examine the indirect effects of ethical leadership on unethical pro-organizational behavior (UPB). We primarily examine how two types of organizational commitment (i.e. affective commitment and continuance commitment) mediate the effect of the supervisors’ ethical leadership on their followers’ UPB. Collecting data from 291 employees in South Korea, at two points in time, we found that ethical leadership has a negative relationship with follower UPB through affective commitment and has a positive relationship with follower UPB through continuance commitment. Furthermore, follower organizational identification moderates the mediation processes, which makes the affective commitment-UPB relationship more negative but the continuance commitment-UPB relationship more positive when the followers more closely identify with their organization. We also discuss the theoretical contributions and practical implications.