Journal of Business Ethics 100 (2):349 - 366 (2011)

Most research on ethical leadership to date investigates the consequences of ethical leadership rather than its antecedents. Here, we aim to contribute to this field by studying leader personality as a potential antecedent of ethical leader behavior. In two multisource studies, we investigated the relationships between personality traits and ethical leader behavior. Leader personality was measured through self-ratings using the five-factor personality framework. Two subordinates rated their leaders' ethical behavior. Study 1 used a unidimensional Ethical Leadership Scale (ELS). In study 2 we used this scale as well as an instrument distinguishing three different ethical leader behaviors, namely, fairness, role clarification, and power sharing. Further, in study 2 we controlled for the influence of the relationship between leader and followers (LMX). As expected, conscientiousness and agreeableness were most consistently related to ethical leadership. In study 1, after controlling for the other personality traits, conscientiousness related positively with ethical leadership. In study 2, after controlling for other traits and LMX, conscientiousness related positively with ethical leadership and the behavior role clarification, and agreeableness with power sharing and fairness. Also, emotional stability related positively with ethical leadership and role clarification after controlling for LMX. As expected, openness to experience and extraversion were unrelated to ethical leader behaviors
Keywords ethical leadership  personality  conscientiousness  agreeableness  emotional stability
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-010-0685-9
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,316
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 48 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Ethical Leader: An Ascetic Construct. [REVIEW]Harold B. Jones - 1995 - Journal of Business Ethics 14 (10):867 - 874.


Added to PP index

Total views
87 ( #135,411 of 2,519,317 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #407,861 of 2,519,317 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes