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. (shrink)
This study examines a proposed model whereby ethical leadership positively influences the level of meaning followers experience in their work, which in turn positively impacts followers’ levels of work engagement and organizational identification, as well as reduces their levels of workplace envy. We further hypothesized that cognitive reappraisal strategies for emotional regulation would moderate the ethical leadership–meaningful work relationship. The model was tested in a stratified random field sample of 440 employees and their direct supervisors in the aviation industry in (...) Turkey. Results based on data collected at two points in time showed that ethical leadership has a significant and positive direct effect on engagement and organizational identification, as well as indirect effects on those two outcomes through meaningfulness. Finally, results show that ethical leadership has a significant negative direct effect on workplace envy. Further, results showed that cognitive reappraisal emotion regulation strategy positively moderates, i.e., strengthens, the relationship between ethical leadership and meaningful work. (shrink)
Recent literature suggests that ethical leadership helps to inhibit followers’ unethical behavior, largely built on the premise that followers view ethical leaders as ethical role models and socially learn from them, thereby engaging in more ethical conduct. This premise, however, has not been adequately tested, leaving insufficient understanding concerning the conditions under which this social learning process occurs. In this study, we revisit this premise, theorizing that not all followers will equally regard the same ethical leader as being a personal (...) ethical role model, thereby bounding the leader’s effects in reducing followers’ unethical behavior. We integrate the role of follower self-concepts into social learning theory, hypothesizing that the extent followers emulate their ethical leaders is contingent on how they identify with ethics as well as the particular leader. We test our hypotheses with three-wave survey data collected from 214 employees, finding that ethical leaders are viewed as being role models only amongst followers higher in moral identity and leader identification, and that followers’ perceptions that the leader is an ethical role model mediated the effect of ethical leadership on followers’ unethical behavior. Interestingly, results for the full-model tests show that ethical leadership evokes unethical behavior amongst followers lower in both moral identity and leader identification. These results suggest that ethical leadership is not a universally useful practice to decrease unethical behavior and that a more nuanced understanding of its contingent effects needs to be better understood. (shrink)
Behavioral ethics research has focused predominantly on how the attributes of individuals influence their ethicality. Relatively neglected has been how macro-level factors such as the behavior of firms influence members’ ethicality. Researchers have noted specifically that we know little about how a firm’s CSR influences members’ behaviors. We seek to better merge these literatures and gain a deeper understanding of the role macro-level influences have on manager’s ethicality. Based on agency theory and social identity theory, we hypothesize that a company’s (...) commitment to CSR shifts managers’ focus away from self-interests toward the interests of the firm, bolstering resistance to temptation. We propose this occurs through self-categorization and collective identification processes. We conduct a 2 × 2 factorial experiment in which managers make expense decisions for a company with commitment to CSR either present or absent, and temptation either present or absent. Results indicate that under temptation, managers make decisions consistent with self-interest. More importantly, we find when commitment to CSR is present, managers are more likely to make ethical decisions in the presence of temptation. Overall, this research highlights the interactive role of two key contextual factors—temptation and firm CSR commitment—in influencing managers’ ethical decisions. While limited research has highlighted the positive effects that a firm’s CSR has on its employees’ attitudes, the current results demonstrate CSR’s effects on ethical behavior and imply that through conducting and communicating its CSR efforts internally, firms can in part limit the deleterious effects of temptation on managers’ decisions. (shrink)
We sought to expand on the concept of the moral self to include not just the duty to develop the moral self but the moral duty to develop the self in both moral and non-moral ways. To do this, we focused on how leaders can promote a climate in which individuals feel a sense of duty to develop themselves for the betterment of the team and organization. In our theoretical model, duty orientation plays a key role in determining whether followers (...) will seek performance feedback to develop their work selves. We hypothesized that followers with ethical leaders would experience a greater sense of duty to improve themselves and would therefore be more likely to seek and less likely to avoid leader feedback. Drawing on social learning theory, we hypothesized that duty orientation would mediate the relationship between ethical leadership and feedback-seeking/feedback-avoiding behavior, expert power would moderate the relationship between ethical leadership and duty orientation such that duty orientation would be higher when followers perceived their leader to be both highly ethical and competent, and expert power would moderate the indirect effect of ethical leadership on feedback-seeking/feedback-avoiding behavior through duty orientation. We tested our hypotheses using a sample of 249 followers across two waves of data collection. Results suggest that ethical leadership and leader competence interact to drive followers’ duty orientation, thereby reducing followers’ feedback-avoiding behaviors. Further, ethical leadership had a direct positive relationship with followers’ feedback-seeking behaviors. (shrink)
The authors provide this addendum to the following article to provide corrections to the results reported and further explanation of the structural equation modeling techniques utilized: Sean T. Hannah, Bruce J. Avolio, and Fred O. Walumbwa, “The Relationships between Authentic Leadership, Moral Courage, and Ethical and Pro-Social Behaviors,” Business Ethics Quarterly 21:4 : 555–78.
It is not uncommon for advertisers to present required product disclaimers quickly at the end of advertisements. We show that fast disclaimers greatly reduce consumer comprehension of product risks and benefits, creating implications for social responsibility. In addition, across two studies, we found that disclaimer speed and brand familiarity interact to predict brand trust and purchase intention, and that brand trust mediated the interactive effect of brand familiarity and disclaimer speed on purchase intention. Our results indicate that fast disclaimers actually (...) reduce brand trust and purchase intention for unfamiliar brands, suggesting that there are both economic and social responsibility reasons to use less rapid disclaimers for unfamiliar brands. Conversely, disclaimer speed had no negative effects on brand trust and purchase intention for highly familiar brands, presenting ethical tensions between economic interests (e.g., an efficient use of advertisement time) and social responsibility. We discuss the implications of our framework for advertising ethics, for corporate social performance, and for corporate social responsibility. (shrink)