The Sound of Silence – A Space for Morality? The Role of Solitude for Ethical Decision Making

Journal of Business Ethics 102 (1):119-133 (2011)
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Abstract

Building on research and measures on solitude, ethical leadership theories, and decision making literatures, we propose a conceptual model to better understand processes enabling ethical leadership neglected in the literature. The role of solitude as antecedent is explored in this model, whereby its selective utilization focuses inner directionality toward growing authentic executive awareness as a moral person and a moral manager and allows an integration between inner and outer directionality toward ethical leadership and resulting decision-making processes that will have an impact on others’ perceptions of leader authentic ethical leadership. Thus it is proposed that utilization of solitude positively predicts executive-level authentic ethical leadership action and in turn, ethical decision making perceived fairness and integrity. We also propose two moderators, strengthening the hypothesized (positive) association between solitude and ethical leadership; these are the executive’s ability for moral reasoning and a motivation for socialized (as opposed to personalized) power.

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