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Influencing Ethical Leadership and Job
Satisfaction Through Work Ethics Culture

There is a growing realisation that organisational resources such as organisational culture and ethical leadership, directly affect employee attitudes and workplace behaviour. This also applies to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where political and economic instability have resulted in mismanagement, corruption and unethical leadership practices.

The present study investigated the mediating effects of work ethics culture in the relationship between ethical leadership and employees’ job satisfaction perceptions, in an attempt to explore the impact of perceived work ethics culture.

Ethical leadership was measured by the Ethical Leadership Scale, while job satisfaction was measured by the Job Satisfaction Questionnaire, and work ethics culture by the Corporate Ethical Virtues. The sample comprised of 839 employees from a railway organisation in the DRC. Mediation analysis and partial least squares SEM (PLS-SEM) were used to analyse the data. The results revealed that the work ethics culture emerged as mediator of ethical leadership and employees’ job satisfaction relationships.

This research provides suggestions for human resources practitioners and leaders when developing strategies to foster and enforce a positive and ethical work environment, which may increase workers’ satisfaction and their performance, and decrease their turnover intention.