Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Using the CSU Online Library, locate an article that discusses the topic of business ethics. Topic | Max paper


Using the CSU Online Library, locate an article that discusses the topic of business ethics. Topic ideas might include the role of ethics in the workplace, breach of ethics, the effect of internal and external forces on ethical compliance, global ethical considerations within a business or ethics and employees.

Note these are ideas; please expand within the parameters of ethical topics as they relate to business ethics.

Respond to the following questions:

  1. Summarize the article and align it with the author’s main point. (Accountability and Moral Competence Promote Ethical Leadership)
  2. How does this article contribute to contemporary thinking about business ethics?
  3. How can you apply information in this article to your field? (I will do)
  4. How did this article fit your ethical view? (I will do)

Your response should be a minimum of 2 double-spaced pages not including the title and reference pages. Format the article review in accordance with APA style.

Referenced sources must have accompanying citations complying with APA guidelines. References should include at minimum 1) one of the required reading articles and 2) an additional scholarly reviewed article from the CSU Online Library. (Both attached)

The student is taking Master’s in Management 

Ethics Draw Customers BE HONEST AND
Otherwise, Nos 1-9 won’t matter.
Watkins, Steve . Investor’s Business Daily ; Los Angeles [Los Angeles]25 Sep 2015: A03.

ProQuest document link


Customers want to buy from companies that they trust. Employees want to work for those firms, too. That’s why

trust is so vital to operate ethically. Tips: Make rules. Set boundaries for receiving gifts, being entertained by

suppliers and reporting expenses, says Bob Buck, chairman of Beacon Roofing Supply (BECN). You’ll set the

framework for the type of behavior that you expect. Hire for it. Make integrity the priority when you hire. Sure,


Non-USASCII text has been omitted.

Customers want to buy from companies that they trust. Employees want to work for those firms, too. That’s why

trust is so vital to operate ethically. Tips:

[bullet] Make rules. Set boundaries for receiving gifts, being entertained by suppliers and reporting expenses, says

Bob Buck, chairman of Beacon Roofing Supply ([STOCK[NASDAQ:BECN]]). You’ll set the framework for the type of

behavior that you expect.

[bullet] Hire for it. Make integrity the priority when you hire.

Sure, skills are important. But a strong performer who puts the firm’s reputation at risk will be a liability. Bring in

people you feel are honest, and promote only those you can trust. “Good and ethical people attract more good and

ethical people,” said Buck, author of “Well Built: Inspiring Stories from the Boardroom to the Frontline.”

[bullet] Show it. Execs often say that the company won’t cross an ethical line. But the key is how they act when a

tough choice arrives. Stick to your guns even if it means losing a sale to a company that wants a kickback. Your

people notice. “They hear what you do, not what you say,” said Marianne Jennings, professor emeritus of business

ethics at Arizona State University.

[bullet] Walk around. Talk to people in your company rather than sitting in the corner office. Jennings says that this

personal touch will keep you abreast of potential problems before they occur. “It makes you more accessible, too.”

[bullet] Set the tone. When Buck was Beacon’s CEO, he wrote weekly updates to employees, frequently discussing

how the firm should operate ethically. It showed his people how important ethics were in his eyes. “People felt they

got to know me,” he told IBD. “It does break down barriers.”

[bullet] Show what you want. Recognize people who make the right choice. If an employee finds money on a job

site and turns it in, tell the whole company about it.

“Make heroes of the people who behave ethically,” Buck said.

[bullet] Adjust incentives. Pay employees based on performance over a long span, like three years, rather than on

yearly or quarterly results, Jennings says. You’ll reduce the temptation to change a depreciation schedule or toy

with reserves to make a financial target.

“People see those things, and it introduces an element of hypocrisy,” Jennings said. “If people understand there’s a

longer time frame, they’ll make better decisions.”

[bullet] Set up consequences. Stick to your rules. Live by the punishments you’ve put in place, whether they’re for

the lowest-level employee or a group vice president. Jennings knows of one company that fired a sales person

whose ethical breach involving foreign corruption got the company in trouble. Then it quickly hired the guy back.

That doesn’t work. “You have to enforce what you’re saying,” she said.

[bullet] Reinforce. Buck made Beacon’s most coveted award based on character and integrity. “That really made

ethics more important than sales or profits,” he said.

[bullet] Look ahead. You can handle most sticky situations by knowing in advance how to deal with them, Jennings

says. If you sell overseas in developing markets, set up a no-bribery policy and make it clear to your people in those

countries how to handle such situations.

“Anticipate the types of things that could happen,” Jennings said.

[bullet] Make the hard choice. Go with your principles even if it’s costly in the short term.

If a sales rep falsely pads monthly numbers, dole out the same punishment, whether he’s your best sales person or

your worst.

“Stick to the policy,” Buck said. “Sometimes you have to take the hard right.”


Subject: Ethics; Chief executive officers; Sales; Employees

Publication title: Investor’s Business Daily; Los Angeles

First page: A03

Publication year: 2015

Publication date: Sep 25, 2015


Section: Management

Publisher: Investor’s Business Daily, Inc.

Place of publication: Los Angeles

Country of publication: United States, Los Angeles

Publication subject: Business And Economics–Investments

ISSN: 10612890

Source type: Newspapers

Language of publication: English

Document type: News

ProQuest document ID: 1716082296

Database copyright  2020 ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved.
Terms and Conditions Contact ProQuest

Document URL:

Copyright: Copyright 2015 Investor’s Business Daily, Inc

Last updated: 2015-09-24

Database: ABI/INFORM Collection

  • Ethics Draw Customers BE HONEST AND DEPENDABLE; TAKE RESPONSIBILITY: Otherwise, Nos 1-9 won’t matter.

Developing a Framework for Ethical Leadership

Alan Lawton • Iliana Páez

Received: 4 April 2013 / Accepted: 6 June 2014 / Published online: 29 June 2014

� Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Abstract Interest in ethical leadership from academics

and practitioners has grown enormously in recent years.

This article addresses this literature through a framework

that identifies three interlocking questions. First, who are

ethical leaders and what are their characteristics? Second,

how do ethical leaders do what they do? Third, why do

leaders do as they do and what are the outcomes of ethical

leadership? Different dimensions to ethical leadership are

examined and presented as three interlocking circles; Vir-

tues, Purposes and Practices. This framework presents an

integrated approach to ethical leadership and argues that

future research take this holistic framework and apply it to

different sectors or contexts.

Keywords Ethical leadership � Ethical theory � Ethical


The ethical dimension of leadership has, increasingly, been

of interest to both the general public and to scholars,

motivated partly by the corporate scandals that have

involved the unethical behaviour of top executives in

leading organizations throughout the world and has gen-

erated responses from both the academic and practitioner

communities (see, for example, the Index of Leadership

Trust developed by the Institute of Leadership and Man-

agement and Management Today). Notwithstanding recent

concerns, the relationship between ethics and leadership

has been explored by management academics for some

time and constituted early definitions of leadership (Bar-

nard 1938; Burns 1978; Selznick 1957). Part of the role of

leadership, it was claimed, included creating the ‘moral

organization’, promoting development in others, and in-

stitutionalising values within the organization’s culture.

More recently, Whetstone (2005) has presented a frame-

work for organizational virtues that is based upon the

relationships between mission, culture and leadership.

There are a number of key issues and questions that

emerge in the literature. For example, what is distinctive

about the ethics of leadership in contrast to other areas of

ethics (Ciulla 2005)? Do leaders stand apart from normal

ethical considerations? Is there something unique about

leadership such that leaders need demonstrate ethical

standards over and above the norm in the way that certain

of the professions might (see Carlisle and Manning 1996)?

Ciulla argues, for example, that what is distinctive is the

concept of vision; ‘Visions are not simple goals, but rather

ways of seeing the future that implicitly or explicitly entail

some notion of the good’ (2005, p. 325). Other areas of

distinctiveness might include their obligations to others,

particularly their followers, as a result of the leaders’

special position in terms of power, status, and authority.

Ciulla also argues that leadership is distinctive because of

its range—moral failure impacts a large number of people.

At the same time, and discussed extensively in the political

science and philosophy literature, do the requirements of

ethics not apply to certain roles such that the judgements of

ethics are, in some sense, deemed inappropriate (see the

discussion of the ‘Dirty Hands’ of politicians introduced by

Walzer and discussed in Coady 2008; Mendus 2009).

A. Lawton (&)
Federation University, Ballarat, Australia

e-mail: [email protected]

I. Páez

Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia

e-mail: [email protected]


J Bus Ethics (2015) 130:639–649

DOI 10.1007/s10551-014-2244-2

Second, we are interested in what is the relationship

between being a good leader in a moral sense and being an

effective leader; a simple distinction but one that raises

interesting issues. In the literature, there is often a dis-

tinction between moral excellence and technical excellence

(see Ciulla 2005; Price 2008). A different view suggests

that, depending upon our approach to virtue, the two are

compatible and that Machiavelli’s virtú combines both

virtue and skill (see Macaulay and Lawton 2006). A further

view argues that leadership is about ‘being’ rather ‘than

‘doing’ (Cunliffe 2009). We propose, below, that the dif-

ferent views can be reconciled through the interlocking of

Virtues and Purposes.

Third, how are self-interest, the interests of the organi-

zation and the interests of the wider community recon-

ciled? How are the interests of shareholders and wider

stakeholders balanced? Does a psychological approach to

leadership privilege the individual at the expense of others?

Has there been too much focus on the self such that ethical

leadership becomes unattainable? (Knights and O’Leary

2006). Indeed what is the concept of the self in leadership

studies (Ford 2006)? What is the context within which

ethical leadership takes place (see Knights and O’Leary

2006) and can the concept of a social practice help in

locating that context (see MacIntyre 1985)? We discuss the

concept of a practice below and propose Practices as the

third interlocking circle in our framework.

These are all ‘big’ questions and they have been

addressed in different ways; at this stage it is appropriate to

offer preliminary remarks concerning the nature of lead-

ership and then to outline the scope of the article. We

identify three dimensions to leadership: Leadership in,

leadership of, and leadership for. Leadership in involves

activity; in this context those who lead may be motivated

by the desire to explore new territories (geographical or

otherwise), whether exercised in the practice of science, of

art, music, sport or a whole range of other activities.

Leaders are driven by curiosity and may stretch rules or

conventions to see where their imaginations will take them.

Leading is not being bound by convention, it is being

curious for the sake of it, seeking new challenges; it may

offer its own reward and not necessarily be concerned with

the outcome since that can rarely be predicted. From this

perspective, being recognised as a leader in whatever field

requires peer recognition yet such individuals may not

crave followers or be interested in setting an example to

others. It is likely that such leaders will be concerned with

excellence in that activity and will attract followers. The

pursuit of excellence is compatible with a virtue approach

to ethics.

In contrast, leadership of may include setting an exam-

ple to others, motivating them and inspiring them to follow

in pursuit of some set of goals. It involves engagement in a

set of relationships, and will involve responsibilities to, and

for, others. It will be compatible with a deontological

approach to ethics. Leadership for will involve the pursuit

of some organisational or societal goal; it may be con-

cerned with creating a vision of an ethical purpose. If

leadership is about outcomes then it will be compatible

with a consequentialist approach to ethics.

Thus, this article focuses on a number of key questions;

1. Who are ethical leaders and what are their character-

istics; the article examines key definitions of leader-

ship and ethical character and virtues, including

integrity and authenticity.

2. How do ethical leaders do what they do; this section of

the article examines how leaders treat others and what

are their relationships with others and in what contexts

do these relationships take place.

3. Why do ethical leaders do what they do, for what

purpose; what is the relationship between leadership

and outcomes, both for individuals and the


Figure 1 captures the relationship between these three

questions; between who, how and why.

We suggest that the three circles will interlock and will

not necessarily form discrete areas of ethics. For example,

a public official will need to be of good character exhib-

iting, for example, honesty, selflessness and objectivity.

These will be exercised in their relations with patients,

clients or consumers through non-maleficence and benefi-

cence in order to promote justice and the common good

(Beauchamp and Childress 2008; Lawton et al. 2013). We

use these three dimensions to frame our discussion of the

literature and then propose a research framework that maps

onto these dimensions.

Who are ethical
leaders and what

are their

How do they
do what they


Why do they
do what they


Fig. 1 The who, how and why of leadership ethics

640 A. Lawton, I. Páez


Who are Ethical Leaders and What are Their


One much-used definition of ethical leadership is the one

offered by Brown and colleagues, which proposes that

ethical leadership is ‘‘the demonstration of normatively

appropriate conduct through personal actions and inter-

personal relationships, and the promotion of such conduct

to followers through two-way communication, reinforce-

ment, and decision-making’’ (Brown, Treviño and Harrison

2005, p. 120). Here, ethical leadership involves some

aspect of personal conduct, deemed ethically appropriate,

in decision-making and developing relations with others,

such that these others are inspired to follow. Yet prior to

the question of what do leaders do, is what kind of person

they are. Much of the literature has focused on the use of a

virtues approach. However, we need to know what we

mean by person—is there a difference between an indi-

vidual qua individual and an individual qua position holder,

in an organisation or otherwise? Thus a distinction has

been made between the moral person and the moral man-

ager (Treviño et al. 2000; Brown and Treviño 2006),

raising the question is the good manager necessarily the

good person and vice versa. According to this account the

ethical leader reflects both the moral person in terms of

individual virtues such as honesty and integrity, and the

moral manager in terms of setting an example, communi-

cating ethical standards and so on. We also introduced

earlier the distinction between moral excellence and tech-

nical excellence; whereas virtue is bound up in ideas of

morality, offering perspectives that shape the way we live,

competence embodies notions of learned skills and tech-

nical efficiency. Competence highlights action rather than

character, as it is ‘‘built around the fundamental principle

of demonstrating capability’’ (Naquin and Holton 2003

p. 25). However, Machiavelli’s virtù, which has been lar-

gely ignored in the literature (see Macaulay and Lawton

2006), may reconcile the two. Virtù was considered, more

generally, as the skills and excellences of leadership

including military prowess and diplomatic sensitivity and

was not a moral construct as such yet still required right

action. ‘‘Machiavelli’s conflation of virtue and skill argu-

ably fits in more comfortably with notions of managerial

(or leadership) competencies, than the more moral char-

acter traits of virtue theory.’’ (Macaulay and Lawton 2006,

p. 704).

Our discussion of leadership ‘in’ suggests that technical

excellence may not necessarily be ethical in character.

Judging technical excellence, or competency, and the

extent to which it is ethical or not, will depend upon the

practice within which it is found and we discuss this below.

At the same time there may be a tension between leader-

ship ‘of’ and leadership ‘for’; if leadership ‘for’ is to ‘make

the trains run on time’ does it matter how this is done?

Thus, our three perspectives on leadership are compatible

with different versions of ethics but do not require ethics.


The concept of virtue, derived from Aristotle (1947), has

featured prominently in the discussion of leadership ethics

(Arjoon 2000; Bragues 2006; Cawley et al. 2000; Sarros

et al. 2006). Aristotle identified a number of moral vir-

tues—courage, temperance, pride, good temper, friendli-

ness and truthfulness—that as excellences of character

enabled man (sic) to live the good life. Virtue, both moral

and intellectual, is the means by which we become fully

human because it allows us to achieve our natural end, the

eudaimonic good life. Eudaimonia has been variously

translated as ‘happiness’, ‘bliss’ or ‘well-being’. ‘‘Virtues

are character traits which we need to live humanly flour-

ishingly lives’’ (Oakley and Cocking 2001 p. 18).

Virtues are central to character (Sarros et al. 2006), and

in leadership character is seen as ‘‘moral excellence’’

(Hendrix et al. 2004), and can be developed (Peterson and

Seligman 2003, 2004); Mendonca 2001). Typically, such

virtues include humility, courage, integrity, compassion,

humour, passion; and wisdom (Sarros et al. 2006); honesty,

fairness, kindness (London 1999); or altruism (Engelbrecht

et al. 2005); determination, tolerance, enthusiasm and

responsibility (Guillen and Gonzalez 2001; Solomon

1999); love, forgiveness, and trust (Caldwell and Dixon


Clearly, there is a danger of providing lists of virtues to

pick-and-mix from. However, two virtues that appear

prominently in the literature are integrity and authenticity.


Many authors see integrity as fundamental to ethical

leadership (Brown et al. 2005; Engelbrecht et al. 2005;

Parry and Proctor-Thomson 2002; Heres 2010; Huberts

et al. 2007; Keating et al. 2007; Kolthoff et al. 2010; Re-

sick et al. 2006). Brown and Treviño (2006) assert that

subordinates are accustomed to thinking about their leader

in terms of ethics and integrity.

According to Badaracco and Ellsworth (1991), the word

integrity suggests wholeness, coherence, and a sense of

moral soundness, in which the core values are honesty and

justice. These authors hold that leaders with integrity will

try to keep consistency and coherence between their beliefs

and the way they act. Integrity is also about demonstrating

exemplary moral behaviour (Brenkert 2004), consistent

with laws and codes (Dobel 1999), and in accordance with

moral principles, norms and values (Fijnaut and Huberts


Developing a Framework for Ethical Leadership 641


Integrity is demonstrated in daily behaviour and recog-

nized as a key factor in ethical leadership behaviour (De

Hoogh and Den Hartog 2008; Den Hartog and De Hoogh

2009). It reflects the coherence of the leader in his/her

behaviours by which he/she obtains credibility. Simons

(2002) defined behavioural integrity as ‘‘the perceived

pattern of alignment between an actor’s words and deeds’’

(p. 19). Behaving with integrity entails the ability to

determine the ethically correct course of action in a given

situation (Keating et al. 2007) and the ability to both

determine and engage in morally correct behaviour (Den

Hartog and De Hoogh 2009). Integrity is also considered a

fundamental component of character (Petrick and Quinn

1997), and has been recognized cross-culturally as one of

the pillars of ethical leadership (Resick et al. 2006). A

major research programme, the GLOBE project (Global

Leadership and Organizational Behaviour Effectiveness)

was designed to explore the effects of culture on leader-

ship, organizational effectiveness, economic competitive-

ness of societies, and the human condition of members of

the societies (House et al. 2004), in 62 different societies

during the mid-1990s. The framework for cultural values

was derived from Hofstede’s (1980, 2001) cultural

dimensions viz uncertainty avoidance, power distance,

institutional collectivism, in-group collectivism, gender

egalitarianism, assertiveness, future orientation, perfor-

mance orientation, and humane orientation. Concerning

leadership in general, House and his colleagues found that

charismatic/value-based leadership and integrity attributes

were positively endorsed as contributors of outstanding

leadership by all cultures included in their study (House

et al. 1999).

Integrity is also considered as part of the conscien-

tiousness trait of personality in relation to leadership.

According to Hogan et al. (1994), conscientious individuals

have integrity and generate trust. For (Engelbrecht et al.

2005), integrity implies virtue, honesty and sincerity. Pa-

lanski and Yammarino (2007) identify four behavioural

aspects of integrity: integrity as consistency of words and

actions, integrity as consistency in adversity, integrity as

being true to oneself, and integrity as moral/ethical

behaviour. It is interesting to note that it could be argued

that the first three behaviours may not, in fact, require

ethics at all. They also highlight that integrity is expected

to be accompanied by similar virtues such as authenticity,

honesty, trustworthiness, fairness, and compassion; and

moreover, these other virtues may form a boundary con-

dition for integrity. Accordingly, then, integrity involves

wholeness, consistency, coherence and involves acting in

accordance with principles, norms and values, or in

accordance with laws and codes.

Integrity, then, seems to consist of both a character trait

and behaviour; it is both a possession and an action.


Authenticity is about knowing oneself and acting trans-

parently in accordance with one’s beliefs and values (May

et al. 2003; Avolio et al. 2004). Self-awareness, self-con-

trol and consistency and coherence in behaviours are key

features of the authentic leader (Avolio and Gardner 2005;

Shamir and Eilam 2005). For Luthans and Avolio (2003),

the authentic leader is confident, hopeful, optimistic,

resilient, moral/ethical, future-oriented, and gives priority

to developing associates to be leaders. The authentic lea-

der is true to him/herself and the exhibited behaviour

positively transforms or develops associates into leaders

themselves (p. 243).

Yet the notion of ‘being true to oneself’ may be prob-

lematic. The idea of the one, and consistent, self is usually

taken for granted and yet, at the same time, the notion of

the self as a series of self-contained multiple selves

sometimes in competition with each other may also obtain

(i.e. we move, occasionally uneasily, between different

roles of, for example, father, spouse, brother etc.). Identity

may be fragmented and multiple, containing contradictory

selves and, within organisations, competing discourses (see

Ford 2006).

For (Walumbwa et al. 2008), authentic leadership is

more than being true to oneself, and they developed a

multi-dimensional model of the authentic leadership con-

struct, in which four elements are defined: self-awareness,

relational transparency, internalized moral perspective, and

balanced processing. Their construct built upon previous

definitions of Luthans and Avolio’s (2003), (Gardner et al.

2005) and Ilies et al. (2005), resulting in the following

definition: authentic leadership is a pattern of leader

behaviour that draws upon and promotes both positive

psychological capacities and a positive ethical climate, to

foster greater self-awareness, an internalized moral per-

spective, balanced processing of information, and rela-

tional transparency on the part of leaders working with

followers, fostering positive self-development (p. 94).

Leadership is perceived as relational and the idea of

authenticity transcends the self and, as such, is recog-

nized and legitimated by others. Thus, Shamir and Eilam

(2005) argue that to be an authentic leader it is not

sufficient that the leader has a high sense of self-

awareness and consistency, authenticity emerges from the

narrative process in which others play a constitutive role.

Leadership is co-constructed on an ongoing basis (Fair-

hurst and Grant 2010; Grint 2005). This is distinct from

the possibility of self-centred forms of self-fulfilment that

Taylor identified as part of the post-modern malaise

(Taylor 1991).

On these accounts then, both integrity and authenticity

are about doing, not just being.

642 A. Lawton, I. Páez


How do Leaders do What They do and How are Their

Relations with Others Constituted?

For MacIntyre (1985) a virtue requires some prior account of

social and moral life and virtue is a complex, historical and

multi-layered concept. Virtue requires a practice, an account of

what constitutes a moral tradition. The paradigm of human


the Athenian gentleman (Aristotle) or, more recently, the

sportsman or woman, or the entrepreneur. MacIntyre argues

that we cannot identify, for example, the Homeric virtues until

we have identified the key social roles in Homeric society.

Therefore our concept of leadership comes after our under-

standing of key roles in our society. For MacIntyre, the virtues

are grounded in human practices and consist of internal goods

such that standards of excellence are appropriate to the practice

of, for example, administration, farming, or medicine. External

goods exist outside, and independently, of that practice and

include fame, money, power, and reputation. Virtues are those

qualities that enable us to achieve internal goods. Not all

practices must be good and it is not always clear what makes up

a practice. Is leadership a practice, is business a practice? These

questions are unresolved (Beadle 2008; Moore 2005 but see

Beabout 2012). MacIntyre also distinguishes between a prac-

tice and an institution and he identifies institutions with the

potential to corrupt this practice. Thus medicine is a practice

and a hospital is an institution, education is a practice and a

university is an institution. ‘Without justice, courage and

truthfulness, practices could not resist the corrupting power of

institutions’ (MacIntyre 1985, p. 194). At the same time the

idea that only those involved in a practice can understand and,

therefore, pass judgment on the practice is contestable (Kieran

1995; Moore 2008).

If we assume, for the moment, that leadership constitutes a

practice, what might be the internal goods of leadership? A

concern with how leaders engage with others has been a major

theme in the literature, focusing on both the nature of rela-

tionships with others and the content of that relationship.

Underpinning such relationships is a focus on responsible

leadership (Freeman et al. 2006; Maak and Pless 2006).

According to Enderle (1987), ‘‘when managers put the

question of ethical responsibility seriously, they become more

sensitive to the voices of those who will be affected by their

decisions’’ (p. 658).

Maak and Pless (2006) propose a relational understanding

of the concept of leadership. They define responsible leader-

ship as the art of building and sustaining relationships with all

relevant stakeholders. Relational leaders are described as the

‘weavers’ and facilitators of trusting stakeholder relations

(Howell and Avolio 1992), who have the capacity to assess

complex situations and problems from the perspectives of

different stakeholder and recognise that these stakeholders

may have diverse and conflicting objectives. Such leaders

balance the relationship dynamics aligning the different val-

ues of the various parties in a way that servesthe interest ofall.

A key question is how and where to draw a boundary around

those whom will be affected. The concept of the ‘other’ is

engaging scholars. Knights and O’Leary (2006) argue that

leadership theories tend to be overly focused on the ‘autono-

mous subject of Enlightenment thinking’ and leadership is seen

to be the property of individuals not that of social groups or

institutions, which results in individualistic theories of leader-

ship. These authors build on Levinas work about the ethics of

responsibility,inwhich the notionofthe self isgenerated notby

the self but rather through engagement with the Other, an

engagementthat isdefinedbya sense of responsibility (Levinas

1966). According to Knights and O’Leary, leaders’ ethical

responsibility is in their relations with others.

Similarly, Painter-Morland (2008), for example, argues

that the responsibility to nurture and encourage a relationally

responsive ethical attitude among the members of an orga-

nizationalsystemissharedbyall whoparticipate init.Painter-

Morland holds that leadership is socially construed from

complex interactions between individuals and groups, in

which creating and sustaining relationships of trust is how to

deal with complex organizational systems within dynamic

environments. Not only that, but also concepts such as trust

are important insofar as they may enhance the effectiveness of

the organization. High trust may lead to low transaction

costs—ethical business practices are not only important in

themselves as part of exchange relationships but also for

organizational outcomes. Leadership of, and as we argue

below, leadership for, both find expression within an institu-

tion. Institutions may nurture the relationships between the

leader and their followers and not, as MacIntyre has it, corrupt

the practice of leadership.

However, one of the characteristics of ethical leaders is

a concern with how their decisions affect others (Murphy

and Enderle 1995). When managers take this into account,

they became more sensitive of others needs inside and

outside of the organization. In order to make ethical deci-

sions, leaders require the use of ethical concepts and

principles (Dukerich et al. 1990) in their moral judgments.

At the same time is there something distinctive about the

scope, scale and types of decisions that leaders make?

Decisions by leaders may be far-reaching and wide-rang-

ing, non-routine, complex, with high stakes, and require the

exercise of judgment and not just the application of rules.

Why do Leaders do What They do and What are

the Outcomes of Leadership?

Much of the literature has focused on the relationship

between leadership and effectiveness in bringing about a

number of outcomes. The main foci have been with:

Developing a Framework for Ethical Leadership 643


(i) individual outcomes for employees such as

followers’ voice behaviour (Walumbwa and

Schaubroeck 2009), follower job satisfaction,

commitment and perceptions of ethical climate

(Neubert et al. 2009; Rowold et al. 2009),

subordinate’s job performance (Piccolo et al.


(ii) individual outcomes concerning the leader them-

selves, such as promotability (Rubin et al. 2010).

(iii) group level outcomes such as organizational

citizenship behaviours -OCBs (Mayer et al.

2009), and group counter-productive work

behaviours—CWBs (Detert et al. 2007).

Thus, leaders, acting fairly and with consideration for

others may elicit positive responses in employees’ attitudes

and behaviours (Brown et al. 2005; Brown and Treviño

2006). According to Caldwell and Dixon (2010), leaders

who exhibit love, forgiveness, build relationship with

employees based on trust, and treat them with dignity and

respect, enhance employees’ self-efficacy, as well as,

commitment and loyalty (Cameron et al. 2003) and per-

formance (Cameron et al. 2004).

Kalshoven et al. (2011) build upon the behavioural

perspective of Brown et al. (2005), and developed a new

measure. They suggested, following De Hoogh and Den

Hartog (2008), that ethical leadership is a multi-dimen-

sional construct. That is, it involves different behaviours

that may have different antecedents and outcomes, which

as a whole, describe ethical leadership. Their aim was to

evaluate which types of leader behaviours may be seen as

ethical. Kalshoven (2010) developed the Ethical Leader-

ship at Work (ELW) questionnaire in which seven

dimensions of ethical leadership are developed and tested:

fairness, power sharing, role clarification, people orienta-

tion, integrity, ethical guidance, and concern for sustain-

ability. In line with this multi-dimensional construct, she

found different relationships between the various behav-

iours of ethical leadership and outcomes. For example,

fairness and power sharing were positively related to

employees’ organizational citizenship behaviours (OCBs).

In general, she found that ethical leadership is positively

related to leader effectiveness, trust in the leader, employee

effectiveness, OCBs and satisfaction with the leader. Kal-

shoven also tested for the antecedents of ethical leadership

using the Big Five model of factors of personality (McCrae

and John 1992) finding that conscientiousness and agree-

ableness were the most related to ethical leadership. Thus,

ethical leadership can be understood as a more complex

construct involving a broader set of ethical behaviours.

However, outcomes at the organisational and societal

level have been more difficult to identify. The concept of

purpose is crucial to Aristotle’s …

VOLUME XII • ISSUE I • Winter/Spring 2019







Accountability and Moral
Competence Promote

Ethical Leadership

Accountability and moral competence are two factors that
may have a positive effect on ethical leadership in
organizations. This study utilized a survey methodology to
investigate the relationship among accountability, moral
competence, and ethical leadership in a sample of 103
leaders from a variety of industries and different countries.
Accountability was found to be a significant positive predictor
of ethical leadership. Moral competence was also found to
moderate this relationship such that increases in moral
competence enhanced the positive effects of accountability
on ethical leadership. The results of the study suggest that
organizations can increase ethical leadership throughout the
company via accountability (especially self-accountability)
and moral competence by training their leaders to use self-
monitoring behaviors and increasing moral education.

In today’s rapidly changing business environment, leaders must make ethical decisions

on a regular basis (Hsieh, 2017; Khokhar & Zia-ur-Rehman, 2017) and function as

ethical leaders to promote, sustain, and maintain ethical behavior in followers (Jeewon,

Jung Hyun, Yoonjung, Pillai, & Se Hyung, 2018; Kalshoven, Den Hartog, & De Hoogh,

2011; Northouse, 2013). Continual scandals in business and public sectors over the last

decades have increased interest in ethical leadership (Khokhar & Zia-ur-Rehman, 2017;

Marquardt, Brown, & Casper, 2018). The increase in the importance of ethics in

business and management has led many scholars to focus on ethical leadership

behavior (Ardelean, 2015; Eubanks, Brown, & Ybema, 2012; Javed, Rawwas, Khandai,

Shahid, & Tayyeb, 2018; Mayer, Kuenzi, Greenbaum, Bardes, & Salvador, 2009;

Northouse, 2013; Resick et al., 2011; Trevino, den Nieuwenboer, & Kish-Gephart,

2014). Moreover, it has provided opportunities for researchers to investigate methods

that produce increased knowledge of ethical behavior in organizations that can result in

facilitating and sustaining the development of ethical leadership behavior. Volatility in












today’s global economy confronts organizational leaders with numerous complex ethical

dilemmas, and makes ethical decision-making an important component of leadership

behavior. To sustain ethical leadership behavior in business and management,

organizations need to decrease the likelihood that the leader will engage in

inappropriate conduct (Beu & Buckley, 2001; Newman, Round, Bhattacharya, & Roy,

2017) by adopting mechanisms for enhancing ethical leadership behavior.

One mechanism for enhancing ethical leadership behavior addressed in the literature is

accountability (Lerner & Tetlock, 1999; Petrick & Quinn, 2001; Sikka, 2017).

Accountability involves assessing individual’s beliefs and feelings, and observing and

evaluating the performance and behavior of self and others (Dhiman, Sen, & Bhardwaj,

2018; Lerner & Tetlock, 1999). Accountability is an important construct for supporting

ethical leadership behavior in today’s global economy, and is one of the central

constructs to promote business ethics (Nunn & Avella, 2017; Petrick & Quinn; 2001).

Accountability requires leaders to develop ethical perspectives compatible with the social

order (Steinbauer, Renn, Taylor, & Njoroge, 2014). One of the important roles that

ethical leaders have in an organization is to promote, support, and maintain ethical

behavior. An ethical leader, in this study, is a leader who effectively promotes ethical

behaviors such as ethical guidance, fairness, integrity, people orientation, power sharing,

role clarification, and concern for sustainability through ethical climate (Kalshoven et al.,

2011). The intra-organizational scope of accountability involves accountability of a

leader by self and others (Bergsteiner, 2011). In self-accountability, the leader is

accountable to him/herself, and is able to develop a sense of self-accountability for

his/her behavior to increase self-awareness (e.g., Lerner & Tetlock, 1999) with no

presence of others in the decision context (Peloza, White, & Shang, 2013). In other-

accountability, the leader perceives anyone other than self as evaluating his/her

behavior (Royle, 2006). Accordingly, accountability is a construct that involves an

assessment of an individual’s beliefs and feelings and an assessment of the behavior of

others. Moreover, accountability involves monitoring and evaluating the performance

and behavior of self (e.g., Lerner & Tetlock, 1999).

A second mechanism for enhancing ethical leadership addressed in the literature is

moral competence. Oftentimes, ethics and morals are used interchangeably; however,

they are clearly different. Ethics refer to behaviors or decisions made by individuals

within external values that are compatible with the social order system, whereas morals
refer to internal principles that help individuals recognize what is right or wrong (Ferrell &
Fraedrich, 2015). Moral competence involves making moral decisions and judgments

(Kohlberg, 1964), and solving problems and conflicts using universal moral principles

(Lind, 2015) regardless of culture or country of origin. The theory of moral competence

was inspired by the moral development theory developed by Kohlberg (1958, 1969) to

explain how an individual reasons when making moral judgments, and where moral

judgment illustrates the process by which an individual decides that his/her course of

action is morally right or wrong (Loviscky, Trevino, & Jacobs, 2007). Kohlberg (1964)

defined moral competence as “the capacity to make decisions and judgments which are

moral (i.e., based on internal principles) and to act in accordance with such judgments”

(p. 425). Kohlberg goes on to differentiate among the various levels of moral reasoning

VOLUME XII • ISSUE I • Winter/Spring 2019







whereas lower levels are associated with social consequences (fear of getting caught), to

higher principles (universal values). Lind (2015) extends Kohlberg’s definition of moral

competence emphasizing the link between moral competence and ethical behavior.

Specifically, Lind defined moral competence “as the ability to solve problems and

conflicts on the basis of universal moral principles through thinking and discussion, but

not through violence, deceit, and power” (p. 4).

Purpose of the Study
To help sustain ethical leadership behavior, organizations and leaders may want to

consider utilizing accountability as an instrument to promote ethical behavior. The level

of moral competence in a leader may play a critical role in moderating relationships

among ethical leadership behavior, self-accountability, and other-accountability. Within

this context, the purpose of this quantitative study was to investigate (1) whether

accountability of self and others affects ethical leadership behavior, (2) whether the

relationship between accountability and ethical leadership is moderated by the leader’s

moral competence, and (3) whether the relationship between accountability and ethical

leadership is moderated by the leader’s, gender, age, education, leadership experience,

or leadership role in the organization.

To address the need to increase ethical behavior in business, this study investigated the

relationships among accountability, moral competence, and ethical leadership. A sample

of organizational leaders completed an online survey that measured ethical leadership,

accountability and moral competence. Inferential statistics were used to investigate (1)

accountability as a predictor of ethical leadership, (2) moral competence as a moderator

of the relationship between accountability and ethical leadership, and (3) leader

demographic characteristics such as gender, age, educational level, leadership

experience, and leadership role as moderators of the relationship between accountability

and ethical leadership. Results from this study contribute to the existing literature on

ethical leadership and ethical behavior by helping business owners and organizational

executives increase ethical leadership by addressing accountability and moral

competence in their organizations. Study results may also help organizations develop

strategies for selecting ethical leaders, developing ethical leaders, and identifying the

most effective strategies to reinforce ethical behaviors in organizations (Walumbwa &

Schaubroeck, 2009).

Methods, Conceptual Framework, and Hypotheses
The research methodology was a quantitative cross-sectional survey design with

moderating variables. The analysis utilized hypothesis testing in the form of multiple

linear regression in which the dependent variable, ethical leadership, was regressed on

the independent variable, accountability. An interaction term of accountability x the

moderator variable (moral competence, and either gender, age, education, leadership

experience, and leadership role) were also included in the regression analysis. LinkedIn

Group members with self-reported levels of management experience were invited to

participate in the survey. Study participants completed a web-based survey that

measured accountability, ethical leadership, and moral competence.








Research Variables
This study investigated the relationship between accountability and ethical leadership in

a sample of senior, middle and lower level managers, and the moderating effects of the

leader’s moral competence and demographic variables on the relationship between

accountability and ethical leadership. Accountability is an independent variable (IV)

comprised of two factors, self-accountability and other-accountability. The IV affects the

dependent variable (DV), ethical leadership, which is comprised of seven factors: ethical

guidance, fairness, integrity, people orientation, power sharing, role clarification, and

sustainability. To explore the impact of variables that could moderate the effect of

accountability on ethical leadership, moral competence is included in the model as a

moderator (MOD). Furthermore, the demographic variables gender, age, education,

leadership experience and leadership role are included in the model as moderators

(MOD). The conceptual model is shown in Figure 1.

Accountability and Ethical Leadership
Accountability is very important for supporting ethical leadership in today’s global

economy (Beu 2000; Lagan & Moran, 2006; Sikka, 2017) and is one of the central

constructs to protect business and organizational ethics. Leaders with accountability

provide attention to the development of ethical perspectives within organizational

Figure 1: Conceptual Model of the Study

VOLUME XII • ISSUE I • Winter/Spring 2019







components. Leaders need to make ethically accountable decisions in rapidly changing

business environments (Steinbauer et al., 2014; Sims & Felton, 2006) and within these

spheres, they face decisions and implement actions to create an ethical environment

and promote a community’s interests. Accountability has the potential to sustain ethical

and personal development. Lerner and Tetlock (1999) concluded that when an

individual becomes aware of the accountability condition, the specific coping strategy

relevant to the condition is embraced. An individual who is held accountable is likely to

be aware of the accountability requirements in order to be compatible with the

expectations of the accountable. Thus, the individuals are likely to behave in an

acceptable manner. Lerner and Tetlock also added that self-criticism and effortful

thinking (i.e., self-accountability) will be selected most often when individuals are aware

of the accountability conditions. The individuals are likely to engage in a wide

assessment of their behaviors and judgments. Paolini, Crisp, and McLntyre (2009) found

that when individuals were notified that they would be held accountable for their

decisions regarding stereotype change and generalizations, both information processing

and judgment vigilance increased.

Accountability helps organizations to implement ethical behavior in order to cope with

the increasing demand for transparency and ethical performance measurement (Gilbert

& Rasche, 2007). Accountability holds organizational leaders directly responsible to

their public in order to enable those leaders to be in line with the social and

organizational requirements (Schatz, 2013). Cox (2010) considered that accountability

for the management of healthcare strengthens the opportunities of accepting

responsibility for a patient’s care by encouraging nurses and other medical professionals

to acquire knowledge, skills and experience that allow them to perform the task or role

required of them while respecting the requisite legal and social standards. For example,

medical professionals are accountable for their professional actions and accountability

acts as an external control that judges their actions. However, in their qualitative study,

Mansouri and Rowney (2014) found that accountability for professionals goes beyond

fear of external control and material incentives; it refers to the sense of self-

accountability, and concern for the public interest and ethical behavior. Therefore,

accountability encourages ethical leadership behavior within organizations where the

leaders need to be fair and principled decision-makers and also behave ethically in their

personal and professional lives (e.g., Brown & Treviño, 2006).

Self-accountability and ethical leadership. The concept of self-accountability is seen as
internal motivators such as personal qualities and ethics. These motivators provide inner

principles and goals set by individuals (Dhima et al., 2018; Schlenker & Weigold, 1989).

From the perspective of ethical leadership, self-accountability occurs when an ethical

leader is accountable to himself/herself when there is no one else to observe, monitor,

or hold him/her responsible. When a leader has a well-developed sense of self-

accountability, the leader has the ability to hold himself/herself accountable for his/her

behavior in order to increase self-observing of their behavior (Lerner & Tetlock, 1999).

Frink and Klimoski (1998) suggest a possible relationship between self-accountability

and ethical guidance since self-accountability includes personal (i.e., leader’s) ethics and








values, goals, and obligations. This aligns with values-based leadership since shared

values helps promote goal obtainment. With respect to social exchange theory, leaders

influence others based on the reciprocal relationship of obligation.

Accordingly, the subordinates feel obligated to return beneficial behaviors when they

believe that their leaders have been good and fair to them. Therefore, when self-

accountability of leaders is high, the subordinates will be more likely to practice ethical

behaviors (e.g., Peloza, White, & Shang, 2013; Wachter, 2013). Self-accountability can

also serve as the driver for ensuring justice and fairness within the organizational

boundaries (Hunt, 2007) and through self-awareness, helps leaders better understand

what their behaviors may elicit (e.g., Hollander, 2013; Musah, 2011). Self-accountability

comprises aspects of integrity and honesty (Artley, 2001) that help regulate ethical

behavior. There is a possible relationship between self-accountability and people

orientation. People orientation is based on how leaders affect organizational processes

through caring for others, empowering others, and developing others (Page & Wong,

2000). Caring for subordinates is one of the outcomes of accountability (Kalshoven et

al., 2011; Lagan & Moran, 2006).

Self-accountability might also enhance a power-sharing approach between leaders and

their subordinates since the nature of self-accountability strengthens a bond of trust and

cooperation between leadership and subordinates. According to Mordhah (2012), self-

accountability helps leaders avoid oppression and empower their subordinates by

allowing them to participate in decision-making. As a leader is accountable to

himself/herself, the leader is able to develop a sense of self-observation for their

behavior (Lerner & Tetlock, 1999). This sense enables the leader to be transparent and

to engage in open communication with subordinates in order to explain what is expected

of them and clarify role expectations. According to Neubert, Wu, and Roberts (2013),

ethical leadership inspires ethical conduct in its true sense by practicing and managing

ethics, and holding every one of subordinates accountable for their own behavior. Self-

accountability has also a positive influence on sustainability (Cotte & Trudel, 2009).

Peloza et al. (2013) stated that self-accountable people set their decisions and choices

according to ethical and sustainability criteria.

Other–Accountability and Ethical Leadership. Other-accountability represents an
accountability relationship with others within a work setting. Other-accountability involves

an obligation to explain and justify one’s past conduct to another person(s) and can be a

way to adhere to the ethical guidance of organizational leaders. Accountability stimulates

leaders to adhere to ethical behavior, practice self-accountability and commit to the

general interests (Mkandawire, 2010). The pressure of accountability may motivate

leaders to develop an effective decision-making process that helps to reduce the

potential unpopular or questionable decisions (McLaughlin, 1995). Thus, the leaders will

be able to clarify the likely consequences of possible unethical behavior by subordinates.

Accountability helps organizational leaders to implement ethical behavior in order to

cope with the increasing demand for transparency and ethical performance

measurement (e.g., Gilbert & Rasche, 2007; Kimura & Nishikawa, 2018). Other-

accountability can be a way to achieve fairness and justice within organizations; whereas

VOLUME XII • ISSUE I • Winter/Spring 2019







accountability links justice perceptions to organizational and leadership performance

(Park, 2017). For example, accountability for the management of healthcare strengthens

the opportunities of accepting responsibility and achieving fairness for a patient’s care

by encouraging nurses and other medical professionals to acquire knowledge, skills, and

experience that allow them to perform the task or role required of them while respecting

the requisite legal standard (e.g., Cox, 2010).

Leadership accountability is the expectation that leaders are accountable for a quality of

tasks’ performance, increasing productivity, mitigating adverse aspects of organizational

operations, and promising that performance is managed with integrity (Artley, 2001).

Other-accountability also increases a power-sharing approach between leaders and their

subordinates and may improve ethical behavior, encourage a culture of open

communication and lay the foundation for trust with subordinates (e.g., Bane, 2004).

Where the nature of accountability strengthens a bond of trust and cooperation within

organizational components (Schillemans, 2008). Caring for subordinates is one of the

outcomes of accountability (Lagan & Moran, 2006). Caring for subordinates’ feelings is

an important behavior of ethical leaders. In this regard, as self-accountable leaders,

other-accountable ethical leaders are able to show extra role of people-orientation

through their behavior. Lagan and Moran (2006) considered that the organizational

framework of leadership ethical accountability includes displaying ethical principles,

promoting a culture of equality of wages compared with performance, managing the

development of ethical strategies to reduce the negative consequences on production

and performance, and advancing the employee’s well-being.

Other-accountability might also enhance role clarification of leaders to their

subordinates. Being accountable of others implies that leaders must accept

responsibility for their conduct and actions in a transparent manner. Consequently,

ethical leaders are able to inspire ethical conduct of their subordinates by holding every

one accountable for their own behaviors (Neubert et al., 2013). Finally, other-

accountability affects sustainability since it holds organizational leaders directly

accountable to the public and this enables those leaders to be in line with public

requirements (e.g., Schatz, 2013). The concept of accountability underscores both the

right and the corresponding responsibility of employees and community to expect and

ensure that organizations act in the best interests of the society (e.g., Malena, Forster, &

Singh, 2004). Other-accountability also encourages organizational leaders to make

decisions within the framework of firm-level governance mechanisms (Filatotchev,

2012), which forms a fundamental base of leadership responsibility and accountability

to community and environment. This study hypothesized that self- and other-

accountability would be a positive predictor of ethical leadership.

Hypothesis 1: Accountability as measured by self- and other-accountability is a
significant positive predictor of ethical leadership.

Moral Competence as an Antecedent to Ethical Leadership
Moral competence is critical for supporting ethical leadership in today’s global economy.

A leader’s character should be based on a strong foundation of high ethical standards.








This is vital in today’s global economy where leaders must embrace ethics, as well as

leadership effectiveness (e.g., expertise, techniques, knowledge), to be successful

(Sankar, 2003). Moral competence is a cornerstone of the moral developmental

cognitive family. Moral cognition of a leader is depicted as an antecedent of effective

leadership. When leaders are able to demonstrate a high moral judgment in their

decisions, they will have greater opportunities to exhibit ethical leadership behaviors to

their employees (e.g., Mulla & Krishnan, 2014). Mendonca (2001) states that leaders

are responsible for identifying the levels of organizations’ moral environment where

these levels are reflected by the moral development of the leader. Therefore, leaders’

moral development has an important impression on an organization’s ethical climate.

Schminke, Ambrose, & Neubaum (2005) argued that enhancing the ethical climate

within organizations would be effective with leaders who fully utilize their moral

development through translating their capability for moral competence into moral


Interaction between moral competence and accountability. Accountability has the
potential to sustain ethical and moral development. Lerner and Tetlock (1999)

concluded that self-criticism and effortful thinking will be selected most often when

individuals are aware of the accountability conditions. The individuals are likely to

engage in a wide assessment of their behaviors and judgments. Paolini et al. (2009)

found that when individuals were notified that they would be held accountable for their

decisions regarding stereotype change and generalizations, both information processing

and judgment vigilance increased. In this regard, Lerner and Tetlock (1999) proposed

that self-critical and effortful thinking is most likely to be activated when decision-makers

learn prior to forming any opinions that they will be accountable to an audience (a)

whose views are unknown, (b) who are interested in accuracy, (c) who are interested in

processes rather than specific outcomes, (d) who are reasonably well informed, and (e)

who have a legitimate reason for inquiring into the reasons behind participants’


Beu (2000) found that decision-makers with higher levels of moral cognitive will behave

more ethically than those with lower levels. Beu also found that the correlation between

moral cognitive and ethical behavior, in the context of accountability, was significant. The

relationship between moral cognitive (i.e., moral competence) and ethical leadership

appeared to be particularly strong for individuals who are high in moral utilization. The

idea behind moral utilization is that individuals differ not only in their moral cognitive

capacity, but also in the degree to which they actually utilize their capacity in ethical

decision-making. Consequently, this paper suggests the levels of moral competence

change the relationship between accountability and ethical leadership behavior.

This study proposes that the accountability of ethical leaders who have low moral

competence may differ from the accountability of leaders who have high moral

competence. The behavior of ethical leaders with low moral competence requires

observing and evaluating by others in order to reduce the likelihood that the leader will

engage in inappropriate performance. Leaders’ behavior at this lower level of moral

competence should be subject to evaluation by others and subject to the objective

VOLUME XII • ISSUE I • Winter/Spring 2019







conditions based on this evaluation (e.g., rewards and punishments, laws, rules, etc.)

(Beu & Buckley, 2001). In contrast, when leaders possess a high moral competence

their ethical leadership may be accountable by self. Therefore, it was hypothesized that

at low levels of moral competence there is a strong relationship between other-

accountability and ethical leadership, whereas at high level of moral competence there is

a strong relationship between self-accountability and ethical leadership (e.g., Brown &

Trevino, 2006).

Hypothesis 2: The relationship between accountability and ethical leadership is
moderated by moral competence.

Demographic Variables
The impact of demographic variables on the ethical decision-making process is a widely

researched issue in the ethical leadership literature (Pierce & Sweeney, 2010). The

literature involves some studies with empirical examination that discuss the effect of

demographic variables such as gender, age, education, leadership experience,

leadership roles on ethical behavior, and decision-making (e.g., Barbuto Jr., Fritz, Matkin,

& Marx, 2007; Eagly & Johannesen-Schmidt, 2001, Fiedler,1994; Pierce & Sweeney,

2010). However, the literature lacks studies with empirical examination regarding the

effect these demographic variables on accountability and thus on the relationship

between accountability and ethical leadership behavior. This study proposed that the

relationship between accountability and ethical leadership may be different for leaders

with varying demographic characteristics. Therefore, accountability may predict ethical

leadership based on a leader’s demographic characteristics.

Variables such as leader’s gender, age, educational level, experience and the role of the

leader may play a significant role in affecting accountability when predicts ethical

leadership behavior. These demographic variables were selected for this study given

literature support of their potential to have an impact on the relationship between

accountability and ethical leadership. For example, Barbuto Jr. et al. (2007) considered

that demographic variables such as gender, age and educational level could be used to

predict some leadership behaviors. Although Fiedler (1994) found that leadership

experience does not appear to predict leadership performance, Eagly and Johannesen-

Schmidt (2001) discussed the leadership role of leaders in organizations defined by their

specific position in a hierarchy (e.g., senior management, middle management, and

lower management) as potentially impacting leadership behavior. To investigate the role

of demographic variables in the accountability-ethical leadership behavior relationship,

the moderating effect of leader’s gender, age, educational level, experience, and the role

of the leader was tested.

Hypothesis 3: The relationship between accountability and ethical leadership is
moderated by gender, age, education, …

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