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The Effect of Ethical Leadership on Work Engagement and Workaholism: Examining Self-Efficacy as a Moderator


  • Widdy Muhammad Sabar Wibawa

    (Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima 739-8529, Japan)

  • Yoshi Takahashi

    (Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima 739-8529, Japan)


This study aims to investigate how ethical leadership can influence work engagement and workaholism through the potential moderating effect of self-efficacy. There have been debates on the similarities, their negative correlation, and differences between these two work outcomes. To show one new aspect of evidence regarding the debate, we chose ethical leadership as the common antecedent of the outcomes and analyzed the relationships while considering a boundary condition, self-efficacy. For this purpose, using an online questionnaire, we collected primary data from 80 graduate students from a university in Indonesia. An experimental research design was applied, and we used t-test and hierarchical regression analysis to confirm the relationship mentioned above. Results indicate that ethical leadership has a positive effect on work engagement, while it has an insignificant effect on workaholism. Moreover, self-efficacy did not moderate the relationships between ethical leadership and work engagement, or ethical leadership and workaholism. One novelty of the present study is the finding of different consequences of the two “similar” work outcomes from ethical leadership. Implications, limitations, and direction for future research are also discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Widdy Muhammad Sabar Wibawa & Yoshi Takahashi, 2021. "The Effect of Ethical Leadership on Work Engagement and Workaholism: Examining Self-Efficacy as a Moderator," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, vol. 11(2), pages 1-12, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jadmsc:v:11:y:2021:i:2:p:50-:d:549770

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brown, Michael E. & Trevino, Linda K. & Harrison, David A., 2005. "Ethical leadership: A social learning perspective for construct development and testing," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 117-134, July.
    2. Mehran Nejati & Yashar Salamzadeh & Cheng Kong Loke, 2019. "Can ethical leaders drive employees’ CSR engagement?," Social Responsibility Journal, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, vol. 16(5), pages 655-669, July.
    3. Wilmar Schaufeli & Marisa Salanova & Vicente González-romá & Arnold Bakker, 2002. "The Measurement of Engagement and Burnout: A Two Sample Confirmatory Factor Analytic Approach," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 71-92, March.
    4. Macey, William H. & Schneider, Benjamin, 2008. "The Meaning of Employee Engagement," Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 3-30, March.
    5. Deanne Hartog & Frank Belschak, 2012. "Work Engagement and Machiavellianism in the Ethical Leadership Process," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 107(1), pages 35-47, April.
    6. Aamir Chughtai & Marann Byrne & Barbara Flood, 2015. "Linking Ethical Leadership to Employee Well-Being: The Role of Trust in Supervisor," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 128(3), pages 653-663, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kan Jia & Tianlun Zhu & Weiwei Zhang & Samma Faiz Rasool & Ali Asghar & Tachia Chin, 2022. "The Linkage between Ethical Leadership, Well-Being, Work Engagement, and Innovative Work Behavior: The Empirical Evidence from the Higher Education Sector of China," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(9), pages 1-15, April.
    2. Veronika Agustini Srimulyani & Yustinus Budi Hermanto, 2022. "Organizational culture as a mediator of credible leadership influence on work engagement: empirical studies in private hospitals in East Java, Indonesia," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 9(1), pages 1-11, December.

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