Do Role Models Matter? An Investigation of Role Modeling as an Antecedent of Perceived Ethical Leadership

Journal of Business Ethics 122 (4):587-598 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Thus far, we know much more about the significant outcomes of perceived ethical leadership than we do about its antecedents. In this study, we focus on multiple types of ethical role models as antecedents of perceived ethical leadership. According to social learning theory, role models facilitate the acquisition of moral and other types of behavior. Yet, we do not know whether having had ethical role models influences follower perceptions of one’s ethical leadership and, if so, what kinds of role models are important. We conducted a field study, surveying supervisors and their subordinates to examine the relationship between three types of ethical role models and ethical leadership: the leader’s childhood role models, career mentors, and top managers. We found that having had an ethical role model during the leader’s career was positively related to subordinate-rated ethical leadership. As expected, this effect was moderated by leader age, such that the relationship between career mentoring and ethical leadership was stronger for older leaders. Leader age also moderated the relationship between childhood models and ethical leadership ratings, such that having had childhood ethical role models was more strongly and positively related to ethical leadership for younger leaders. We found no effect for top management ethical role models. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,963

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Managerial Ethical Leadership.Patrick E. Murphy & Georges Enderle - 1995 - Business Ethics Quarterly 5 (1):117-128.

Analytics

Added to PP
2013-12-15

Downloads
186 (#106,187)

6 months
31 (#105,077)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?