Meaningful work from ethics perspective: Examination of ethical antecedents and outcomes of meaningful work

Arpana Rai, Minseo Kim, Sanjay Kumar Singh (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
183 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Meaningful work is a fundamental motivator of employee behavior. Our research approaches meaningful work as an ethical phenomenon and examines a serial mediation model that delineates the ethical antecedents and outcomes of meaningful work. We propose that an ethical (independence and caring) climate fit can foster work meaningfulness. Meaningful work can instill a sense of obligation (duty orientation) and ownership (moral ownership) toward the organization, which, in turn, promotes ethical behavior (ethical voice) and limits unethical behavior (unethical pro-organizational behavior and time theft). Across two studies based on four-wave data collected from Indian managerial employees (Study 1: N = 231; Study 2: N = 190), we found support for our prediction. This research enhances our understanding of ethical value congruence as an important precursor of meaningful work and affirms the motivational power of meaningful work in fostering employees’ ethical and limiting unethical behaviors via the mechanisms of duty and ownership.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114287
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Business Research
Volume169
Early online date18 Sept 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Ethical climate fit
  • Meaningful work
  • Duty orientation
  • Moral ownership
  • Ethical and unethical behaviors

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