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Published in: Journal of Business Ethics 1/2022

01-01-2021 | Original Paper

Keeping Teams Together: How Ethical Leadership Moderates the Effects of Performance on Team Efficacy and Social Integration

Authors: Sean R. Martin, Kyle J. Emich, Elizabeth J. McClean, Col. Todd Woodruff

Published in: Journal of Business Ethics | Issue 1/2022

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Abstract

Prior research has demonstrated a strong relationship between team performance and team members’ team efficacy beliefs and perceptions of social integration. Performing well increases the feelings of collective ability that comprise team efficacy and the feelings of psychological connectedness that make up social integration, while performing poorly erodes them. In this article, we draw from the social cognitive base of ethical leadership theory to argue that ethical leadership moderates the relationship between team performance and team efficacy beliefs, and between team performance and social integration, such that these important team attitudes are buffered against the negative effects of poor performance when leaders act ethically. Alternatively, when leaders act less ethically, team efficacy and social integration break down following poor performance. We test our hypotheses in a field study of U.S. military teams actively engaged in competition. The data support our arguments. We find that ethical leadership weakens the relationships among team performance and team efficacy and social integration, respectively, such that ethical leaders preserve team efficacy and social integration when their teams do not perform well.
Footnotes
1
We chose to take this approach instead of using a difference score as a dependent variable because: standard deviations were similar between time points; the difference between Time 2 and Time 1 variables correlated negatively with Time 1 variables, indicative of regression to the mean; and variables were highly correlated between time points (Jennings and Cribbie 2016).
 
2
The results were robust to the inclusion or exclusion of controls. The only difference when omitting controls is that the interaction term of team performance and ethical leadership predicting social integration becomes significant at p < 0.05, further supporting Hypothesis 2.
 
3
All variables included in our models were normally distributed. W(36) = 0.95–0.97, p = 0.14–0.74. Additionally, multicollinearity in all models was appropriate. VIF values ranged from 1.52 to 2.52 for all predictors. Durbin–Watson scores for our four models ranged from 1.64 to 1.83, indicating no autocorrelation issues. Goldfeld–Quandt tests indicated no heteroscedasticity issues in Models 2 and 4. Heteroscedasticity issues arose in Models 1 and 3 caused by teams H2 and C4. Removing these teams from these models did not change the results significantly.
 
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Metadata
Title
Keeping Teams Together: How Ethical Leadership Moderates the Effects of Performance on Team Efficacy and Social Integration
Authors
Sean R. Martin
Kyle J. Emich
Elizabeth J. McClean
Col. Todd Woodruff
Publication date
01-01-2021
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Published in
Journal of Business Ethics / Issue 1/2022
Print ISSN: 0167-4544
Electronic ISSN: 1573-0697
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-020-04685-0