Relationships between Authentic Leadership, Moral Courage, and Ethical and Pro-Social Behaviors

Business Ethics Quarterly 21 (4):555-578 (2011)
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Abstract

ABSTRACT:Organizations constitute morally-complex environments, requiring organization members to possess levels of moral courage sufficient to promote their ethical action, while refraining from unethical actions when faced with temptations or pressures. Using a sample drawn from a military context, we explored the antecedents and consequences of moral courage. Results from this four-month field study demonstrated that authentic leadership was positively related to followers’ displays of moral courage. Further, followers’ moral courage fully mediated the effects of authentic leadership on followers’ ethical and pro-social behaviors. Theoretical and practical implications for further integrating the work on moral courage, authentic leadership and ethics are discussed.

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