CEO Ethical Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility: A Moderated Mediation Model

Long Zeng Wu, Ho Kwong Kwan*, Frederick H K YIM, Randy K CHIU, Xiaogang He

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the relationship between CEO ethical leadership and corporate social responsibility by focusing on the mediating role of organizational ethical culture and the moderating role of managerial discretion (i.e., CEO founder status and firm size). Based on a sample of 242 domestic Chinese firms, we found that CEO ethical leadership positively influences corporate social responsibility via organizational ethical culture. In addition, moderated path analysis indicated that CEO founder status strengthens while firm size weakens the direct effect of CEO ethical leadership on organizational ethical culture and its indirect effect on corporate social responsibility. Theoretical and managerial implications of these results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)819-831
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sep 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law

User-Defined Keywords

  • CEO Ethical Leadership
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Managerial discretion
  • Organizational ethical culture


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