As the tree is, so is the fruit? Examining the effects of ethical leadership on bootlegging from the perspective of leader–follower gender similarity

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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore how and when ethical leadership enhances bootlegging. To achieve this purpose, the authors proposed a moderated dual-path model in this study. Design/methodology/approach: The model was tested on two related studies. Study 1 was based on three-wave, collected data from a sample of 511 employees of Chinese companies. Data used in Study 2 was collected by survey from employees and their direct leaders of multiple departments of companies in China. Findings: In Study 1, the authors found that moral efficacy and moral identity mediate between ethical leadership and bootlegging. Findings from Study 2 provide convergent support of moral efficacy’s and moral identity’s impact on the mediation relationship between ethical leadership and bootlegging. Moreover, the results of Study 2 further reveal that the relationship between ethical leadership and moral efficacy (or moral identity) was more significant among leader–follower with different genders. Originality/value: This study not only enriches the literature on ethical leadership and gender (dis)similarity, but also helps managers to better understand the function of bootlegging.

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Gender in Management

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