Original Research

The U-shaped effect of responsible leadership on employees’ cyberloafing

Jinqiang Zhu, Jiaxiu Zhao
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 55, No 1 | a4210 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v55i1.4210 | © 2024 Jinqiang Zhu, Jiaxiu Zhao | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 August 2023 | Published: 06 March 2024

About the author(s)

Jinqiang Zhu, School of Management, Minzu University of China, Beijing, China
Jiaxiu Zhao, School of Management, Minzu University of China, Beijing, China

Abstract

Purpose: The study explores the U-shaped impact of responsible leadership on cyberloafing and the moderating effect of self-efficacy based on conservation of resources theory.

Design/methodology/approach: This is a field study based on quantitative analysis of full-time employees in the enterprises who work on computers for over 1 year. Hierarchical regression was employed to examine hypotheses. Bootstrap and Bayesian analysis to conduct robustness tests.

Findings/results: Results from 305 employees showed that responsible leadership had a U-shaped impact on cyberloafing. The self-efficacy moderated the U-shaped relationship between responsible leadership and cyberloafing. For employees with high self-efficacy, responsible leadership is more likely to reduce cyberloafing, but for employees with low self-efficacy, responsible leadership is more likely to increase cyberloafing.

Practical implications: Organisations should recognise the role of leaders in mitigating employees’ cyberloafing behaviour through effective supervision, and equip the leaders with a comprehensive understanding of their impact. Besides, for employees with low self-efficacy, leaders should pay attention and help them through effective supervision.

Originality/value: Our work illustrated the double-edged sword effect of responsible leadership on employee cyberloafing and identified self-efficacy as a key boundary condition of the conservation of resources theory. This study expands the related research on the influencing factors of cyberloafing behaviour and provides clue for the possible negative effects of responsible leadership. In addition, this study deepens the conservation of resources theory.


Keywords

responsible leadership; cyberloafing; self-efficacy; U-shaped effect; conservation of resources theory; Bayesian analysis

JEL Codes

M12: Personnel Management • Executives; Executive Compensation; M15: IT Management; O15: Human Resources • Human Development • Income Distribution • Migration

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

Metrics

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