Ethical leadership and creativity in employees with University education: The moderating effect of high intensity telework

Carlos Santiago Torner


Purpose: The main objective of this research is to determine if the number of days teleworked gradually influences the causal relationship between Ethical Leadership and Creativity among university-educated employees together with the aspect of their interaction.

Design/methodology/approach: To decipher this question, a simple moderation scheme is chosen. The sample is 448 workers who are evaluated online.

Findings: Ethical Leadership and Creativity are related in a convex way; that is, the ethical extremes, low or high, negatively, or positively influence creative performance, in that order. In addition, the intensity of Teleworking favors the integration between Ethical Leadership and original ideas; On the other hand, when remote work is reduced to one day a week, the relationship between Ethical Leadership and Creativity is neutralized. Finally, the self-perception of Creativity is lower in the female gender.

Research limitations/implications: It is a cross-sectional study, but the results can be transferred to the entire Colombian energy industry since the sample was taken at different stages and obtained from various sources. Future research can delve into the e-ethics role of ethical leadership

Practical Implications: The transition from conventional to electronic leadership needs to be influenced by strong ethical values to avoid leadership styles such as intrusive or abusive leadership that do not consider employee welfare as a priority. In addition, hybrid work alternatives that combine remote days with on-site days make it essential to consider that very low-intensity Teleworking substantially reduces individual Creativity.

Social Implications: The public energy industries in underdeveloped countries whose main mission is to serve the neediest social spheres cannot take their eyes off the common interest. When this happens, corruption proliferates, and inequalities widen.

Originality/Value: This research presents a theoretical model that extends the existing literature on Ethical Leadership. The benefits of this management style are widely known, but it is of vital interest to know its impact within a virtual work environment, and even more so when Teleworking becomes an ideal habitat to capitalize on its potential.


Ethical leadership, telecommuting, teleworking, creativity, ethics, curvilinear relationship

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Intangible Capital, 2004-2024

Online ISSN: 1697-9818; Print ISSN: 2014-3214; DL: B-33375-2004

Publisher: OmniaScience