Responsible leadership and employee outcomes: a systematic literature review, integration and propositions

Publication Name

Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration


Purpose: The dominant view of responsible leadership (RL) has so far lacked adequate testing for employees' motivational outcomes, including presenteeism. Presenteeism, or attending work while being ill and unable to work at full capacity, causes productivity loss and imposes a significant economic burden to businesses and national economies. Applying the social identity theory of leadership (SITL), this paper aims to offer a conceptual framework supporting the relationship between RL and presenteeism and incorporating the mediating roles of organisational commitment and employees' turnover intentions. Design/methodology/approach: This paper conducts a systematic literature review using a Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) flowchart with the existing research on RL, presenteeism, organisational commitment and employee turnover intentions covering the main contributors to this research stream. The proposed model offers eight propositions to promote the examination of RL in more insightful ways. Findings: A shift in focus to the aspect of value-based leadership and presenteeism allows this paper to explore probable employee motivational outcomes, especially with consideration of organisational commitment and turnover intentions. While extant studies about presenteeism have tended to identify negative consequences, this paper explores different contexts in which RL could be crucial and positive. Based on a PRISMA flowchart, this paper provides a conceptual framework and directions that scholars might use to guide organisations and evaluate future research studies in RL and presenteeism. Research limitations/implications: The implications of this paper lie first in highlighting the demand for scholars to employ RL when conducting research reviews in organisational leadership and presenteeism. Beyond this broad purpose, this paper will help researchers to develop a holistic and pragmatic research approach more systematically and coherently. It is hoped that this conceptual framework can potentially lead to higher employee productivity and retention. Originality/value: The systematic literature review offers a novel framework that will allow future researchers to conduct and explore empirical studies in organisational leadership. The suggested propositions will direct future scholars and practitioners to explore solutions in which presenteeism can be recognised at work and managed to achieve practical application of RL within organisational settings.

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