Leaders, Values, and Organizational Climate: Examining Leadership Strategies for Establishing an Organizational Climate Regarding Ethics

Journal of Business Ethics 55 (3):223-241 (2004)
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This paper examines the critical role that organizational leaders play in establishing a values based climate. We discuss seven mechanisms by which leaders convey the importance of ethical values to members, and establish the expectations regarding ethical conduct that become engrained in the organizations climate. We also suggest that leaders at different organizational levels rely on different mechanisms to transmit values and expectations. These mechanisms then influence members practices and expectations, further increase the salience of ethical values and result in the shared perceptions that form the organizations climate. The paper is organized in three parts. Part onebegins with a brief discussion of climates regarding ethics and the critical role of values. Part two provides discussion on the mechanisms by which leaders and members transmit values and create climates related to ethics. Part three provides a discussion of these concepts with implications for theory, research, and practice.



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