Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 161, Issue 3, pp 627–639 | Cite as

Antecedents of Duty Orientation and Follower Work Behavior: The Interactive Effects of Perceived Organizational Support and Ethical Leadership

  • Nathan Eva
  • Alexander Newman
  • Qing MiaoEmail author
  • Dan Wang
  • Brian Cooper
Original Paper


Drawing on social exchange theory, the present study seeks to understand how ethical leaders channel followers’ responses to positive treatment from the organization into a dutiful mindset, resulting in in-role and extra-role performance. Specifically, it examines the influence of perceived organizational support on both followers’ job performance and organizational citizenship behaviors, and the mediating effects of duty orientation on such relationships. In addition, it examines whether the mediated effects are contingent on the ethical leadership exhibited by the team leader. Based on multi-source, multi-level data obtained from 233 employees in 60 teams from the Chinese public sector, we found that ethical leadership moderated the mediated relationship between perceived organizational support and follower work behaviors through duty orientation, such that this relationship was stronger in the presence of higher ethical leadership.


Ethical leadership Duty orientation Perceived organizational support Organizational citizenship behaviors Job performance 



This research was funded by the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71672174 & R17G020002).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathan Eva
    • 1
  • Alexander Newman
    • 2
  • Qing Miao
    • 3
    Email author
  • Dan Wang
    • 1
  • Brian Cooper
    • 1
  1. 1.Monash Business SchoolMonash UniversityCaulfieldAustralia
  2. 2.Deakin Business SchoolDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia
  3. 3.Center of Social Welfare & Governance, School of Public AffairsZhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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