Date of Award
Mickey Smith, Ph.D.
The study examines the impact of leader humility on follower moral disengagement, workplace deviance, and leader-targeted knowledge hiding and explores attributions of ingratiation as a potential boundary condition from a social exchange theory perspective. Using a cross-sectional survey design (N=130), the study finds that leader humility is negatively related to moral disengagement, workplace deviance, and leader-targeted knowledge hiding. The results also suggest follower attributions of ingratiation moderates the negative relationship between leader humility and moral disengagement such that the relationship is weakened. However, the mediating role of moral disengagement was not significant in each relationship. Broadly, the results suggest that leader humility may serve as a deterrent to follower moral disengagement and unethical behaviors, but the presence of leader humility alone may not be enough. If followers also perceive ingratiation from their leaders, the impact of leader humility on follower moral disengagement can diminish. Additionally, there may be other underlying mechanisms beyond moral disengagement that facilitate the negative relationship between leader humility and follower unethical behaviors. Implications of the findings and directions for future research are provided.
Manix, Kelly G., "Is Humility Enough? The Impact of Leader Humility on Follower Moral Disengagement and Unethical Behavior" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 50.