Moral Leadership and Psychological Empowerment in China

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Department or Administrative Unit


Publication Date



Purpose – The purpose of this study is to examine the mediating role of perceived procedural justice and interactional justice on the relationship between moral leadership and the four psychological empowerment dimensions manifested in individuals’ perceptions of meaning, competence, self-determination, and impact.

Design/methodology/approach – Data from 241 subordinates, who reported to 110 supervisors, were collected from clothing companies in southern mainland China. The subordinates responded to a self-report survey, which consisted of the variables of interest. Because of the nature of nested data, hierarchical linear regression (HLM 6.0) was used for analysis.

Findings – A fully mediated model of perceived justice was supported. Procedural justice and interactional justice were found to be differentially associated with the elements of psychological empowerment. Specifically, while perceived procedural justice accounted for more unique variance in the empowerment facets of meaning, competence, and impact, perceived interactional justice accounted for more unique variance in the facet of self-determination.

Originality/value – This study contributes to the literature by first examining the relationships among moral leadership, two types of perceived justice, and the four empowerment dimensions in the Chinese context. A detailed discussion of the implication for both researchers and practitioners is also provided.


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Journal of Managerial Psychology