Matching ethical work climate to in-role and extra-role behaviors in a collectivist work setting

Alicia S M LEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


This paper studies the relationship between organizational ethical climate and the forms of organizational citizenship behavior (OCB), including in-role and extra-role behaviors, and examines the mediating effect of employee loyalty. A sample of employees from a traditional Hong Kong-based company was used as a study group. The purpose of this study was to examine the causes and implications of how various ethical work climates affect employee performance. Based on a model proposed by Victor and Cullen, ethical climate is arranged from lower levels to higher levels. The results suggest that lower levels of ethical climate (instrumentality and independence), characterizing a weak relational contract between employee and employer, are associated with negative extra-role behavior. In contrast, higher levels of ethical climate (caring and law-and-code), symbolic of a strong relational contract at work, are associated with positive extra-role behavior. Moreover, normative commitment mediated a positive relationship between caring and identification with the company, whereas attitudinal loyalty mediated the negative relationship between independence and altruism. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-55
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008

Scopus Subject Areas

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

User-Defined Keywords

  • Employee loyalty
  • Ethical climate
  • Extra-role behaviors
  • In-role behaviors


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