Volume 5, Issue 2 / 2009
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From the Editor
Robert H. Moorman &
Steven L. Grover

Major corporate failures resulting from fraud and lapses of ethical leadership have increased academic and practitioner interest in leader integrity. While there is little debate on the importance of leader integrity, it is not highly developed as a research construct. There appears to be an unsettling disconnect between the degree we believe integrity is fundamental to effective leadership and the degree we have fully described its nature, antecedents, and consequences. As Simons (2008) put it in his book The Integrity Dividend, “in 2005, integrity was the single most looked-up word on Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary Web site, which implies that people are not exactly sure what integrity means. Think about that for a minute: people know integrity is important, but they are not sure what it means” (p. 5, italics in original).

The purpose of this special issue is to explore the concepts of leader integrity, ethicality, and authenticity, presenting conceptual and empirical studies that focus on understanding how the allied constructs of leader integrity affect followers. In the first article, Dunn begins by returning to the most basic question: What does having integrity really mean? He seeks to answer this question by integrating diverse organizational and philosophical literatures to arrive at a broad, multidimensional construct.

The next two articles both examine how ethical leader behavior and trust may relate to perceived leader effectiveness, and both studies further examine how expectations influence this relationship. First, van den Akker, Heres, Lasthuizen, and Six study how different sorts of ethical leader behaviors affect the degree to which followers trust leaders. Additionally, they find that followers’ prior ethical expectations of leaders influence this trust. Next, Kalshoven and Den Hartog advance our understanding of the role of trust as a consequence of ethical leader behavior by proposing that trust, ethical leader behavior, and perceived leader effectiveness relate to one another. They also found that average group expectations of ethicality and how well leaders match these expectations influenced leaders’ perceived effectiveness. [more]

Integrity Matters
Craig P. Dunn

Integrity is a concept oftentimes referenced in organizational studies, but not well understood as a theoretical construct. This paper aims to remedy this shortcoming by honing in on a conception of integrity grounded in the writings of moral philosophy. In order to accomplish this, competing definitions of integrity will be vetted. The concept of integrity will be critically distinguished from those of virtue, character and honesty. Integrity will next be explored as consistency across contexts, coherence between values and action, stability over time, permanence across roles, and union of ethical perspectives. Finally, the notion of organizational integrity will be assessed and suggestions for operationalization of the integrity construct offered. [more]
Ethical Leadership and Trust: It's All About Meeting Expectations
Lenny van den Akker, Leonie Heres, Karin Lasthuizen & Frédérique Six
In this study, we examine the effects of different ethical leadership behaviors, as perceived by followers, on the trust that those followers have in their leader. In line with the ethical leadership theory of Brown, Treviño, and Harrison (2005) we explore the following ethical leadership behaviors: role modeling, demonstrating morality, securing ethical behavior, contextualizing success, transmitting organizational values, and encouraging transparency. Using a web-based survey with nearly 500 respondents from European business corporations, we find that most ethical behaviors are positively related to trust. We also find that the more a leader acts in a way that followers feel is the appropriate ethical leader behavior, the more a leader will be trusted. Thus, the relationship between ethical leader behavior and trust is (partly) moderated by the consistency between desired and observed behavior of a leader, as perceived by their followers. [more]
Ethical Leader Behavior and Leader Effectiveness: The Role of Prototypicality and Trust
Karianne Kalshoven & Deanne N. Den Hartog
The study examines factors that mediate the impact of ethical leader behavior on leader effectiveness. Little is known about how ethical leadership impacts leader effectiveness. We hypothesized that prototypicality and trust sequentially mediate the relationship between ethical leader behavior and perceived leader effectiveness. The group prototype forms an ideal representation of the group’s identity, prescribing appropriate attitudes and behaviors. Ethical leaders are role models and thus are likely to be seen as the group prototype. In turn, prototypes are more trusted and effective. We investigated whether ethical leader behavior overall and different specific ethical leader behaviors (fairness, power sharing, and role clarification) influence prototypicality and, in turn, trust in the leader and leader effectiveness. This model was tested in a field study among 244 employees. Results showed that the relationship between overall ethical leader behavior and leader effectiveness is mediated by prototypicality and trust. For the separate dimensions of ethical leadership, we found full mediation by prototypicality and trust for the relationship between fairness and effectiveness and partial mediation for the relationship between role clarification and leader effectiveness. As expected, the relationship between power sharing and leader effectiveness was not significant.[more]
Why Does Leader Integrity Matter to Followers? An Uncertainty Management-Based Explanation
Robert H. Moorman & Steven Grover
We seek a theoretical answer to the question of why leader integrity matters to followers. We begin by defining leader integrity to include both the leader’s word/deed consistency and the consistency between the leader’s values and the follower’s values. Drawing on Fairness Heuristic Theory and the Uncertainty Management Model, we suggest that followers use attributions of leader integrity as a heuristic for how the leader will behave in the future. Leader integrity attributions act as a proxy for necessarily missing information about leadership outcomes and offer followers needed confidence that their decision to follow is correct. Based on this uncertainty management model for leader integrity, we conclude with research propositions that may direct future studies. [more]
The Role of Authentic Leadership and Cultural Intelligence in Cross-Cultural Contexts: An Objectivist Perspective
Gretchen Vogelgesang, Rachel Clapp-Smith & Noel Palmer
Cultural adaptation in cross-cultural situations is an integral part of international management and leadership literature. However, there has been little theory or empirical research that takes into account the objectivist perspective of the necessity of leaders remaining true to their moral standards when operating in different host-cultures. We draw upon the authentic leadership and cultural intelligence literatures to explicate a model by which authentic leaders in a cross-cultural context can find a balance in the tension between their own deeply held values and those of the host-country’s culture. [more]

Please note: Views and opinions expressed in the articles published in the International Journal of Leadership Studies (IJLS) represent each author's research and viewpoint and do not necessarily represent IJLS or its sponsors. IJLS and its sponsors make no representations about the accuracy of the information contained in published manuscripts and disclaims any and all responsibility or liability resulting from the information contained in the IJLS.

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