Original Research

Employees’ work engagement in a railway organisation: A perspective of ethical work climate and leadership behaviour

Jeremy Mitonga-Monga
Acta Commercii | Vol 18, No 1 | a598 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v18i1.598 | © 2018 Jeremy Mitonga-Monga | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 February 2018 | Published: 23 October 2018

About the author(s)

Jeremy Mitonga-Monga, Department of Industrial and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


Orientation: Understanding the factors that influence employee performance and well-being is a crucial issue because it can not only create a positive working environment but also promote competitive advantage for the organisation.

Research purpose: To investigate the effect of ethical work climate and ethical leadership behaviour on work engagement of employees.

Motivation for the study: Organisations are facing difficulties in improving organisational performance and workers’ well-being because of unethical behaviour and lack of accountability. This study aims to provide insight into suggested factors that might positively affect employee performance and well-being.

Research design, approach and method: A quantitative research design following a cross-sectional research design was employed. A sample of 839 employees in a railway organisation in the Democratic Republic of Congo completed the Ethical Climate Questionnaire, the Ethical Leadership Work Questionnaire and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale. Hierarchical regression was applied to identify the effect of ethical work climate and ethical leadership behaviour on the level of work engagement of employees.

Main findings: The findings indicate that ethical work climate and ethical leadership behaviour positively and significantly predict the level of employees’ work engagement.

Practical/managerial implications: Developing ethical leaders and finding creative ways to teach and enforce ethical conduct and policies to facilitate workplace fairness will improve the well-being of employees.

Contributions/value-add: The study contributes to employee engagement theory by suggesting that experiences and perceptions of a positive ethical work climate and ethical leadership behaviour contribute to a high level of psychological attachment and well-being of employees.


ethical work climate; ethical leadership behaviour; ethical leadership; employee's work engagement; railway organisation; Democratic Republic of Congo


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Crossref Citations

1. Transformational leadership influences on organisational justice and employee commitment in a customer service organisation
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SA Journal of Industrial Psychology  vol: 48  year: 2022  
doi: 10.4102/sajip.v48i0.1979