THE MODERATING EFFECT OF LEADER NARCISSISM ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FOLLOWER CITIZENSHIP BEHAVIOR AND LEADER MORAL LICENSING
Keywords:narcissistic leaders, leaders’ moral credit, followers’ citizenship behaviour, psychological license
This paper examines how and when the followers influence leaders’ behaviors. In this study, participants gained the moral credentials through other in-group members’ past actions. We argue that past behavior is not the only means by which a person’s moral credentials are established. People can acquire moral credentials through their group membership. This study produces unique discussion on the study of leadership. Many prior studies generally focused on the effects of leaders’ behaviors on their followers. Recent research indicates that OCB could be causally related to leaders’ ethical behavior in certain circumstances. Specifically, this work suggests that leaders are especially likely to gain moral credit as a result of followers’ good deeds (citizenship behaviour). So when narcissistic leaders consider themselves to be unique and important, expect entitlements and special treatment, crave admiration and validation, they are most likely to feel personally responsible for the good deeds of their followers. Moreover, we find that psychological license exists when people perceive they can legitimately engage in questionable acts without fear of discrediting themselves or detracting from their positive self-image. These results have theoretical and practical implications, discussed in this article.
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