Perceived integrity of transformational leaders in organisational settings

Journal of Business Ethics 35 (2):75 - 96 (2002)
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Abstract

The ethical nature of transformational leadership has been hotly debated. This debate is demonstrated in the range of descriptors that have been used to label transformational leaders including narcissistic, manipulative, and self-centred, but also ethical, just and effective. Therefore, the purpose of the present research was to address this issue directly by assessing the statistical relationship between perceived leader integrity and transformational leadership using the Perceived Leader Integrity Scale (PLIS) and the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ). In a national sample of 1354 managers a moderate to strong positive relationship was found between perceived integrity and the demonstration of transformational leadership behaviours. A similar relationship was found between perceived integrity and developmental exchange leadership. A systematic leniency bias was identified when respondents rated subordinates vis-à-vis peer ratings. In support of previous findings, perceived integrity was also found to correlate positively with leader and organisational effectiveness measures.

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