Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal (Print ISSN: 1087-9595; Online ISSN: 1528-2686)

Research Article: 2021 Vol: 27 Issue: 2S

Servant Leadership and Ethical Climate as Antecedents of Turnover Intentions in the Restaurant Industry of Pakistan

Maqsood Ullah, Bacha Khan University Charsadda

Muhammad Yasir, Bacha Khan University Charsadda

Muhammad Hamayun, Bacha Khan University Charsadda

Abrar Ullah, University of Swabi

Sajjad Nawaz Khan, Iqra University

Keywords

Servant Leadership, Ethical Climate, Turnover Intention, Restaurant Industry

Abstract

Employees' turnover intention is one of the main problems which exist in the restaurant industry. Therefore, this study investigated the effect of servant leadership and ethical climate on turnover intention; in addition, ethical climate was investigated as a mediator between servant leadership and turnover intention specifically in the restaurant industry of Pakistan. Data from 216 frontline employees and waiters was utilized for data analysis. Afterwards, direct and indirect effects were examined. Findings showed a (i) negative relationship between servant leadership and turnover intention, (ii) positive relationship between servant leadership and ethical climate, (iii) negative relationship between ethical climate and turnover intention, and that (iv) ethical climate mediates between servant leadership and turnover intention. Hence, providing several practical and theoretical implications.

Introduction

Physical, human, and organizational capital resources are the important types of resources providing a competitive advantage to an organization (Barney, 2001). Therefore, losing any of these resources can lead to serious consequences for any organization. However, the most important of the above mentioned three resources is the human capital resource (Kashyap & Rangnekar, 2016). So, it is very harmful for any organizational success if they lose their human capital resource to its rival. Thus, in most of the organizations, employees’ turnover has been recognized as an important issue, specifically in the hospitality sector with turnover rates ranging from sixty percent to three-hundred percent (Lee & Way, 2010; Kim, Lee & Carlson, 2010; Hinkin & Tracey, 2000). While some turnover of staff is reasonable, excessive turnover imposes major financial pressures on the hospitality organizations (Tracey & Hinkin, 2008; Davidson, Timi & Wang, 2010). Therefore, in this sector, the retention of frontline employees plays a significant role (Nadiri & Tanova, 2010). So, knowing the factors which could minimize turnover is important in this sector in order to maintain a competitive edge over its competitors. Previous literature has shown several reasons for turnover (Kim et al., 2010; Yang, 2008; Karatepe & Uludag, 2008; Cho, Johanson & Guchait, 2009). However, the hospitality industry is still suffering from employee turnover than any other issue.

Prior literature has identified the association between leadership style of a manager and behavior of the employees (Mulki, Jaramillo & Locander, 2006; Kim & Brymer, 2011; Darmon, 2008). In addition, a supportive leader is more likely to maximize the subordinate’s job satisfaction (DeCarlo & Agarwal, 1999), motivation (Jaramillo & Mulki, 2008), thereby reducing turnover intentions (Kim & Brymer, 2011; Jaramillo, Grisaffe, Chonko & Roberts, 2009). In previous research, several leadership styles have been identified to affect employee turnover intention such as transactional leadership, affective leadership (Weng et al., 2016), ethical leadership (Xiao & Zhao, 2017), transformational leadership (Hensenl & Visser, 2018; Jyoti & Bhau, 2015), and authentic leadership style (Azanza et al., 2015). However, less empirical evidence exists thereby investigating the effect of servant leadership style on turnover intention, specifically in a hospitality sector. Furthermore, Hale & Field (2007) described servant leadership behavior as the understanding and practice of an individual’s leadership style which focuses on followers’ development, focuses on the interests of subordinates rather than self-interest, and de-emphasizes glorification of the leader. These leaders focus upon the ethical and rational usage of authority; foster a trusting and sincere relationship with subordinates thereby establishing a healthy and productive workplace environment (Wong, Davey & Church, 2007).

Prior studies have further demonstrated the mediating role of ethical climate between the relationship of leadership styles and subordinates’ behavioral outcomes (Yasir & Rasli, 2018; Demirtas & Akdogan, 2015). According to Victor and Cullen (1988), ethical climate is the prevailing perceptions among employees regarding the organizational procedures and practices that have ethical content. Previous literature shows a negative association between ethical climate and employees’ turnover intention in dissimilar sectors, for instance, marketing (Schwepker, 2001; DeConinck, 2010; Mulki et al., 2006) and healthcare (Mulki et al., 2008; Hart, 2005). Thus, establishment of an ethical workplace climate plays a key role in an organizational success.

Moreover, few researches exist which investigates the effect of servant leadership on work outcomes (Walumbwa, Harnell & Oke, 2010; Liden, Wayne, Liao & Meuser, 2015; Jaramillo et al., 2009). However, to date, few researches have been carried out which investigates the mechanism by which servant leaders influence their subordinates’ attitudes and behavior specifically in the restaurant industry (Jang & Kandampully, 2018). Furthermore, the association between servant leadership and ethical climate is explored by few empirical studies (Jaramillo et al., 2009; Coetzer et al., 2017). Thus, this research extends prior literature thereby investigating the effect of servant leadership on ethical climate. Current study also explored the relationships between servant leadership, ethical climate, and turnover intention in a single model in the understudy sector. As, prior literature lacks empirical evidence regarding the mediator role of ethical climate between servant leadership and turnover intention, Thus, the current research seeks to analyze the mediating effect of ethical climate between servant leadership and turnover intention.

Lastly, the concept of servant leadership behavior is very important (Brownell, 2010), however, fewer studies have focused on this concept in the hospitality sector. As turnover of individuals in this sector is very high since the job nature is labor-intensive (Walsh & Taylor, 2007; Jang et al., 2018). Another way to minimize the rate of employee turnover is through leadership behavior (Partington, 2016; Gerstner & Day, 1997). Thus, this research adds to the existing body of knowledge on hospitality management thereby highlighting the significance of servant leadership and ethical climate towards reducing turnover intentions in the restaurant industry of Pakistan. Hence, current research intends to (a) analyze the effect of servant leadership on turnover intention, (b) investigate the effect of servant leadership on ethical climate, (c) examine the effect of ethical climate on turnover intention, and (d) investigate the mediating role of ethical climate between servant leadership and turnover intention in the restaurant industry of Pakistan.

Literature Review

Servant Leadership

The previous literature shows no agreement on what constitutes servant leadership behavior and how it affects followers since Greenleaf initially introduced this notion (Yasir & Mohamad, 2016). Thus, different conceptualizations of servant leadership behaviors have emerged (Van-Dierendonck, 2011; Najam & Mustamil, 2020). For instance, Barbuto & Wheeler (2006) identified five factors for instance; altruistic calling, emotional healing, persuasive mapping, wisdom, and organizational stewardship. Moreover, Liden & colleagues (2008) have suggested various dimensions for it, such as, (a) analytical abilities which include the awareness of institutions and duties needed by a leader to help subordinates, (b) empowering implies promoting followers to solve problems and complete duty, enabling followers to grow, showing respect for job growth and development of followers, (c) placing followers first includes communicating to subordinates that fulfilling their needs at work is given priority, (d) behave ethically suggests engaging with subordinates in a fair, honest and open way, (e) emotional healing indicates openness towards the personal problems of followers, thereby building respect for the community and demonstrating concerns for the community’s participation.

Turnover Intention

Turnover is known as a persistent problem in any organization, regardless of its size and location. When an individual quits an organization, it also seriously affects the productivity of the remaining employees. Scholars described turnover intention as the intention of an individual to depart from an organization in the near future (Cohen et al., 2016). Previous literature has shown several antecedents of turnover intentions (Tuzun, 2007; Sari et al., 2019; Hao et al., 2017; Vizano et al., 2021; Pham et al., 2021). Carmeli & Weisberg (2006) identified that turnover intentions apply to three specific elements in the withdrawal processing (thoughts of leaving the workplace, thinking of finding a different job, and then the expectation of quitting). High individual turnover is considered harmful to the company in terms of the cost of recruitment and loss of work outcomes (Addae et al., 2006). Literature has indicated that organizations might reduce turnover costs by avoiding action that has led to higher turnover intention (Hughes et., 2010). Prior literature shows several reasons which lead towards turnover intention, including personal (Wocke & Heymann, 2012), environmental concerns (Wheeler et al., 2007), and job-related factors (Hang-Yue et al., 2005; Kim, 2016).

Ethical Climate


An ethical climate is the prevailing perceptions of typical organizational procedures and practices that have ethical content (Victor & Cullen, 1988). Moreover, ethical organization meets the legal requirement and complies with ethical concerns (Dove et al., 2015; Stewart et al., 2011). Obeying an ethical corporate code of conduct is an indicator of responsible organizational behavior that leads to ethical decision-making by leaders (Yang et al., 2016; Mulki et al., 2008). The ethical climate of the organizations can influence an individuals’ perception, directly and indirectly, of how work is done in that organization (Maignan & Ferrell, 2000; Ghani et al., 2019). In such ethical workplace climate, the social implications of corporate rules, regulations, and processes are taken into consideration (Victor & Cullen, 1988; Yasir et al., 2017). An ethical workplace climate is comprised of shared beliefs regarding the ethical position of an organization and has a greater influence on an organization that has no formal code of conduct (Yasir et al., 2017; Grover & Enz, 2005).

Servant Leadership and Turnover Intention

Previous literature shows that each specific type of leadership style plays a significant role in any organization thereby having the ability to affect important work outcomes (Khan et al., 2017; Shah et al., 2017; Hashim et al., 2017; Hutabarat et al., 2021; Yang & Kim, 2018; Suong et al., 2019). Specifically, servant leadership style which is an employee-oriented leadership style instills positive work behaviors between subordinates (Ehrhart, 2004). These leaders empower followers and encourage positive change (Yasir & Mohamad, 2016; Liden et al., 2008). Studies show that servant leadership behavior is an important factor in affecting employees’ turnover intention (Babakus et al., 2010; Jaramillo et al., 2009; Kashyap & Rangnekar, 2016). Thus, the following hypothesis was proposed:

Hypothesis 1 Servant leadership is significantly and positively related to turnover intention


Servant Leadership and Ethical Climate

A leader establishes an organizational climate that has the ability to motivate individuals in an organization thereby influencing important organizational outcomes (Litwin & Stringer 1968). Therefore, leadership behavior in an organization plays a significant role in establishing an ethical workplace climate (Topcu et al., 2015). Moreover, a servant leader act as a positive ethical role model that contributes towards establishing an ethical workplace climate where doing the right thing is valued, expected and encouraged (Brown et al., 2005). Previous research indicates that individuals exhibiting servant leadership led to the development of an ethical workplace climate (Jaramillo et al., 2015). Thus, servant leadership can be one of the most suitable forms of leadership style that promote the establishment of an ethical workplace climate because it emphasizes on subordinate’s well-being and moral grounding (Burton et al., 2017; Burton & Welty-Peachey, 2013; Jaramillo & Noboa, 2015; Shim & Park, 2019). So, current research hypothesized that:

Hypothesis 2 Servant leadership is significantly and positively related to ethical climate

Ethical Climate and Turnover Intention

An ethical workplace climate is the shared perceptions of employees’ regarding what is ethically correct behavior and how ethical issues should be handled in an organization (Victor & Cullen, 1988). Although establishing an ethical climate is not easy and can be costly as well, however, it has the ability to provide organizations with both long- and short-term benefits (Victor & Cullen, 1988; Treviño & Nelson 2011). An ethical organization addresses ethical concerns and follows legal requirements (Stewart et al., 2011). Therefore, a positive perception of an ethical workplace climate has the ability to decrease employees’ turnover intentions (Jaramillo et al., 2006). Moreover, previous literature shows a negative association between ethical climate and employees’ turnover intention (Schwepker, 2001; DeConinck, 2010; Mulki, Jaramillo & Locander, 2006). Moreover, O’Neill, et al., (2009) study shows that the ethical workplace climate in the hotel industry plays an important role because when an employee perceives that the organizational climate is ethical thus, they are less likely to leave that specific organization. So, current study hypothesized that:

Hypothesis 3 Ethical climate is significantly and negatively related to turnover intention

Ethical Climate as a Mediator

Prior research indicates that managers will affect employee’s perception of an ethical workplace climate through leadership behavior, which has the ability to influence the subordinate’s turnover intention (Schminke et al., 2005; Brown et al., 2006; Jaramillo & Noboa, 2015). Previous studies have also investigated the mediating role of ethical climate between ethical leadership style and workplace deviance (Yasir & Rasli, 2018), servant leadership style and public service motivation (Shim & Park, 2019). Moreover, past research has explored the mediating effect of ethical climate between leadership styles and work outcomes (Shapira-Lishchinsky et al., 2018; Yasir & Rasli 2018; Mayer et al., 2010). However, previous literature lacks empirical evidence regarding the role of ethical climate as a mediator between servant leadership and turnover intention, So, this research hypothesized that:

Hypothesis 4 Ethical climate mediates between the relationship of servant leadership and turnover intention

Methodology

Sampling

This research utilized a convenience sampling method that is a non-probability sampling technique. In this method, respondents are chosen based on the researcher's convenience, as this technique saves time, less costly, and allows researchers to study hard to reach populations. Moreover, three hundred questionnaires were distributed between the frontline employees in Pakistan’s restaurant industry, however, two hundred and sixteen questionnaires were returned which were completed and appropriate for doing further analysis, thus the response rate was 72%.

Measurement Instruments

This research used the following measurement scales and items were anchored at a five points Likert Scale, ranging from 1=strongly disagree to 5=strongly agree. This research used seven items scale provided by Liden, et al., (2015), which is a shorter version of the servant leadership behavior scale originally provided by Liden, et al., (2008) having twenty-eight items. The current research used five items scale of turnover intention from Jung & Yoon (2013), which was adapted from Seashore, et al., (1982); Camp (1994); Cammann, et al., (1979); Mathieu & Zajac (1990). Lastly, this research used seven items measurement scale from Schwepker (2001), which has been mostly used in the previous literature in order to measure organizational ethical climate.

Analysis

Demographic Characteristics

The demographic description of the understudy sample, comprising of 216 male respondents (100% of sample size). Furthermore, respondents having age group of less than 25 years were 80 respondents, 25 to 35 years were 95 individuals, 35 to 45 years were 33 respondents, 45 to 55 years were 6 respondents, and more than 55 years were 2 respondents (37.0%, 44.0%, 15.3%, 2.8% and 0.9% of the sample respectively). Moreover, the education status of respondents was as follows; matric were 63, intermediate were 72, graduates were 29, postgraduate were 5 and others were 47 respondents (29.2%, 33.3%, 13.4%, 2.3%, 21.8% of the sample respectively). Finally, respondents’ level of experience was as follows; less than 1 year were 39, 1 to 5 year(s) were 101, 5 to 10 years were 56, and more than 10 years were 20 respondents (18.1%, 46.8%, 25.9% and 9.3% of the sample respectively).

Descriptive Analysis

Table 1 indicates that the mean values vary between the lowest value of 2.5569 to the highest value of 3.4333 of the servant leadership and turnover intention respectively.

Table 1
Descriptive Analysis (N216)
Minimum Maximum Mean Std. Dev
Servant Leadership 1.57 4.29 2.5569 0.67723
Turnover Intention 1.6 4.8 3.4333 0.74559
Ethical Climate 1.57 4.29 2.7897 0.73954

Measurement Model Assessment

This research initially examined the measurement model and afterwards the structural model thereby to test the hypothesized model. Moreover, measurement model is assessed by analysing the reliability, convergent validity, and discriminant validity.

Convergent Validity

In this research, convergent validity was examined by factor loadings. Below table 2 highlights the item loadings for understudy constructs in order to assess the convergent validity.

Table 2
Factor Loadings
Ethical Climate Servant Leadership Turnover Intention
EC1 0.775
EC2 0.75
EC3 0.816
EC4 0.788
EC5 0.834
EC6 0.844
SL1 0.707
SL2 0.866
SL3 0.829
SL4 0.771
SL6 0.797
SL7 0.813
TI1 0.782
TI2 0.739
TI3 0.843
TI4 0.771

A threshold value greater than or equal to 0.7 for each item’s loading is considered as reliable (Hair et al., 2016). Thus, items SL5 “My leader puts my best interests ahead of his/her own”, TI5 “I will quit this company if the given condition gets even a little worse than now”, and EC7 “If an employee in our restaurant is discovered to have engaged in unethical behavior that results in personal gain (rather than organizational gain), she or he will be promptly reprimanded” were deleted which were having values less than the required threshold value.

Discriminant Validity

Discriminant validity in this research is assessed by the values of the square root of Average Variance Extracted (AVE) and that the item loadings to be greater than the cross- loadings. In addition, reliability is assessed by examining the values of Cronbach’s alpha, composite reliability, and AVE.

Table 3 illustrates the construct reliability and validity. Cronbach alpha is acceptable when its value is more than 0.7, composite reliability is acceptable when its value is more than 0.7, and average variance extraction is acceptable when its value is more than 0.5 (Hair et al., 2010). Thus, values in table 3 shows that the constructs have high validity and reliability

Table 3
Reliability And Validity
Construct Cronbach Alpha Composite Reliability AVE
Ethical Climate 0.89 0.915 0.643
Servant Leadership 0.886 0.913 0.638
Turnover Intention 0.792 0.865 0.616

The bold values identified in table 4 are the square root of AVE thereby indicating an adequate discriminant validity, as the bold values are more than the correlation value between the constructs (Fornell & Larcker, 1981).

Table 4
Fornell – Larcker Criterion
Construct Ethical Climate Servant Leadership Turnover Intention
Ethical Climate 0.802
Servant Leadership 0.764 0.799
Turnover Intention -0.649 -0.664 0.785

The discriminant validity is further established when the item loadings are higher than the cross-loadings (Chin, 1998). Thus, table 5 indicates that the item loadings are higher than the cross-loadings thereby establishing discriminant validity.

Table 5
Cross Loadings
Item Ethical Climate Servant Leadership Turnover Intention
EC1 0.775 0.713 -0.625
EC2 0.75 0.424 -0.414
EC3 0.816 0.59 -0.505
EC4 0.788 0.474 -0.422
EC5 0.834 0.64 -0.53
EC6 0.844 0.606 -0.553
SL1 0.561 0.707 -0.423
SL2 0.623 0.866 -0.545
SL3 0.578 0.829 -0.547
SL4 0.515 0.771 -0.484
SL6 0.558 0.797 -0.52
SL7 0.775 0.813 -0.625
TI1 -0.466 -0.515 0.782
TI2 -0.442 -0.458 0.739
TI3 -0.597 -0.62 0.843
TI4 -0.515 -0.47 0.771

Henseler, et al., (2015) provided the HTMT criterion thereby to analyze the discriminant validity, so, if the value of HTMT is less than 0.9, discriminant validity is established. Thus, table 6 highlights that the values are less than 0.9 thereby establishing discriminant validity.

Table 6
HTMT
Construct Ethical Climate Servant Leadership Turnover Intention
Ethical Climate
Servant Leadership 0.818
Turnover Intention 0.747 0.777

The VIF value of more than 5 indicates the existence of multicollinearity (Field, 2009). According to table 7, VIF values are less than 5, thus indicating the non-existence of multicollinearity.

Table 7
Collinearity Assessment
Dependent Construct Predictor Construct Collinearity (VIF<5)
Turnover Intention Servant Leadership 2.404
Ethical Climate 2.404
Ethical Climate Servant Leadership 1

Structural Model

The subsequent table 8 and figure 1 indicate the structural model of the current research.

Table 8
Path coefficient
Hypothesis Path Coefficient (O) Standard Deviation (STDEV) T Statistics (|O/STDEV|) P Values Remarks
EC --> TI -0.342 0.072 4.726 0 Supported
SL --> EC 0.764 0.028 27.738 0 Supported
SL --> TI -0.403 0.079 5.071 0 Supported

The table 8 illustrates that servant leadership has a negative effect on turnover intention (β=-0.403, t=5.071, p<0.05). Therefore, hypothesis 1 is supported. Moreover, servant leadership had a positive effect on ethical workplace climate (β=0.764, t=27.738, p<0.05). Thus, hypothesis 2 is also supported. Furthermore, ethical climate has negative effect on turnover intention (β=-0.342, t=4.726, p<0.05). Hence, hypothesis 3 is also supported. In addition, figure 1 further illustrates the results of the path analysis.

Figure 1 :Structural Model

According to table 9, the results are at a moderate level as R2 values of 0.25, 0.50, and 0.75 are considered as weak, moderate, and substantial respectively (Hair et al., 2016).

.
Table 9
Coefficient Of Determinant (R2)
Construct R2 R2 Adjusted Explanatory Power
Ethical Climate 0.584 0.582 Moderate
Turnover Intention 0.489 0.484 Moderate

According to Cohen (1988), the f2 values of 0.02, 0.15, and 0.35 are considered as small, medium, and large effect sizes respectively. See Table 10 :

Table 10
f2 – Effect Size To R2
Construct Turnover Intention Ethical Climate
f2 Effect f2 Effect
Servant Leadership 0.132 Medium 1.404 Large
Ethical Climate 0.095 Small

Recommended values of Q2 are 0.02, 0.15, and 0.35 as small, medium, and large respectively indicating the level of the predictive relevance for endogenous construct (Hair et al., 2016). See Table 11 :

Table 11
Predictive Relevance
Endogenous latent construct Q2 Level of predictive relevance
Turnover Intention 0.29 Medium
Ethical Climate 0.35 Large

After conducting the bootstrapping analysis (see figure 2), results shown in table 12 indicate that ethical climate plays a mediating role between the association of servant leadership and turnover intention in Pakistan’s restaurant industry.

Table 12
Specific Indirect Hypothesis
Path Original Sample (O) Standard Deviation (STDEV) T Statistics (|O/STDEV|) P Value 2.50% 97.50%
SL->EC-> TI -0.261 0.056 4.673 0 -0.371 -0.144

Figure 2 :Bootstrapping Results For The Structural Model

Discussion

The current research examines the underlying mechanism which links servant leadership behavior with turnover intention through ethical climate as a mediator in the context of the restaurant industry of Pakistan. Thus, in this section, the objective wise discussion is provided.

First objective: To investigate the effect of servant leadership on turnover intention.

Results of this research show that servant leadership behavior is significantly and negatively associated with turnover intention in the restaurant industry of Pakistan. Therefore, the findings of this research are consistent with the past literature that identifies the negative association between servant leadership and turnover intention (Hunter et al., 2013; Jaramillo et al., 2009). Thus, servant leadership behavior has the ability to influence individuals’ attitudes and behavior specifically influencing employees’ turnover intentions. Past literature also shows that employee’s development and welfare is a key concern of a servant leader which influences employee’s turnover intention (Hunter et al., 2013). So, servant leaders are having the attributes of forgiveness, providing continuous emotional support, empowering and supporting their subordinates thereby leading towards less occurrence of employees’ turnover intention.

Second objective: To examine the effect of servant leadership on ethical climate.

The findings of current study indicate that servant leadership is significantly and positively related to the ethical climate in the restaurant industry of Pakistan. Findings of this research are also in line with the previous researches which show that if leaders exhibit servant leadership behavior, it will have a positive effect on ethical workplace climate (Burton et al., 2017). Moreover, prior literature also shows that subordinates get motivated and act in a morally responsible way and are also likely to engage in ethical decision making if the leader with servant leadership characteristics is solving problems within an ethical-driven environment and consistently exhibits ethical behavior (Burton & Peachey, 2013). Thus, servant leaders contribute towards establishing a workplace environment where doing the right thing is expected, valued, and encouraged (Brown et al., 2005). Hence, this research shows that it is necessary for a leader to recognize their influence in establishing an ethical workplace climate, because it positively influences subordinates’ perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors, specifically in the restaurant industry of Pakistan.

Third objective: To investigate the effect of ethical climate on turnover intention.

The findings of this research indicate that ethical workplace climate is significantly and negatively related to turnover intention in Pakistan’s restaurant industry. Results of this research are consistent with the past literature which indicates a negative association between ethical climate and employee’s turnover intention in several sectors, for instance, sales (DeConinck, 2010; Schwepker, 2001; Mulki et al., 2006), health care (Hart, 2005; Mulki et al., 2008), and garment industry (Rubel et al., 2017). Thus, when individuals perceive that ethical norms are present in the organization it led to lower levels of turnover. Hence, the presence of an ethical climate can influence an individual willingness to work in the restaurant industry of Pakistan.

Fourth objective: To analyze the mediating role of ethical climate in the relationship between servant leadership and turnover intention.

Findings of this research are consistent with the fourth hypothesis of the current study. Results of this study show that ethical climate plays a key mediating role between servant leadership and turnover intention in the restaurant sector of Pakistan. Therefore, the ethical climate has the ability to influence employee’s turnover intention through their perceptions of the attitude and behavior of their manager/boss. In addition, individuals exhibit lesser intention to leave the organization if they feel assisted by the attitude and behavior of their leaders in the ethical workplace climate. Hence, an ethical work climate will lead towards lesser turnover intention and is dependent upon the leadership attitude and behavior, specifically in the restaurant industry of Pakistan.

Implications

Servant leadership plays a significant role in any organization however less empirical evidence exists that investigates the underlying mechanism through which servant leadership behavior is associated with turnover intentions specifically in the restaurant industry. In the hospitality industry employees’ turnover is high because of labor-intensive nature of their work (Walsh & Taylor, 2007; Kim et al., 2010). So, to minimize the rate of the employees’ turnover, the manager’s leadership style plays an important role (Gerstner & Day, 1997). Thus, current research attempted to address this literature gap thereby investigating ethical climate as a mediator between servant leadership and turnover intention in the restaurant industry of Pakistan. Findings of current research support that ethical workplace climate mediates between the relationship of servant leadership and turnover intention. Moreover, this research implies that restaurant managers should demonstrate servant leadership behavior thereby establishing an ethical workplace climate that might influence subordinates’ turnover intentions. Lastly, training programs should be conducted for the managers in the restaurants in order to assist them in the understanding significance of the servant leadership style and ethical workplace climate, because these factors have the ability to influence turnover intention.

Limitations

The current research is having some limitations. Such as, the research sample is drawn from Pakistan’s restaurant industry thus, the results of this study should be generalized with care. This research examined the mediating role of ethical climate between servant leadership and turnover intention relationship; however, numerous other mediating variables exist that may have the ability to mediate between the association of servant leadership and turnover intention. Moreover, sample size of this study is appropriate, however, it seems to be relatively low. Furthermore, one of the limitations of this research is that it utilizes a convenient sampling method which is a nonprobability sampling technique.

Future Research

The hypothesized model was examined in the restaurant industry of Pakistan, more empirical evidence is warranted in order to explore the understudy model in dissimilar cultures and sector. In the future, other potential mediating variables should be examined thereby further clarifying the underlying mechanism that associates servant leadership style with turnover intention. Furthermore, additional research is required thereby utilizing a longitudinal research design in order to investigate the interrelationship between servant leadership, ethical workplace climate, and turnover intention. Lastly, further research is needed which shall be based on a probability sampling technique.

Conclusion

This research shows that the restaurant industry needs to be aware of the significant role played by the supervisor and/or manager at the workplace and his/her role in establishing an ethical workplace climate thereby minimizing turnover intentions. As subordinates need positive supervisory support explicitly servant leadership behavior thereby to establish an ethical workplace climate and minimize turnover intention specifically in Pakistan’s restaurant sector. Thus, the restaurant industry needs to promote servant leadership behavior and establish an ethical workplace climate thereby minimize employees’ turnover intention

References

Addae, H.M. (2006). Organizatioinal commitment and intentions toquit: An examination of the moderating effects of psychological contract breach in Trinidad and Tobago. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 14(3), 225-238.

Azanza, G., Moriano, J.A., Molero, F., & Mangin, J.L. (2015). The effects of authentic leadership on turnover intention. Leadership & Organization Development, 36, 955-971.

Babakus, E., Yavas, U. & Ashil, J. (2010). Service worker Burnout and Turnover Intentions: Roles of person job fit, servant leadership, and customer orientation. Serv Mark, 32(1), 17-31.

Barbuto, J., & Wheeler, W.D. (2006). Scale development and construct clarification of servant leadership. Group & Organization Management, 31(3), 300-326.

Barney, B.J. (2001). Resource-based theories of competitive advantage: A ten-year retrospective on the resource-based view. Journal of Management, 27(6), 643-650.

Brown, E.M., & Treviño, L.K. (2006). Ethical leadership: A review and future directions. The Leadership Quarterly, 7, 595-616.

Brown, E.M., Treviño, K.L., & Harrison, D. (2005). Ethical leadership: A social learning perspective for construct development and testing. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 97, 117-134.

Brownell, J. (2010). Leadership in the service of hospitality. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 51(3), 363-378.

Burton, L.J., Peachey, J.W., & Wells, J.E. (2014). Examining the influence of transformational leadership, organizational commitment, job embeddedness, and job search behaviours on turnover intentions inintercollegiate athletics. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 35(8), 740-755.

Burton, L., & Welty, P.J. (2013). The call for servant leadership in intercollegiate athletics. Quest, 65(3), 354-371.

Burton, L., Welty-Peachey, J., & Wells, J.E. (2017). The role of servant leadership in developing an ethical climate in sport organizations. Journal of Sport Management, 31(3), 229-240.

Cammann, C., Fichman, M., Jenkins, D., & Klesh, J. (1979). The michigan organizational assessment questionnaire (Unpublished Manuscript). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan.

Camp, S.D. (1994). Assessing the effects of organizational commitment and job satisfaction on turnover: An event history approach. The Prison Journal, 74(3), 279-305.

Carmeli, A., & Weisberg, J. (2006). Exploring turnover intentions among three professional groups of employees. Human Resource Development International, 9(2), 191-206.

Chin, W. (1998). The partial least squares for structural equation modelling. In G.A. Marcoulides (Ed.), Modern methods for business research. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Cho, S., Johanson, M.M., & Guchait, P. (2009). Employees intent to leave: A comparison of determinants of intent to leave versus intent to stay. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 28(3), 374-381.

Coetzer, F.M., Bussin, M., & Geldenhuys, M. (2017). The functions of a servant leader. Administrative Sciences, 7(1), 5.

Cohen, G., Blake, R.S., & Goodman, D. (2016). Does turnover intention matter? Evaluating the usefulness of turnover intention rate as a predictor of actual turnover rate. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 36(3), 240-263.

Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Inc. Publishers.

Darmon, R.Y. (2008). The concepts of salesperson replacement value: A sale force turnover management tool. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 28(3), 211-232.

Davidson, C.C., Timi, N., & Wang, Y. (2010). How much does labor turnover cost? A case study of australian four- and five-star hotels. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 22(4), 451-466.

DeCarlo, T.E., & Agarwal, S. (1999). Influence of managerial behavior and job autonomy on job satisfaction of industrial salespersons. Industrial Marketing Management, 28(1), 51-62.

DeConinck, B.J. (2010). The influence of ethical climate on marketing employees’ job attitudes and behaviors. Journal of Business Research, 63(4), 384-391.

DeConinck, J., & DeConinck, M.B. (2017). The relationship between servant leadership, perceived organizational support, performance, and turnover among business to business salespeople. Archives of Business Research, 5(10).

Demirtas, O., & Akdogan, A.A. (2015). The effect of ethical leadership behavior on ethical climate, turnover intention, and affective commitment. Journal of Business Ethics, 130(1), 59-67.

Dove, E.S., Joly, Y., Tassé, A.M., in Genomics, P.P., Committee, S.P., Burton, P., & Hveem, K. (2015). Genomic cloud computing: legal and ethical points to consider. European Journal of Human Genetics, 23(10), 1271.
Dutta, S., & Khatri, P. (2017). Servant leadership and positive organizational behaviour: The road ahead to reduce employees’ turnover intentions. On the Horizon, 25(1), 60-82.

Ehrhart, M.G. (2004). Leadership and procedural justice climate as antecedents of unit-level organizational citizenship behavior. Personnel Psychology, 57(1), 61-94.

Ernst, K.E.O.C. (1998). Work–family conflict, policies, and the job—life satisfaction relationship: A review and directions for organizational behaviour, human resources research. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83(2), 139-149.

Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS:(and sex and drugs and rock'n'roll). Sage.

Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. (1981). Evaluating structural models with unobserved variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18(1), 35-90.

Fuller, B., Morrison, R., Jones, L., Bridger, D., & Brown, V. (1999). The effects of psychological empowerment on transformational leadership and job satisfaction. The Journal of Social Psychology, 139(3), 389-391.

Gerstner, C.R., & Day, D.V. (1997). Meta-analytic review of leader–member exchange theory: Correlates and construct issues. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82(6), 827-844.

Ghani, E.K., Respati, H., Darsono, J.T., & Yusoff, M.M. (2019). The influence of professional scepticism, self-efficacy and perceived ethical climate on internal auditors’ ethical judgment in public sector management. Polish Journal of Management Studies, 19(2), 155-166.

Griffeth, W., Hom, W., & Gaertner, S. (2000). A meta-analysis of antecedents and correlates of employee turnover: Update, moderator tests, and research implications for the next Millennium. Journal of Management, 26(3), 463-488.

Grover, S.L., & Enz, C.A. (2005). The influence of company rules, ethical climate, and individual characteristics on sales representative's honesty. Journal of Management & Organization, 11(2), 27-36.

Hair Jr, J.F., Hult, G.T.M., Ringle, C., & Sarstedt, M. (2016). A primer on partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). Sage publications.

Hair, J.F., Black, W.C., Babin, B.J., & Anderson, R.E. (2010). Multivariate data analysis: A global perspective. Analysis.

Hale, R.J., & Field, L.D. (2007). Exploring servant leadership across cultures: A study of followers in Ghana and the USA. Leadership, 3(4), 397-417.

Hang-Yue, N., Foley, S., & Loi, R. (2005). Work role stressors and turnover intentions: A study of professional clergy in Hong Kong. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 16(11), 2133–2146.

Hart, E.S. (2005). Hospital ethical climates and registered nurses’ turnover intentions. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 37(2), 173-177.

Hashim, M., Khan, M.A., Ullah, M., & Yasir, M. (2017). Impact of servant leadership on employees’ loyalty of private universities academicians in Pakistan. City University Research Journal, 96-111.

Hao, L., Arsiah, B., & Awangku, H.B.P.B. (2017). Social support change as a moderator and organizational commitment as a mediator between pre-entry expectation and turnover intention: A study among life insurance agents in Tianjin, China. Polish Journal of Management Studies, 15(2), 58-68.

Henseler, J., Ringle, C.M., & Sarstedt, M. (2015). A new criterion for assessing discriminant validity in variance-based structural equation modeling. Journal of the academy of marketing science, 43(1), 115-135.

Hensenl, R., & Visser, R. (2018). Shared leadership in entrepreneurial teams: The impact of personality. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 24(6), 1104-1119.

Hinkin, T.R., & Tracey, J.B. (2000). The cost of turnover: Putting a price on the learning curve. Cornell Hotel & Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 41(3), 14-21.

Hughes, W.L., Avey, B.J., & Nixon, R.D. (2010). Relationships between leadership and followers’ quitting intentions and job search behaviors. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 17(4), 351-362.

Hunter, M.E., Neubert, J.M., Perry, J.S., Witt, A.L., Penney, M.L., & Weinberger, E. (2013). Servant leaders inspire servant followers: Antecedents and outcomes for employees and the organization. The Leadership Quarterly, 24(2), 316-331.

Hutabarat, C., Suharyono, S., Utami, H.N., & Prasetya, A. (2021). Servant leadership, business transformation, and corporate competitiveness. The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics, and Business, 8(2), 1091-1099.

Jang, J., & Kandampully, J. (2018). Reducing employee turnover intention through servant leadership in the restaurant context: A mediation study of affective organizational commitment. International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration, 19(2), 125-141.

Jaramillo, F., & Mulki, J.P. (2008). Sales effort: The intertwined roles of the leader, customers, and the salesperson. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 28(1), 37-51.

Jaramillo, F., & Noboa, F. (2015). Impact of servant leadership on ethical climate, supervisor conflict, and organizational outcomes. In marketing dynamism & sustainability: Things Change, Things Stay the Same. Springer, Cham.

Jaramillo, F., Bande, B., & Varela, J. (2015). Servant leadership and ethics: A dyadic examination of supervisor behaviors and salesperson perceptions. Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, 35, 108-124.

Jaramillo, F., Grisaffe, B., Chonko, B., & Roberts, A. (2009). Examining the impact of servant leadership on sales person’s turnover intention. Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, 29(4), 351-365.

Jaramillo, F., Mulki, J.P., & Solomon, P. (2006). The role of ethical climate on salespersons role stress, job attitudes, turnover intention, and job performance. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 26(3), 271-282.

on, H.H. (2013). The effects of organizational service orientation on person–organization fit and turnover intent. The Service Industries Journal, 33(1), 7-29.

Jyoti, J., & Bhau, S. (2015). Impact of transformational leadership on job performance: Mediating role of leader–member exchange and relational identification. Sage Open, 15(4), 1-13.

Karatepe, M., & Uludag, O. (2008). Affectivity, conflicts in the work-family interface, and hotel employee outcomes. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 27(1), 30-41.

Kashyap, V., & Rangnekar, S. (2016). The mediating role of trust: Investigating the relationships among employer brand perception and turnover intentions. Global Business Review, 7(3S), 64S-75S.

Khan, H., Yasir, M., Yusof, H.M., Bhatti, M.N., & Umar, A. (2017). The relationship between ethical leadership and organizational citizenship behavior: Evidence from Pakistan. City University Research Journal, 8(1), 45-62.

Kim, B.C., Lee, G., & Carlson, K.D. (2010). An examination of nature of the relationship between leader-member exchange (LMX) and turnover intent at different organizational levels. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 29(4), 591-597.

Kim, G., & Brymer, A. (2011). The effects of ethical leadership on manager job satisfaction, commitment, behavioral outcomes, and firm performance. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 30(4), 1020-1026.

Kim, Y. (2016). Music therapists’ job demands, job autonomy, social support, and their relationship with burnout and turnover intention. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 51, 17-23.

Lee, R. & Wilbur, R. (1985). Age, education, job tenure, salary, job characteristics, and job satisfaction: A multivariate analysis. Human Relations, 38(8), 781-791.

Lee, C., & Way, K. (2010). Individual employment characteristics of hotel employees that play a role in employee satisfaction and work retention. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 29, 344-353.

Liden, C., Wayne, J., Liao, C., & Meuser, D. (2015). Servant leadership and serving culture: Influence on individual and unit performance. Academy of Management Journal, 57(5), 1434-1452.

Liden, R.C., Wayne, S.J., Zhao, H., & Henderson, D. (2008). Servant leadership: Development of a multidimensional measure and multi-level assessment. The leadership quarterly, 19(2), 161-177.

Litwin, G.H. & Robert, A.S. Jr., (1968). Motivation and organizational climate. Boston: Division of Research. Boston: Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University.

Loher, T., Noe, A., Moeller, L., & Fitzgerald, P. (1985). A meta-analysis of the relation of job characteristics to job satisfaction. Journal of Applied Psychology, 70(2), 280-289.

Lok, P., & Crawford, J. (2004). The effect of organisational culture and leadership style on job satisfaction and organisational commitment: A cross-national comparison. J Manag Dev, 23(4), 321-338.

Maignan, I., & Ferrell, O.C. (2000). Measuring corporate citizenship in two countries: The case of the United States and France. Journal of Business Ethics, 23(3), 283-297.

Mathieu, J.E., & Zajac, D.M. (1990). A review and meta-analysis of the antecedents, correlates, and consequences of organizational commitment. Psychological bulletin, 108(2), 171.

Mayer, D.M., Kuenzi, M., & Greenbaum, R.L. (2010). Examining the link between ethical leadership and employee misconduct: The mediating role of ethical climate. Journal of business ethics, 95(1), 7-16.

Mulki, P., Jaramillo, F., & Locander, B. (2006). Effects of ethical climate and supervisory trust on Salesperson’s job attitudes and intention to quit. Journal of Personal Selling & Sale Management, 26, 19-26.

Mulki, P., Jaramillo, F., & Locander, B. (2008). Effect of ethical climate on turnover intention: Linking attitudinal and stress theory. Journal of Business Ethics, 78(4), 559-574.

Nadiri, H., & Tanova, C. (2010). An investigation of the role of justice in turnover intentions, job satisfaction, and organizational citizenship behavior in hospitality industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 29, 33-41.

Najam, U., & Mustamil, N. (2020). Servant leadership: A bibliometric review. International Journal of Organizational Leadership, 9(3), 138-155.

O'Neill, S. & Nicholson-Cole, S. (2009). “Fear won't do it” promoting positive engagement with climate change through visual and iconic representations. Science Communication, 30(3), 355-379.

Partington, N. (2016). Hospitality employment. The routledge handbook of hospitality studies.

Pham, C.D., Hoang, T.P., & Nguyen, Y.T. (2021). Impact of work motivation on satisfaction and turnover of public universities lecturers. The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics, and Business, 8(2), 1135-1146.
Price, J. (1977). The study of turnover. Ames: Iowa State Univ. Press.

Rubel, B., Kee, H., Quah, H., & Rimi, N. (2017). Ethical climate and employee turnover intention in the ready‐made garment industry of Bangladesh. Global Business and Organizational Excellence, 36(2), 67-73.

Sari, R.N., Zenita, R., Pratadina, A. & Omar, N. (2019). Management control system and its effect on organizational citizenship behaviour and turnover intention. Polish Journal of Management Studies, 19(2), 343-352.

Schminke, M., Ambrose, L., & Neubaum, O. (2005). The effect of leader moral development on ethical climate and employee attitudes. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 97(2), 135-151.

Schwepker, H., & Schultz, J. (2015). Influence of the ethical servant leader and ethical climate on customer value enhancing sales performance. Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, 35(2), 93-107.

Schwepker, J. (2001). Ethical climates relationship to job satisfaction, organizational commitment and turn over in the sales force. Journal of Business Research, 54(1), 39-52.

Seashore, S.E., Lawler, E.E., Mirvis, P., & Cammann, C. (1982). Observing and measuring organizational change: A guide to field practice.

Shah, S.H.A., Saeed, M.A., Yasir, M., Siddique, M., & Umar, A. (2017). The impact of transformational leadership on turnover intentions directly and through talent engagement in the banking sector of twin cities of Pakistan. Journal of Managerial Sciences, 11(3), 409.

Shapira-Lishchinsky, O., & Raftar-Ozery, T. (2018). Leadership, absenteeism acceptance, and ethical climate as predictors of teachers’ absence and citizenship behaviors. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 46(3), 491-510.

Shim, D.C., & Park, H.H. (2019). Public service motivation in a work group: Role of ethical climate and servant leadership. Public Personnel Management, 48(2), 203-225.

Stewart, R., Volpone, D., Avery, R., & McKay, P. (2011). You support diversity, but are you ethical? Examining the interactive effects of diversity and ethical climate perceptions on turnover intentions. Journal of Business Ethics, 100(4), 581-593.

Suong, H.T.T., Thanh, D.D., & Dao, T.T.X. (2019). The impact of leadership styles on the engagement of cadres, lecturers and staff at public universities-Evidence from Vietnam. The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics, and Business, 6(1), 273-280.

opcu, K., Gursoy, A., & Gurson, P. (2015). The role of the servant leadership on the relation between ethical climate perception and innovative work. European Research Studies, 18(1), 67.
Tracey, B., & Hinkin, R. (2008). Contextual factors and cost profiles associated with employee turnover. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 49(1), 12-27.

Trevino, L.K., & Nelson, K.A. (2011). Managing business ethics. Hoboken.

Tuzun, K. (2007). Antecedents of turnover intention toward a service provider. The Business Review, 8(2), 128-135.

Van-Dierendonck, D. (2011). Servant leadership: A review and synthesis. Journal of management, 37(4), 1228-1261.

Victor, B., & Cullen, J.B. (1988). The organizational bases of ethical work climates. Administrative science quarterly, 33(1), 101-125.

Vizano, N.A., Sutawidjaya, A.H., & Endri, E. (2021). The effect of compensation and career on turnover intention: Evidence from Indonesia. The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics, and Business, 8(1), 471-478.

Walsh, K., & Taylor, M.S. (2007). Developing in-house careers and retaining management talent: What hospitality professionals want from their jobs. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 48(2), 163-182.

Walumbwa, O., Hartnell, A., & Oke, A. (2010). Servant leadership, procedural justice climate, service climate, employee attitudes, and organizational citizenship behavior: A Cross-level Investigation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95(3), 517.

Weng, Q., Wang, T., Wu, S., & Hu, H. (2016). Affective leadership: Scale development and its relationship with employees’ turnover intentions and voice behaviour. Foreign Economics Management, 38, 74-90.

Wheeler, R., Gallagher, C., Brouer, L., & Sablynski, J. (2007). When person-organization (mis) fit and (dis) satisfaction lead to turnover: The moderating role of perceived job mobility. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 22(2), 203-219.

Wocke, A., & Heymann, M. (2012). Impact of demographic variables on voluntary labour turnover in South Africa. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23(16), 3479-3494.

Wong, T., Davey, D., & Church, B. (2007). Best practices in servant leadership. Servant leadership research roundtable, School of Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Regent University.

Xiao, G.R., & Zhao, Y.J. (2017). Ethical leadership and employees' turnover intention: Leader-member exchange as a mediator. Science of science and management of S. & T, 38(03).

Yang, C., Ding, G., & Lo, W. (2016). Ethical leadership and multidimensional organizational citizenship behaviors: The mediating effects of self-efficacy, respect, and leader–member exchange. Group & Organization Management, 41(3), 343-374.

Yang, H.C., & Kim, Y.E. (2018). The effects of corporate social responsibility on job performance: Moderating effects of authentic leadership and meaningfulness of work. The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics, and Business, 5(3), 121-132.

Yang, T. (2008). Effect of newcomer socialisation on organisational commitment, job satisfaction, and turnover intention in the hotel industry. The Service Industries Journal, 28(4), 429-443.

Yasir, M., & Mohamad, N.A. (2016). Ethics and morality: Comparing ethical leadership with servant, authentic and transformational leadership styles. International Review of Management and Marketing, 6(4), 310-316.

Yasir, M., & Rasli, A. (2018). Direct and indirect effects of ethical leadership on workplace deviance in public healthcare sector of Pakistan. Journal of Advances in Management Research, 15(4), 558-574.

Yasir, M., Rasli, A., & Qureshi, M.I. (2017). Investigation of the factors that affect and get affected by organizational ethical climate. Advanced Science Letters, 23(9), 9351-9355.

Get the App