The influence of supervisors' ethical leadership on key account managers' ethicality, ethical conduct, and customer relationship quality: a mixed-method study in the Indonesian information and communication technology (ICT) industry

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Iswahyudi, Muhammad Subhan (2018) The influence of supervisors' ethical leadership on key account managers' ethicality, ethical conduct, and customer relationship quality: a mixed-method study in the Indonesian information and communication technology (ICT) industry. Other Degree thesis, Victoria University.

Abstract

Given the challenges to ethical practices in a business to business marketing context, this study examines the influence of supervisors’ ethical leadership on key account managers. A mixed-method approach was used to answer research questions about the role of ethical leadership to shape account managers’ ethicality, ethical conduct and customer relationship quality. The study included a qualitative phase to confirm the constructs followed by a quantitative study to test theory-driven hypotheses. The initial exploratory phase interviewed a sample 18 participants, which comprised supervisors, account manager, and customers of an Indonesian information and communication technology firm. Analyses surfaced common themes which informed the concept of ethical key account management. An online survey with two stages of data collection followed, which used both quantitative measures and open-ended qualitative responses. In stage 1, partial least-squares structural equation modelling of responses from 258 account managers revealed that supervisors’ ethical leadership was positively related to account managers’ ethical awareness, intention, and judgment contingent on the ethical dilemma involved. Further analyses of the 73 completed responses of the survey in stage 2 indicated that ethical leadership was positively related to ethical equity judgment and customer-oriented organisational citizenship behaviour, and had an indirect positive effect on customer relationship quality. Theoretically, the study contributes new understanding by extending the model of ethical leadership outcomes to customers as the main organisational stakeholders. In practice, the study has the potential to inform strategies for improving the moral engagement of key account managers. This engagement is essential for guiding standards of customer relationship management. In sum, supervisors who engage in moral behaviour and provoke their subordinates to do so by role-modelling, communication and providing rewards and consequences, are likely to influence followers’ citizenship behaviour and discourage the deviant behaviour.

Additional Information

Doctor of Business Administration

Item type Thesis (Other Degree thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/38666
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Historical > FOR Classification > 2201 Applied Ethics
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Business
Keywords ethical leadership; account managers; key account management; ethicality; ethical conduct; customer relationship management; moral behaviour; customer oriented organizational citizenship behaviour; COOCB; customer oriented deviance; COD; workplace deviance; business-to-business; Indonesia
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