The influence of integrity and ethical leadership on trust and employee work engagement

Heine, Gardielle (2013-03)

Thesis (MComm)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study investigated the emerging concept of work engagement and how organisational leaders can exert influence on it. It was therefore important to obtain understanding of and deeper insight into the impact of these key stakeholders on the employee’s work engagement and related concepts. The aim of the study was to investigate existing relationships between constructs that play a significant role in the relationship between leader and follower in the organisation. These constructs include integrity, ethical leadership and trust in the leader, and the effect these constructs have on employee work engagement. The study thus was undertaken to obtain more clarity about these aspects. Based on research on the existing literature, a theoretical model depicting how the different constructs are related to one another was developed and various hypotheses were formulated. Data for the purpose of the quantitative study were collected by means of an electronic web-based questionnaire. A total of 204 completed questionnaires were returned. The final questionnaire comprised four subscales, namely the 17-item Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES), the 14-item Leader Trust Scale (LTS), the 17-item Leadership of Ethics Scale (LES), and the 9-item Behavioural Integrity Survey (BIS). The postulated relationships and the conceptual model were empirically tested using various statistical methods. Reliability analysis was done on all the measurement scales and adequate reliability was found. The content and structure of the measured constructs were investigated by means of confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses. The results indicated that good fit was achieved for all the refined measurement models. Subsequently, Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) was used to determine the extent to which the conceptual model fitted the data obtained from the sample and to test the relationships between the constructs. The results indicated positive relationships between trust in the leader and work engagement; ethical leadership and work engagement; ethical leadership and trust in the leader; integrity and ethical leadership; and integrity and trust in the leader. The present study contributes to existing literature on work engagement and ethical leadership by providing insights into the nature of the relationships among these constructs. The study also identifies practical implications to be considered in management practices in order to enhance and encourage these constructs, as well as the relationships between these constructs in the workplace. The limitations and recommendations present additional insights and possibilities that could be explored through future research studies.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die huidige studie is gebaseer op die belangrikheid van werkstoewyding in die werkplek en op hoe leiers in die organisasie dit beïnvloed. Dit was dus belangrik om insig te verwerf rakende die invloed van hierdie belangrike rolspelers op die werknemer se werkstoewyding. Die studie het ten doel gehad om die verwantskappe tussen konstrukte wat binne die organisasie ‘n beduidende rol in die verhouding tussen die leier en ondergeskikte speel, te ondersoek. Hierdie konstrukte omvat integriteit en etiese leierskap, asook die vertroue tussen leier en ondergeskikte, en die graad van invloed wat die veranderlikes op die werknemer se werkstoewyding uitoefen. Die studie is dus uitgevoer om meer duidelikheid oor hierdie aspekte te verkry. ‘n Teoretiese model wat voorstel hoe die verskillende konstrukte aan mekaar verwant is, is op grond van die navorsing oor die bestaande literatuur ontwikkel. Verskeie hipoteses is geformuleer. Data vir die doel van die kwantitatiewe studie is deur middel van ‘n elektroniese web-gebaseerde vraelys ingesamel. ‘n Totaal van 204 voltooide vraelyste is terugontvang. Die finale vraelys is uit vier subvraelyste saamgestel, te wete die 17-item Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES), die 14-item Leader Trust Scale (LTS), die 17-item Leadership of Ethics Scale (LES), en die 9-item Behavioural Integrity Survey (BIS). Die gepostuleerde verwantskappe en die konseptuele model is empiries met behulp van verskeie statistiese metodes getoets. Betroubaarheidsanalise is met behulp van die betrokke meetinstrumente uitgevoer en voldoende betroubaarheid is gevind. Die inhoud en die struktuur van die konstrukte wat deur die instrumente gemeet is, is verder deur middel van verkennende en bevestigende faktorontledings ondersoek. Die resultate het goeie passings vir al die hersiene metingsmodelle getoon. Daarna is struktuurvergelykings-modellering (SVM), gebruik om te bepaal tot watter mate die konseptuele model die data pas, en om die verwantskappe tussen die verskillende konstrukte te toets. Die resultate het positiewe verwantskappe tussen vertroue in die leier en werkstoewyding; etiese leierskap en werkstoewyding; etiese leierskap en vertroue; integriteit en etiese leierskap; en integriteit en vertroue in die leier aangedui. Hierdie studie dra by tot die bestaande literatuur aangaande beide werkstoewyding en etiese leierskap deurdat dit insig bied in die aard van verhoudings tussen hierdie konstrukte. Die studie identifiseer ook praktiese implikasies om in bestuurspraktyke in aanmerking geneem te word om die betrokke konstrukte, asook die verwantskappe tussen die veranderlikes, te versterk en aan te moedig. Die beperkings en aanbevelings van die studie dui op verdere insig en moontlikhede wat in toekomstige navorsing ondersoek kan word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/80031
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