Ethical leadership: A social learning perspective for construct development and testing

Ethical leadership: A social learning perspective for construct development and testing Leaders should be a key source of ethical guidance for employees. Yet, little empirical research focuses on an ethical dimension of leadership. We propose social learning theory as a theoretical basis for understanding ethical leadership and offer a constitutive definition of the ethical leadership construct. In seven interlocking studies, we investigate the viability and importance of this construct. We develop and test a new instrument to measure ethical leadership, examine the proposed connections of ethical leadership with other constructs in a nomological network, and demonstrate its predictive validity for important employee outcomes. Specifically, ethical leadership is related to consideration behavior, honesty, trust in the leader, interactional fairness, socialized charismatic leadership (as measured by the idealized influence dimension of transformational leadership), and abusive supervision, but is not subsumed by any of these. Finally, ethical leadership predicts outcomes such as perceived effectiveness of leaders, followers’ job satisfaction and dedication, and their willingness to report problems to management. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes Elsevier

Ethical leadership: A social learning perspective for construct development and testing

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Elsevier Inc.
ISSN
0749-5978
DOI
10.1016/j.obhdp.2005.03.002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Leaders should be a key source of ethical guidance for employees. Yet, little empirical research focuses on an ethical dimension of leadership. We propose social learning theory as a theoretical basis for understanding ethical leadership and offer a constitutive definition of the ethical leadership construct. In seven interlocking studies, we investigate the viability and importance of this construct. We develop and test a new instrument to measure ethical leadership, examine the proposed connections of ethical leadership with other constructs in a nomological network, and demonstrate its predictive validity for important employee outcomes. Specifically, ethical leadership is related to consideration behavior, honesty, trust in the leader, interactional fairness, socialized charismatic leadership (as measured by the idealized influence dimension of transformational leadership), and abusive supervision, but is not subsumed by any of these. Finally, ethical leadership predicts outcomes such as perceived effectiveness of leaders, followers’ job satisfaction and dedication, and their willingness to report problems to management.

Journal

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision ProcessesElsevier

Published: Jul 1, 2005

References

  • Self-other agreement: Does it really matter?
    Atwater, L.; Ostroff, C.; Yammarino, F.; Fleenor, J.
  • Social learning theory
    Bandura, A.
  • Multifactor leadership questionnaire
    Bass, B.; Avolio, B.
  • Ethics, character, and authentic transformational leadership behavior
    Bass, B.M.; Steidlmeier, P.
  • Perceived leader integrity scale: An instrument for assessing employee perceptions of leader integrity
    Craig, S.B.; Gustafson, S.B.
  • Personality structure: Emergence of the five-factor model
    Digman, J.M.
  • Context, cognition, and common method variance: Psychometric and verbal protocol evidence
    Harrison, D.A.; McLaughlin, M.E.; Coalter, T.M.
  • Demographic similarity to the work group: A longitudinal study of managers at the early career stage
    Kirchmeyer, C.
  • Effectiveness correlates of transformational and transactional leadership: A meta-analytic review of the MLQ literature
    Lowe, K.B.; Kroeck, K.G.; Sivasubramaniam, N.
  • Developing the moral component of authentic leadership
    May, D.; Chan, A.Y.L.; Hodges, T.D.; Avolio, B.
  • Taming charisma for better understanding and greater usefulness
    Shamir, B.
  • Organizations in action
    Thompson, J.D.

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