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Developmental activities as predictors of ethical leadership

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Title:
Developmental activities as predictors of ethical leadership
Creator:
O'Connell, Wendy
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English
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viii, 83 leaves : ; 28 cm

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Degree:
Master's ( Master of arts)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
Department of Psychology, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Psychology

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Subjects / Keywords:
Leadership -- Moral and ethical aspects ( lcsh )
Leadership -- Moral and ethical aspects ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 80-83).
General Note:
Department of Psychology
Statement of Responsibility:
by Wendy O'Connell.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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63787621 ( OCLC )
ocm63787621
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LD1193.L645 2004m O36 ( lcc )

Full Text
DEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVITIES AS PREDICTORS OF ETHICAL
LEADERSHIP
by
Wendy O'Connell
B.S. University of Wyoming, 2001
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Masters of Arts
Psychology
2004


This thesis for the Master'of Arts
degree by
Wendy OConnell
has been approved
by
Donna L. Chrobot-Mason


OConnell, Wendy K. (M.A.) University of Colorado at Denver. Department of
Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Developmental Activities as Predictors of Ethical Leadership
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Annette J. Towler
ABSTRACT
There has been a lack of research done to examine how ethical leadership develops.
In this study, the relationships between moral identity, ethics training, feedback,
developmental relationships, and trigger events and the ratings of perceived ethical
leadership were examined. Data was collected from 39 managers and 51 direct
reports, the majority of who worked in a government agency. The hypothesis that
leaders with an ethical protege would have higher ratings of ethical leadership was
supported (r = .409, p < .01). This relationship was moderated by self-awareness R2
.343 (F (1, 25) = 6.69, p = .016). Implications and limitations are discussed.
This abstract represents the content of the candidates thesis. I recommend its
publication.
Signed


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I am very grateful to Annette Towler, my advisor and friend, for her support,
guidance and inspiration. I also wish to thank Herman Aguinis for his insightful
recommendations and career guidance over the past year. In addition, I would like to
thank Donna Chrobot-Mason for her comments on my paper. I would also like to
extend my deep gratitude to James Nimmer and for his advice, self-less support and
time lining up participants for this study.


CONTENTS
Figures ....................................................vii
Tables .....................................................viii
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION...............................................1
Background.............................................1
Defining Ethical Leadership............................3
Development of Ethical Leadership..................... 9
Moral Identity.....................................10
Ethics Training....................................12
Ethics Feedback....................................14
Developmental Relationships........................16
Self-Awareness.....................................20
Trigger Events.....................................23
2. METHOD...................................................27
Participants and Procedures...........................27
Measures...........................................28
Moral Identity Scale
28


Employee Development Activities Scale......29
Self-Awareness Scale.......................30
Trigger Events Scale.......................31
Perceived Ethical Leadership Scale.........32
3. RESULTS............................................37
4. DISCUSSION....................................... 50
Future Research.................................63
Limitations.....................................65
APPENDIX
A. MANAGER SURVEY.....................................67
B. SUBORDINATE SURVEY.................................76
REFERENCES...................................................80
VI


FIGURES
Figure
1. Model of Ethical Leadership Development...........................10
VII


TABLES
Table
1. Characteristics of Ethical Leaders.....................................9
2. Descriptive Statistics for Independent and Dependent Variables.........38
3. Pearson Product Correlations of Moral Identity, Ethics
Training, Feedback, Developmental Relationships and
Ratings of Perceived Ethical Leadership...............................38
4. Summary of Linear Regression Analysis for Variables Predicting
Ratings of Perceived Ethical Leadership...............................40
5. Summary of Hierarchical Regression Analysis for the
Moderating Effects of Self-Awareness on Ethics Training...............41
6. Summary of Hierarchical Regression Analysis for the
Moderating Effects of Self-Awareness on Feedback......................42
7. Summary of Hierarchical Regression Analysis for the
Moderating Effects of Self-Awareness on Having an
Ethical Mentor........................................................43
8. Summary of Hierarchical Regression Analysis for the Moderating
Effects of Self-Awareness on Having an Ethical Protege................44
9. Examples of Responses to the Outside of Work Experiences
Trigger Event Question................................................46
10. Examples of Responses to the On the Job Work Experiences
Trigger Event Question....................................
48


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Background
"...restoring confidence and faith in America will require acts of individual
moral courage and strategic leadership to offset the biases of excessively selfish
egoism. There can be no ethics without leadership and no genuine leadership without
ethics" (Young, 2002). Corporate scandals such as Enron and WorldCom have
companies considering the costs associated with disregarding ethics. As Dickson and
his colleagues point out, traditionally, leadership was viewed as balance between
taking responsibility for the organization operating in accordance with certain ethical
standards and ensuring the organization meet certain profitability goals (Dickson,
Smith, Grojean, Ehrhart, 2001). However, recently the responsibility of ensuring the
organization follows ethical standards has fallen out of the equation. Thus, while
ensuring ethics are present in an organization is only one component of leadership,
due to the lack of focus on the ethics of leadership in recent years, ethical leadership
is the focus of this study.
1


Several researchers have highlighted the need to focus on the ethics of
leadership (Brown & Trevino, 2002; Cuilla, 1998; Turner, et al., 2002). Cuilla points
out that the comprehensive overviews of leadership literature only mention ethics in
passing or highlight existing ethical theories, but do not offer guidance on the role
that ethics plays in leadership (Cuilla, 1998). Theoretical and empirical researchers
have examined the antecedents of ethical leadership and the effects that ethical
leadership has on followers (Brown & Trevino, 2002; Ciulla, 1998; Dickson, Smith,
Grojean & Ehrhart, M., 2001; Trevino, L., 1986; Trevino, Hartman, & Brown, 2000;
Trevino & Youngblood, 1990).
What influences a leader to be ethical and then to communicate the
importance of ethics within organizations? The organizational environment, decision-
making style, and leader characteristics all influence a leaders ethical leadership
behavior within an organization (Trevino & Youngblood, 1990). An ethical climate is
the shared perception of what is ethically correct and how ethical issues should be
handled with an organization (Dickson, et al., 2001, pg. 197). Dickson, et al. (2001)
state that there are three antecedents to developing an ethical climate or ethical
organizational environment. These include the social norms of the organization, the
structure of the organization, and "firm-specific factors" (p. 205). While there are
several firm-specific factors, a few include the degree of government oversight in the
industry, how the organization has handled ethical violations in the past and the
2


pressure to meet financial goals at all costs. Furthermore, the authors state that leader
behavior is the most important way in which perceptions of ethical climate form.
Specifically, leaders "bring out or suppress the tendencies of organizational members
to behave in an ethical or unethical fashion" (Dickson, et, al., 2001, pg. 208). Thus,
ethical leaders can encourage their subordinates to be ethical, which may lead to a
more ethically conscious workforce and a standard for reporting unethical behavior.
As research has shown (Dickson, et al., 2000) ethical leadership is only one
ingredient that makes an ethical organizational environment. However, isolating
ethical leadership to gain a better understanding of what it is and how it develops is a
necessary first step. While ethical leadership is comprised of situational influences
(Dickson, et al., 2001) and individual characteristics (Trevino & Youngblood, 1990;
Trevino, 1986), the focus of this study is identifying the actions that an organization
can take to increase ethical leadership.
Defining Ethical Leadership
The definition of ethical leadership used in this study is a compilation of
several definitions of ethical leadership laid out by previous research. Brown and
Trevino (2002, p. 8) defined ethical leadership as "the demonstration of normatively
appropriate conduct through personal actions and interpersonal relationships, and
promotions of such conduct among followers through two-way communication,
3


reinforcement, and decision-making processes" (p. 8). Thus, an ethical leader is
someone who acts in accordance with norms and standards (knows the difference
between right and wrong), someone who communicates the importance of others
acting appropriately and then rewards appropriate behavior. However, this definition
of ethical leadership leaves out several important behaviors other researchers have
identified.
Researchers have also looked at ethical leadership in the context of
transformational leadership. Transformational leadership occurs when one or more
persons engage in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher
levels of motivation and morality (Bums, 1978, p. 20). Authentic transformational
leadership and ethical leadership are closely related; however, a leader does not have
to be transformational to be ethical. Bass and Steidlmeier (1998) explain that
authentic transformational leadership rests upon three points, "(1) the moral character
of the leader, (2) the ethical values embedded in the leaders vision, articulation, and
program which followers either embrace or reject, and (3) the morality of the
processes of the social ethical choice and action that leaders and followers engage in
and collectively pursue" (p.2). Thus transformational leadership emphasizes, as
Brown and Trevino did, that a leader must be ethical, communicate the importance of
ethics, and that followers and leaders follow an ethical vision.
4


Price (2003) expands on this definition by stating that authentic leaders are
those who have altruistic values and who act in accordance with these values. She
highlights several unauthentic transformational leadership styles, the first of which
are leaders who hold selfless values, but act against them to satisfy their own agenda.
The second type of unauthentic leaders consist of individuals who have self-serving
values, and act on them to satisfy their personal needs (Price, 2003). The third type of
unauthentic leader holds egoistic beliefs and he or she acts on these beliefs, even
when helping others. Price (2003) highlights several situational factors that make it
hard for leaders to follow their individual values; however, Price does not comment
on what about the leader makes them form certain values or what helps leaders
choose one action over another. Thus, added to the definition of ethical leadership is
that an ethical leader holds and acts on altruistic values.
Luthans and Avolio (2003) add a positive organizational behavior element to
their concept of authentic leadership resulting in the following definition:
a process that draws both from positive psychological capacities
and a highly developed organizational context, which results in
both greater self-awareness and self-regulated positive behaviors
on the part of leaders and associates, fostering positive self
development (Luthans & Avolio, 2003, p. 3).
Furthermore, the authors state that the characteristics of positive authentic
leaders include: confidence, resilience, transparent, moral/ethical, and focused on the
future (Luthans & Avolio, 2003). This is an integrated definition of leadership
5


suggesting that being ethical is only one piece of the leadership puzzle. As stated
above, this study will discuss only the ethical characteristic. Thus, ethical leadership
differs from transformational leadership in the respect that it does not focus on the
leader having a vision of the future, only that the leader communicates the importance
of ethical leadership. Furthermore, an ethical leader may be confident, resilient and
transparent; however, these characteristics are not necessary to be an ethical leader, as
defined in this study.
Research conducted by Trevino, Hartman & Brown (2000) adds that ethical
leadership consists of one's reputation as a person and as a leader. An ethical person
is one who acts with integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness (Trevino, et al., 2000). An
ethical person acts consistently with their beliefs, shows concern for other
individuals, communicates candidly, and demonstrates "personal morality" (Trevino,
et al., 2000). Ethical individuals are also take normative standards into account when
making decisions they focus on the impact that their decisions will have on the
community. Ethical individuals are also fair, and they follow a set of guiding
principles when making decisions (Trevino, et al., 2000).
What distinguishes an ethical person from an ethical leader? According to
Trevino and her colleagues, the "challenge is to make ethics and values stand out
from a business landscape that is laden with messages about beating the competition
and achieving quarterly goals and profits" (2000, p. 133). Ethical leaders understand
6


that they set the standard in their organizations through their behaviors, the decisions
they make, and the rewards that they allocate (Trevino, et al., 2000). Ethical leaders
also communicate the importance that values play in guiding organizational decision-
making processes and behavior, they reward individuals who act with integrity,
honesty, trustworthiness and fairness and discipline individuals who do not act with
these virtues in mind (Trevino, et al., 2000). To summarize the ethical person/leader
paradigm, Trevino and her colleagues state that, "the ethical leader has a reputation
for being both a substantively ethical person and a leader who makes ethics and
values a prominent part of the leadership agenda" (Trevino, et al., 2000). Therefore,
it is not enough that leaders act with integrity, honesty, trustworthiness and fairness,
they have to communicate the importance of doing so and reward individuals for
acting in accordance with these values.
Finally, London (2002) emphasizes the importance of being a principled
leader, a leader who is able to apply their personal values to situations in their daily
lives. These values include honesty, fairness, mutual respect, kindness and doing
good (London, 2002, p. 255). They analyze complex situations in an effort to build
trust and consensus around shared goals, while maintaining their integrity and
accomplishing the business goal (London, 2002). In order to do this, he states,
principled leaders need to understand themselves and those with whom they work
7


(London, p.27, 2002). This will help them to achieve business goals through
cooperation and maintenance of personal and shared values.
Once a leader understands her strengths and weaknesses, she can work on
changing her behavior, which leads to an increased positive outlook on what she can
accomplish (London, 2002). This allows leaders to accomplish tasks while taking
into account other individuals needs and their perceptions of the leader as being
effective or ineffective (London, 2002). This is an important piece of the definition
of ethical leadership not explained by transformational leadership or other definitions
of ethical leadership.
To summarize, the definition of ethical leadership is a leader who acts with
integrity, honesty, trustworthiness and fairness. An ethical leader also uses all of
these virtues when making decisions, he considers the impact that his decisions will
have on those around him and he encourages his subordinates to do the same. Ethical
leaders also communicate the importance of others acting with integrity, honesty,
trustworthiness and fairness, they reward individuals who act in accordance of these
virtues and they discipline individuals who do not act with integrity, honesty,
trustworthiness or fairness. Finally, ethical leaders understand themselves and those
who they work with. See Table 1 for a list of the characteristics and behaviors that
define ethical leadership.
8


Table 1
Characteristics of Ethical Leaders
Characteristics of Ethical Leaders Origins
Possess and act on altruistic values Price, 2003; London, 2002
Ethical person (trustworthy, honest, fair, possess integrity) Bass & Steidlmeier, 1998; Trevino et al., 2000; London, 2002; Luthans & Avolio, 2003
Communicates importance of ethics Trevino et al, 2000; Bass & Steidlmeier, 1998
Acts ethically Trevino et al, 2000; Brown & Trevino, 2002; London, 2002
Rewards ethical behavior Trevino & Brown, 2002
Understand themselves and those with whom they work London, 2002
Development of Ethical Leadership
Traditional leadership development is the "expansion of a person's capacity to
be effective in leadership roles and processes" (The Center for Creative Leadership
(CCL), p. 4,1998). Thus, the development of ethical leadership is exhibited by a
person thinking and acting on behalf of others, acting with integrity, fairness, and
honesty, communicating the importance of ethics in the workplace, and rewarding
ethical behavior.
There are several types of experiences hypothesized to facilitate ethical
leadership development; however, this study will focus on skill-based training (Noe,
2002; London, 2002; CCL, 1998), performance appraisal feedback (Noe, 2002; m
9


London, 2002; CCL, 1998), developmental relationships (Noe, 2002;
London, 2002; CCL, 1998), and trigger events (CCL, 1998; Luthans & Avolio,
2003). See Figure 1.1 will also examine the relationship between moral identity and
ethical leadership. In the following sections, I will examine each activitys
relationship to developing ethical leadership.
Figure 1
Model of Ethical Leadership Development
Self-Awareness
Moral Identity
Ethics Training
Ethics Feedback
Ethical Developmental
Relationships
Trigger Events

>
*
Ethical Leadership:
Ethical Person
Possesses & acts on
altruistic values
Rewards ethical
behavior
Communicates the
importance of ethics
Understands themselves
and those they work with
Moral Identity
Moral identity is one individual characteristic related to ethical behavior (Aquino &
Reed, 2002). Identity is the basis of Erikson's theory of life span development (2002)
Identity is the "very core of one's being, involves being true to oneself in action, and
10


is associated with respect for one's understanding of reality" (Aquino & Reed, 2002).
An individual's identity dictates the ideal action that a person should take when faced
with an ethical decision. Individuals with ego strength, or strong identity, are more
likely to "resist impulses and follow their convictions" (Trevino, 1986, p. 609). Thus,
individuals with ego strength are more likely to have the strength to choose right over
wrong, act fairly, be trustworthy and possess integrity. These are all important
qualities of ethical leaders. Research conducted by Aquino and Reed (2002) expands
the concept of identity to moral identity.
Moral identity is a "self-conception organized around a set of moral traits"
(Aquino & Reed, 2002). Research highlights that moral identity is only one of
several self-concepts that an individual can employ. Researchers hypothesize that the
more central moral identity is to one's self-concept, the more ethical that person will
behave (Aquino & Reed, 2002). Being ethical and acting ethically, or behaving in
accordance with normative standards, possessing integrity, being trustworthy, and
fair, are two important characteristics of ethical leaders. Leaders who are ethical and
who act ethically will also be more reputable when communicating the importance of
ethics. Thus, moral identity has important ties to characteristics of ethical leaders.
Moral identity correlates with self-reported accounts of charitable behavior
and with observed accounts of food donations during a can-food drive (Aquino &
Reed, 2002). Both of these activities suggest the presence of and acting upon of
ll


altruistic values, another characteristic of ethical leaders. Thus, moral identity has
connections to several of the characteristics of ethical leaders, thus I hypothesize that
it will also be related to ratings of perceived ethical leadership.
Hypothesis 1: Ratings of the importance of moral identity will be positively
correlated with ethical leadership.
Ethics Training
The next workplace experience that will foster leadership development is education
and training (CCL, 1998; Noe, 2002). Formal education includes programs,
sponsored by the company, by an outside consulting agency or university, that
require active learning on the part of the participant (Noe, 2002). Education programs
consist of lectures given by business specialists, business simulations, and adventure
learning. While formal education is an important part of development, the focus on
this study is skill-based ethics training.
The CCL states that skill-based training is most helpful in developing the
following leadership skills: "the abilities to interact socially, think systematically,
make critical evaluations, think more creatively and empower others" (CCL, p. 109,
1998). These skills are important to ethical leadership. Trevino, et al. illustrated that
ethical leaders must be able to make business decisions using their personal values of
trustworthiness, honesty, objectivity and fairness (2000). Making business decisions
12


by evaluating problems requires a leader to interact socially, think systematically and
make critical evaluations, all skills that skill-based training will develop. Several
authors have outlined that the way in which leaders evaluate ethical problems
determines whether they act ethically (Trevino & Youngblood, 1990; Trevino, 1986).
Skill based training teaches leaders how to communicate the importance of ethics
and reward ethical behavior, which is also linked to the development of ethical
leadership.
Empirical research has shown that skill-based leadership training has been
effective in developing transformational leadership behavior (Dvir, Eden, Avolio &
Shamir, 2002), charismatic leadership behavior (Towler, 2003), and leaders self-
efficacy (Towler, 2003). There are several similarities between ethical leadership and
transformational leadership, so one hypothesizes that if training increases
transformational leadership behaviors it can also increase ethical leadership
behaviors. Dvir, et al., (2002) examined the effect that transformational leadership
training had on direct and indirect followers. They found that followers of leaders
who received transformational leadership training had significant changes in their
self-efficacy, critical-independent approach, and extra effort (Dvir et al., 2002).
Followers also exhibited small changes in internalization of moral values, active
engagement and self-actualization needs. Communicating the importance of ethics in
an organization is one of the characteristics of ethical leaders (Trevino et al., 2000;
13


Bass & Steidlmeir, 1998), which ultimately results in the internalization of moral
values. Thus, similar training on ethical leadership behaviors will also result in
ethical leadership development.
Towler (2003) demonstrated that individuals who received a training course
on charismatic influence displayed higher levels of charismatic self-efficacy when
compared to individuals who just received presentation skills training. Leaders with
high self-efficacy will be more likely to be self-aware and more motivated to change
behavior. Furthermore, leaders with high self-efficacy will also have more faith in
their abilities, including the ability to make business decisions in accordance with
their personal values. This research is further evidence that skill-based or behavior
based training is effective in changing leadership behaviors. Thus, skill-based or
behavior-based ethics training will increase behaviors associated with ethical
leadership training.
Hypothesis 2: Skill-based or behavior-based ethics training will be positively related
to ethical leadership.
Ethics Feedback
The next development activity that will foster employee development is feedback
received through employee performance appraisals (CCL, 1998; Noe, 2002, London,
2002). Performance appraisals are a measure of an employee's performance on the
14


job (Noe, 2002). Formal appraisals foster employee development because managers
share information with the employee under review, they make recommendations
based on the strengths and weaknesses of the employee, and they form a plan of
action to work toward improving performance (Noe, 2002). In this respect, receiving
feedback is also a source of learning (London, 2002).
Receiving feedback will develop and reinforce several of the attributes and
behaviors of ethical leaders. When leaders receive feedback concerning their ethical
behavior, this conveys the importance of ethical leadership within the organization.
Consequently, organizations who reward and support ethical behavior, will have
more leaders who display ethical behavior (Trevino et al, 2000; Bass & Steidlmeier,
1998). Consequently, receiving feedback and reprimand after acting unethically will
also alert the leader to what he or she did wrong.
Similarly, receiving feedback will also help foster understanding of others,
another characteristic of ethical leaders (London, 2002). The feedback process
contributes to the creation of effective relationships (London, 2002), which furthers
the leaders understanding of his or her self-identity and the identity of others.
Feedback, especially positive feedback, makes people feel positive about themselves
and it leads them to engage in more self-assessment leading to better self-awareness
(London, 2002).
15


Feedback can give leaders essential insight into how subordinates view their
leaders. Thus, seeking out feedback on the degree to which subordinates see their
leaders as ethical, fair, trustworthy and honest, will provide the leader with insight
into the behaviors that they are doing well and the ones that need improvement.
Thus, increasing the leaders awareness of the need to act ethically, fairly, and be
trustworthy, increases ethical leadership.
Hypothesis 3: Receiving feedback that helps the leader act more ethically,
communicate the importance of ethics, reward ethical behavior or have better
awareness of others needs will be positively related to ethical leadership.
Developmental Relationships
The next development experience that fosters ethical leadership development is
developmental relationships (CCL, 1998; Noe, 2002; London, 2002). Developmental
relationships help leaders grow because they often give and help interpret feedback,
the benefits of which are discussed above (CCL, 1998). Developmental relationships
also foster leadership development because they challenge employees by either
assigning them to challenging experiences or by encouraging them to seek out more
challenging roles.
Noe states that interpersonal relationships at work foster employee
development because interactions with more experienced organizational members
16


enhance employee skills (Noe, 2002), While there are several types of developmental
relationships, the mentor-protege relationship will be the focus of this study. Mentors
are experienced, senior level employees who help lower level employees develop
(Noe, 2002). Mentoring can be a function of career success, which includes assigning
the protege challenging work tasks, exposing the protege throughout the
organization, and sponsoring the protege's projects (Wanberg, Welsh, & Hezlett,
2003). Assigning a protege to challenging work assignments opens the door for self-
awareness. In uncertain situations leaders will be more likely to engage in self-
awareness, which will lead to a greater understanding of what they need to do to
succeed in their new assignments. Greater understanding of self and others are
characteristics of ethical leadership; thus, serving as a protege to an ethical mentor
will increase ethical leadership.
Empirical research has demonstrated that mentoring relationships are one
source of organizational learning. Lankau & Scandura (2002) found that individuals
with a mentor learned significantly more than individuals without a mentor about the
network of relationships in an organization. They have also found that proteges who
are exposed to challenging job assignments, encouraged to leam new skills, and who
have a role model to leam from resulted in job or vocational learning (Lankau &
Scandura, 2002). Having knowledge of individuals with whom leaders work is one
characteristic of ethical leadership (London, 2002).
17


Further research has demonstrated that proteges who were in a satisfying
mentoring relationship had higher ratings of procedural justice and organization
based self-esteem (Ragins, Cotton & Miller, 2000). Acting fairly, the perception that
the method in which a decision is reached is fair, is one characteristic of ethical
leaders (Bass & Steidlmeier, 1998; Trevino et al., 2000; London, 2002). The authors
also found that having a satisfying mentoring relationship increases organization
based self-esteem, which may also be associated with the leaders ability to make
decisions in the workplace based on his or her personal values, which is another
characteristic of ethical leaders (Trevino et al, 2000; Brown & Trevino, 2002;
London, 2002). The above evidence suggests that having a satisfying mentor
relationship will lead to the development of ethical leadership for the protege.
Preliminary research on the negative outcomes of mentoring suggest that
there can be positive and negatives outcomes to mentoring (Scandura, 1998; Eby &
Allen, 2002; Wanberg, et al., 2003). Thus, proteges with a mentor who neglects
them, who embarrasses them, who manipulates them, or who has conflicting values,
is likely to report a negative mentoring experience (Eby & Allen, 2002). This
negative experience may lead an employee to be more unethical. Therefore, it is
essential that a mentor is ethical and treat the protege with respect. If this occurs,
proteges are more likely to have higher promotion rates, have higher levels of
organizational commitment, increased salary and increased perceptions of procedural
18


justice (Please see Wanberg, et al., 2003 for a complete review of these studies).
Thus, having a positive and ethical mentor will result in the protege displaying more
ethical leadership behaviors.
Aside from the benefits of proteges, there are also documented benefits of
mentoring for mentors. Preliminary research suggests that being a mentor correlates
with career satisfaction, intrinsic satisfaction from the feeling of helping another, and
the development of relationships that may prove helpful in the future (Wanberg, et
al., 2003). The enjoyment of helping others, or possessing altruistic values, is one
characteristic of ethical leadership. Therefore, mentors who are ethical leaders will
develop ethical proteges, and they will display more ethical leadership behaviors.
Research conducted outside of organizational settings confirms the link
between leadership development and mentoring. Parental behavior effects the
development of transformational leadership (Zacharatos, Barling, & Kelloway,
2000). Specifically Zacharatos, et al., found that perceptions of parental use of
transformational leadership predict adolescent's use of transformational leadership.
When parents exhibit transformational leadership behaviors in parent-child
interactions, children are more likely to exhibit transformational leadership behaviors
when interacting with their peers (Zacharatos, et al., 2000). Thus, individuals with
ethical mentors, including siblings, teachers, and coaches, will leam vicariously
through those relationships. Given the similarities between transformational
19


leadership and ethical leadership, one hypothesizes that proteges will also vicariously
learn ethical leadership behaviors from their mentors.
Hypothesis 4: Having an ethical mentor or ethical protege will be positively related
to ethical leadership.
Self-Awareness
Self-awareness is a key component in the leadership development process (CCL,
1998; London, 2002). I hypothesize that self-awareness will also be important in the
development of ethical leadership. Self-awareness is being aware of how one
typically behaves or is perceived by others (London, p.28,2002). London states that
self-awareness is the key to development in that it allows a leader to decipher his/her
personal goals, as well as the goals of the individuals on his/her team (London,
2002). Having self-awareness also allows leaders to analyze the environments in
which they operate, so that they can adapt and learn in different situations. In
addition, London explains that self-awareness may vary by situation. For example, in
new situations, individuals may be more aware of themselves than in routine
situations.
Individuals who are self-aware in an organizational environment are often
said to have career insight (London, 1998). London proposes a three part model to
career motivation: career resilience, career insight and career identity (London,
20


1998). Career resilience helps individuals overcome career setbacks, career insight is
possessing knowledge of ones strengths and weaknesses, and career identity directs
an individuals energy toward career goals. More specifically, career insight is the
understanding of oneself and the work environment (London, p. 58,1998) and is
the element in the model of career motivation that relates to this study. Career insight
enables individuals to recognize variables in the environment that will support or
hinder their performance in the workplace. Behaviors associated with career insight
include designating career paths, seeking feedback and adapting to social situations
(London, 1998). Thus, career identity will be considered as organizational self-
awareness for the purposes of this study.
When individuals are aware of their strengths, they can adapt their behavior
to situations, which makes them feel confident about accomplishing their goals
(London, 2002). Thus, leaders who are self-aware may be less likely to cut comers or
act unethically in an effort to achieve business goals. Once a leader understands his
or her strengths and weaknesses, he or she can work on changing their behavior
(London, 2002).
There is also evidence that increasing self-awareness also increases the
motivation to act morally in some circumstances. If individuals want to appear
ethical, then studies show that increasing self-awareness will increase motivation to
act ethically (Batson & Thompson, 2001). The importance of self-awareness to
21


leadership development is clear. Thus, I hypothesize that self-awareness will
moderate the relationship between skill-based training, feedback, and developmental
relationships to the development of ethical leadership.
In order for skill-based or behavior-based ethics training to influence the
behavior of the leader, the leader needs self-awareness. If a leader goes through
ethics training, but is not aware of how the training applies to their daily lives, the
training is unlikely to increase ethical leadership behavior. If a leader is self-aware
and recognizes that he needs to learn certain skills in order to act ethically, then the
individual will be more likely to leam the necessary skills and apply them in to his
everyday life. Thus, self-awareness moderates the relationship between ethical
leadership and skill-based training.
Furthermore, self-awareness also moderates the relationship between
feedback and the development of ethical leadership. Feedback, especially negative
feedback, gives the individual an accurate picture of how others evaluate them (CCL,
1998), and this motivates leaders to adjust their behavior (London, 2002). Therefore,
the leader must be self-aware to be successful using the feedback received and to
increase the display of ethical leadership behaviors. If a leader receives negative
feedback regarding her ethics, then she has to have the self-awareness to identify her
weaknesses and improve on them to increase her display of ethical leadership
behaviors.
22


In addition, self-awareness moderates the relationship between developmental
relationships and ethical leadership. One characteristic of mentoring relationships is
the exchange of information between two people. One method of facilitating self-
awareness is through sharing ideas with another person (London, 2002). Proteges and
mentors who share ideas with their counterparts gain insight into their thoughts and
feelings by receiving feedback from that person. Thus, if a leader is experiencing an
ethical dilemma and their mentoring counterpart helps them work through the
problem, the leader will have self-awareness as to where their personal ethical
strengths and weaknesses influenced their decision-making skills. Understanding
ones self is one characteristic of ethical leaders. Thus, possessing self-awareness is
necessary to apply the knowledge learned in a mentoring relationship to increase a
leaders display of ethical leadership behavior.
Hypothesis 5: The relationship between skill-based training, feedback,
developmental relationships, and the development of ethical leadership will be
moderated by self-awareness.
Trigger Events
Adult development occurs within and outside of the organization with planned and
unplanned events (CCL, 1998). Theoretical research suggests that leadership
development occurs through 'trigger events' (Luthans & Avolio, 2003, p. 9) or critical
23


events in one's life. Research has shown that individuals can recall specific events in
their lives that led to their moral development (Quackenbush, et al., 2001); the
development of ethical leadership may also occur through similar trigger events.
Traditionally, these trigger events have been thought of as negative experiences, such
as hardships (CCL, 1998). Hardships are unplanned events that foster leadership
development. Hardships include business mistakes and failures. By making and
learning from business mistakes, employees learn how to deal with people more
effectively, they can learn about their flaws, and they learn how to handle mistakes in
the future (CCL, 1998). Learning how to work with other people and learning about
ones flaws are both characteristics of ethical leaders (London, 2002). Thus, ethical
leadership develops when leaders learn from their hardships.
The second type of hardship, career setbacks, come in the form of missed
promotions, unchallenging or unsatisfying jobs, demotions or firings (CCL, 1998).
Setbacks teach employees self-awareness and knowledge of organizational politics.
Exercising self-awareness, possessing knowledge of organizational politics, and
having a better understanding of those with whom they work, are characteristics of
ethical leaders (London, 2002). Thus, development of knowledge of self and others
will be positively related to the development of ethical leadership.
The next type of hardship fosters development by forcing leaders to take a
stand against a difficult employee (CCL, 1998). Problem employees include
24


individuals who lie or steal, individuals who are uncooperative, and those individuals
who are unmotivated. Handling a difficult employee requires leaders to take a stand
and to confront a difficult situation. Taking a stand to a difficult employee may
require a leader to act ethically by treating employees fairly. For example, leaders
may have to demonstrate ethical behavior in the workforce and then discipline all
employees who engage in unethical behavior. These behaviors are both characteristic
of ethical leaders (Bass & Steidlmeier, 1998; Trevino et al., 2000; London, 2002;
Brown & Trevino, 2002); fostering the development of leaders who behave in these
ways will foster ethical leadership.
Downsizing is the last hardship that fosters leadership development (CCL,
1998). Leaders who have to tell employees that they are being let go can leam to use
more compassion and understanding in their leadership style (CCL, 1998).
Possessing and acting on altruistic values is one characteristic of ethical leadership;
thus, developing ones ability to use more compassion in their leadership decisions,
will foster the development of ethical leadership.
In addition, Luthans and Avolio (2003) propose that leadership development
can also occur through positive trigger events (2003). As with hardships, positive
trigger events can occur inside or outside of work. Positive trigger events include
voluntarily changing careers, conducting research in a new area, or reading an
influential book that makes a person question how he or she operates his or her
25


business (Luthans & Avolio, 2003). Specifically, individuals exposed to situations
that teach them to put others values in front of their own will lead to ethical
leadership (Luthans & Avolio, 2003). For example, volunteering on a community
service project at work gives a leader perspective that their company influences more
than their customers and shareholders. This teaches the leader to take a more
altruistic perspective to work and concentrate on how he or she can help the larger
community by making better business decisions. This type of experience will
increase a leaders altruistic values; thus, developing ethical leadership.
Hypothesis 6: Trigger events will be positively related to ethical leadership.
Figure 1 summarizes the model of ethical leadership development proposed
in this study. The present study was only concerned with examining the relationship
between a select number of development activities and the development of ethical
leadership. There are several other development activities such as, formal education
and on the job training that foster leadership development (CCL, 1998). Future
researchers need to examine the relationship between these activities and ethical
leadership development. Other areas that require examination include the
characteristics of the followers, organizational climate and structure, and
organizational decision-making processes. Researchers need to examine these
important parts of the ethical leadership equation.
26


CHAPTER 2
METHOD
Participants and Procedures
Participants included 39 managers and 51 of their direct reports. Twenty-eight
of the managers had at least one direct report fill out a survey. Of the managers who
had subordinates complete surveys, they had an average of 1.7 direct reports
complete a survey. Participants primarily worked in organizations in the Rocky
Mountain area. The majority of the managers (82%) worked within the City and
County of a large Western U.S. city. The author contacted participants via email as
well as through various supervisory classes at the City and County. The remaining
participants came from the telecommunications industry (8%) and other industries
(10%) including education, auto and optical industry. A letter included in the survey
materials informed participants that participation was voluntary, that all responses
were confidential, and that they would be entered into a drawing for $150 for
participating in the study.
Participants ranged in age from 41 to 69 years (M = 51.2). Males constituted
the majority of the participants (59%) and length of tenure with their current
employer ranged from 1 to 31 years (M = 12). Education level of the participants
27


ranged from high school diploma to doctorate level, but averaged 16.89 years of
education, or a bachelors degree. Participants completed identical paper or online
surveys. Half of the participants completed the survey online (51%) and half
completed the paper format (49%).
Measures
The survey given to managers consisted of the moral identity scale, the
employee development activities scale, self-awareness scale and the trigger events
scale. The survey given to direct reports contained the perceived ethical leadership
scale. Details of each scale follow below.
Moral Identity Scale. Managers completed this 10-item measure developed by
Aquino & Reed (2002). The authors adapted seven items from instruments
measuring ethnic identity and the remaining six items were constructed to measure
socially symbolic demonstrations of ones moral identity (Aquino & Reed, 2002,
p. 7). Results of the principal-components analysis performed by Aquino and Reed
(2002) revealed two underlying factors, symbolization and internalization (Aquino &
Reed, 2002). The symbolization factor is the extent to which an individual displays
their moral self to the public. Questions tapping this factor include, The types of
things that I do in my spare time (e.g. hobbies) clearly identify me as having these
characteristics (Aquino & Reed, p. 28,2002). The internalization factor is the extent
28


to which one holds morality important to ones self (private self). This factor consists
of questions such as It would make me feel good to be a person who has these
characteristics (Aquino & Reed, p. 28, 2002). The results of the confirmatory factor
analysis performed by Aquino & Reed also indicated a two factor structure, and three
questions were dropped after further analysis. Both factors, internalization (a = .70-
.78) and symbolization (a = .69-.80), have an acceptable level of internal consistency
(2002). The test-retest reliability of the measure was stronger for symbolization (r =
.71) than for internalization (r = .49). One possible explanation for this is that moral
identity is not a stable trait (Aquino & Reed, p. 14,2002), and thus it is may
become more salient in certain situations. Evidence of construct validity of the
revised 10-item measure was also given (Aquino & Reed, 2002).
Employee Development Activities Scale. There is currently no established
measures that look at the frequency of ethics training, feedback and developmental
relationships as examined in this study. Quantitative measures of work experience
include time and amount measures (Tesluk & Jacobs, 1998). To condense the length
of the survey, I only posed quantitative oriented questions regarding ethics training,
performance appraisals, and developmental relationships. To measure the amount of
training regarding ethics that an individual had participated in, the mean of three
questions, how many times in their careers they had participated in training on
raising self-awareness, avoiding ethical violations, and rewarding ethical behavior
29


was computed. For example, one question tapping ethics training stated the following
How many times in your career have you participated in training focusing on
rewarding ethical behavior in the workplace from none to four or more. Other
researchers studying training have used similar methods (Tharenou, 2001).
The feedback score was derived by averaging the answers to questions
regarding how many times in their career they had received feedback regarding
communicating the importance of ethics, increasing self-awareness, and rewarding
ethical behavior. A question tapping the performance appraisal element read as
follows How many times in your career have you received feedback about acting
ethically in the workplace?
In addition, questions from Lockwood and her colleagues were adapted to
construct questions about developmental relationships. In particular, the definitions
of mentor and protege used in this study were adapted from definitions used in the
Lockwood et al. The specific questions used to test this hypothesis included: How
many mentors have you had during your career who you would describe as ethical?
This same question was asked in regards to proteges.
Self-Awareness Scale. To get a more accurate measurement of self-awareness
in the work place, questions regarding career insight (London, 2002) were used to
measure self-awareness. This scale includes 5 questions that measure the extent to
which an individual is aware of his/her strengths and weaknesses in the workplace.
30


For example, I have clear career goals and I know my strengths (things that I do -
well). No reliability or validity data is available on this measure. However, other
studies have successfully used self-reports of self-awareness (Alanzai, 2001).
Trigger Events Scale. Respondents were asked to respond to the question
Describe the single experience that was important to your moral development.
They answered this question in response to experiences on and off the job. Other
researchers have used this method of questioning in other studies of adult moral
development (Quackenbush, et al., 2001). Research has shown that individuals do
not have difficultly identifying and describing such events (Quackenbush, et al.,
2001). Events described in the responses will be categorized and an ANOVA will be
performed to test their relationship with ratings of ethical leadership. The categories
that emerge from the qualitative responses will also be compared to the quantitative
data.
To examine the extent that leadership development occurs through positive
trigger events, participants were asked whether or not the experiences were positive
or negative at the time. Next the participants were asked to rate how positive or
negative the events are looking back on them. T-tests will determine whether the
responses were significantly different looking back on the experiences. This research
is used to see if individuals have experiences that at the time seem negative (or
31


positive) but after reflection they see lessons that they learned from the experience
and now consider it a positive (or negative) experience.
Perceived Ethical Leadership Scale. There is currently no measure of ethical
leadership that taps into ethical leadership. The measure that most closely matches
the definition of ethical leadership as discussed in this study is the 20-item measure
of perceived ethical leadership developed by OConnell, Winzenburg & Law (2003).
This measure examines how a leader influences an ethical climate as viewed by
subordinates reported on a five-point Likert-type rating scale (1= strongly agree, 2=
agree, 3= neither agree nor disagree, 4= disagree and 5=strongly disagree).
For the development of the ethical leadership measure, the authors defined
ethical leadership by the way that a leader models, rewards, and explains ethical
behavior in the workplace (OConnell, et al., 2003). Questions on the scale reflect
this definition. For example, questions measuring how well a leader models ethical
behavior include My supervisor is honest and My supervisor is ethical. To assess
how the leader rewards ethical behavior questions such as the following were
included My supervisor rewards employees for ethical behavior and My
supervisor reprimands employees for unethical behavior. Finally, questions that tap
how well a leader communicates the importance of ethics include My supervisor has
explained the recourse available if I question the ethical behavior of others and My
supervisor educates me on how to act ethically.
32


This matches the definition of ethical leadership used in this study. In order to
explain how to behave ethically in the workplace, a leader must have knowledge of
those who they work with. If they do not have knowledge of the people they work
with, the leader will not be able to relate to his or her subordinates and tailor the
message in a way that will be useful to the situations that they face in the workplace
everyday. Furthermore, while not explicitly stated in their definition of ethical
leadership, possessing and acting on altruistic behavior is necessary if a leader is to
act fairly, in that if they do not have others interests in mind, then a leader would just
do what is best for them. Therefore, this measure of ethical leadership matches well
with the definition of ethical leadership used in this study. Furthermore, since
subordinates witness their leaders behaviors on a daily basis, they are most
effectively positioned to rate their leader on how well he or she displays ethical
behaviors.
Working from their definition of ethical leadership, OConnell, et al. (2003)
generated questions independently that tapped into their definition of ethical
leadership. The authors then discussed, modified, eliminated and added questions to
develop a preliminary draft of the measure that contained 20 questions. The authors
discussed the questions with two subject matter experts who had previously reviewed
the items for content adequacy and potentially confusing or redundant items (2003).
33


Suggestions of the subject matter experts were incorporated into the measure,
resulting in a final measure of ethical leadership that consisted of 20 questions.
Due to the potential for differing interpretations of ethics, an operational
definition and examples of ethical conduct were included with directions at the
beginning of the survey. To test the validity of the survey, OConnell, et al. (2003)
administered the surveys to 140 subjects, eighty percent of whom worked more than
10 hours per week in professional roles (27.9%), managerial roles (18.6%), sales
(17.1%) or other occupations. Thirty-eight percent (53) of participants were male.
Sixty percent (85) were female. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 58 years
(M=28.8).
This is a reliable measure, with a high total inter-item correlation (alpha=
.95). The authors also found that all items were tapping the same construct and that
the removal of items would not increase the overall reliability of the measure (2003).
Furthermore, the authors stated that reliability of the measure was stable across
administration formats and demographic groups (gender, education, age, & number
of hours worked per week). Finally, results of a factor analysis (principle axis
factoring) with oblique rotation (direct oblimin) indicated that all items loaded on
one large factor (OConnell, et al., 2003). This confirms that while there are three
parts to their definition of ethical leadership, the questionnaire still measures one
factor of ethical leadership. (OConnell, et al., 2003).
34


The authors showed evidence of convergent validity by showing the positive
relationship between the measure of ethical leadership and the charisma/inspirational
scale of the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ). The MLQ is the scale
most commonly used to measure transformational leadership, whose relationship to
ethical leadership is discussed above. The charisma/inspirational scale of the MLQ
contains the ethical element of transformational leadership, and thus was used to
established convergent validity (OConnell, et al., 2003). Scores on the ethical
leadership measure were highly correlated with scores on the MLQ scale (r=.86,
p<.001), providing evidence of convergent validity (OConnell, et al., 2003).
The scales relationship to a Machiavellian scale is evidence of discriminant
validity (OConnell, et al., 2003). Since Machiavellian leadership is leadership
through power and coercion, it is negatively related to ethical leadership (2003). As
expected, there was a strong negative correlation between scores on the ethical
leadership measure and the Machiavellian measure (n= -.66, p<.001), providing
evidence of discriminant validity (2003).
While sample size prevented running a factor analysis in this study, the
results of a reliability analysis revealed that once again, the inter-item correlation of
the perceived ethical leadership scale was high (alpha= .94). Upon review of the
individual items, the alpha could be increased only by one-hundredths of a tenth by
removing one item.
35


To test each of the hypotheses, I used the mean of the scores provided by
subordinates on the perceived ethical leadership scale. Results of a Pearson product
correlation analysis confirmed that there was a significant correlation (r = .536, p <
.05) between the raters (N = 21) of leaders who had more than one person rate them.
This is not strong inter-rater agreement and I discuss the limitations of this later.
Where a direct report did not submit an assessment, the overall mean (M = 3.72),
calculated as the mean of all perceived ethical leadership scores, was entered instead.
As with other research on ethical leadership (Brown & Trevino, 2002), many
steps were taken to reduce the likelihood of socially desirable responses. The author
distributed the online surveys in Appendix A to the managers via email. The
managers were then instructed to forward the link of the survey in Appendix B to
two of their subordinates.
To distribute the paper surveys, the author attended classes at the City and
County to hand out the manager survey as well as the subordinate survey. In addition
to explaining the use of the data, guaranteeing to keep the responses confidential and
to use the responses only for the purposes of the study in the survey in a letter handed
out with the survey, the author also reiterated all of these points when introducing the
study. The surveys were returned through inter City mail in sealed envelopes and
then they were turned over to the author.
36


CHAPTER 3
RESULTS
Table 2 lists the descriptive statistics for all variables used in this study. Table
3 displays all correlations of the variables in this study. Hierarchical simultaneous
linear regression was used to test hypothesis one through four. Since all of the
hypotheses were directional, one-tailed significance testing was used. To analyze the
first hypothesis, that ratings of the importance of moral identity will be positively
related with ratings of perceived ethical leadership, two means of moral identity were
calculated based on the results of the factor analysis performed by Aquino & Reed
(2002). Aquino and Reed (2002) concluded that the self-importance of moral identity
consisted of an internalization factor and a symbolization factor. I calculated means
scores based on the questions making up each factor. The results of a Pearson
product correlation analysis revealed that neither internalization (r = 3.27, N = 39)
nor symbolization (r = 3.60, N = 39) were not related to ratings of perceived ethical
leadership. See Table 3. Thus, I did not find support for the first hypothesis.
37


Table 2
Descriptive Statistics for Independent and Dependent Variables
Variable M SD N
Internalization 3.27 .276 39
Symbolization 3.60 .657 39
Training 2.49 .696 39
Feedback 2.26 .821 38
Mentor 2.16 1.03 38
Protege 2.61 1.45 28
Perceived Ethical Leadership 3.71 .437 39
Table 3
Pearson Product Correlations of Moral Identity, Ethics Training, Feedback,
Developmental Relationships and Ratings of Perceived Ethical Leadership
Variable 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
1. Internalization
2. Symbolization .496** (N = 39)
3. Training -.034 .107
(N = 39) (N = 39)
4. Feedback .033 -.055 .450**
*2 II LO OO w /s OO II £ OO CO II
5. Mentor -.103 .082 .427** .340*
(N = 38) (N = 38) (N = 38) (N = 37)
6. Protege -.094 .039 .212 .032 .635**
(N = 28) (N = 28) (N = 28) (N = 27) /s OO CN II &
7. Ethical -.128 o r -.150 -.056 .178 .409*
Leadership (N = 39) (N = 39) (N = 39) (N = 38) (N = 38) (N = 28)
Note: ** p < .01, p < .05 (one-tailed)
38


The second hypothesis was that skill-based or behavior-based ethics training
would be positively related to ratings of perceived ethical leadership. The results of a
Pearson product correlation analysis revealed that ethics training was not related to
ratings of perceived ethical leadership (r = -.150, N = 39). See Table 3.
The third hypothesis, which states that receiving feedback that helps leaders
act more ethically, communicate the importance of ethics, reward ethical behavior or
have better awareness of others needs would be positively related to ratings of
perceived ethical leadership. The results of a Pearson product correlation analysis
revealed that receiving feedback on ethics was not positively related to ratings of
perceived ethical leadership (r = -.056, N = 38) See Table 3.
The data offered partial support for the fourth hypothesis regarding
developmental relationships. The results of a Pearson product correlation analysis
revealed that having an ethical mentor was not related to ratings of perceived ethical
leadership (r = .178, N = 38). The data did offer support for the hypothesis that
having an ethical protege was related to ratings of perceived ethical leadership (r =
.409, p < .01, N = 28). See Table 3. However, during the regression analysis this
relationship disappeared, most likely due to power.
Overall, the results of the regression analysis reveal that moral identity, ethics
training, ethics feedback, and developmental relationships did not predict ratings of
perceived ethical leadership (F (6, 26) = 1.054, p = .421). See Table 4.
39


Table 4
Summary of Linear Regression Analysis for Variables Predicting Ratings of
Perceived Ethical Leadership
Step 1
Variable B SEB 0
Internalization (N = 39) -.111 .364 -.070
Symbolization (N = 39) -.036 .154 -.055
Ethics Training (N = 39) -.161 .147 -.257
Feedback (N = 38) -.031 .124 .058
Mentor (N = 38) -.018 .123 -.041
Protege (N = 28) .146 .079 .483
I used hierarchical regression to analyze the fifth hypothesis, that the
relationship between skill-based training, performance appraisal feedback,
developmental relationships, and trigger events and the ratings of perceived ethical
leadership would be moderated by self-awareness.
I examined each independent variables interaction effects on ethical
leadership separately. While this method increases the chance of committing a Type I
error, the decreased power as a result of a small sample size required this method of
analysis. The control variables, of gender, age, tenure, and education were not related
to the dependent variable; therefore, these were left out of the analyses to increase
power. Furthermore, to aide in the interpretation of the coefficients for the first order
40


terms in the presence of an interaction, I centered all of the independent variables
when I analyzed the moderator relationship.
The first analysis tested the hypothesis that the relationship between ethics
training and ratings of perceived ethical leadership was moderated by self-awareness
was not supported by the data. See Table 5.
Table 5
Summary of Hierarchical Regression Analysis for the Moderating Effects of Self-
Awareness on Ethics Training (N = 39)
Step 1 Step 2
Variable t(37) 0 t(36)
Ethics Training -.150 -.922 -.763 .451
Interaction*** .347 .731
R2 .022 .026
F .849 .363
AR2 .003
FforAR2 .120
Note: ***Product of centered ethics training and career identity
41


The second analysis tested the hypothesis that the relationship between feedback
and ratings of perceived ethical leadership was moderated by self-awareness was not
supported. See Table 6.
Table 6
Summary of Hierarchical Regression Analysis for the Moderating Effects of Self-
Awareness on Feedback (N = 38)
Step 1 Step 2
Variable 0 t(36) & t(35)
Feedback -.056 -.335 .092 -.220
Interaction*** .093 .413
R2 .003 .008
F .113 .140
AR2 .005
F for AR2 .682
Note: ***Product of centered feedback and career identity
42


The third analysis tested the hypothesis that the relationship between serving as a
mentor and ratings of perceived ethical leadership was moderated by self-awareness
was not supported. See Table 7.
Table 7
Summary of Hierarchical Regression Analysis for the Moderating Effects of Self-
Awareness on Having an Ethical Mentor (N = 38)
Step 1 Step 2
Variable t(36) 0 t(35)
Mentor .178 1.088 .071 1.023
Interaction*** .117 -.366
R2 .032 .035
F 1.183 .531
AR2 .035
F for AR2 .134
Note: ***Product of centered mentor and career identity
43


Finally, the fourth analysis tested the hypothesis that the relationship between
having a protege and ratings of perceived ethical leadership was moderated by self-
awareness was supported (See Table 8). The adjusted R2 = .343 (F (1, 25) = 6.69, p =
.016).
Table 8
Summary of Hierarchical Regression Analysis for the Moderating Effects of Self-
Awareness on Having an Ethical Protege (N = 28)
Step 1 Step 2
Variable 0 t(26) 0 t(25)
Protege .123 2.284* .285 1.688
Interaction*** -.437* -2.587
R2 .167 .343
F 5.215* 6.526**
AR2 .176
F for AR2 6.694*
Note *= p < .05; ** = p <.01, ***Product of centered protege and career identity
44


I conducted a latent content analysis to search for developing themes or
categories in order to evaluate the qualitative responses in regards to the trigger event
questions (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 1998). I used this method because I did not
hypothesize which types of trigger events led to higher ratings of perceived ethical
leadership. Originally the data from the outside of work question fell into fourteen
categories while the data from the on the job question fell into ten categories. Based
on the recommendations of Tahakkori & Teddlie (1989), I condensed the data into
five categories for the outside of work experiences and to six categories for the on
the job experiences.
The following five categories emerged for the data regarding outside of work
experiences: parenting (N = 7), spiritual or personal beliefs (N = 7), volunteering (N
= 2), having to stand up for your beliefs (N = 6), and thinking of others (N = 10). The
parenting category consisted of any responses regarding their own parents influence
on their development or becoming parents themselves. Spiritual or personal beliefs
consisted of responses regarding the role of religion in their lives or personal beliefs
(e.g. knowing right and wrong). Having to stand up for your beliefs consisted of
descriptions of times individuals were placed in a compromising situation and they
had speak up for what they believed was right. Thinking of others consisted of
responses where individuals indicated an interest for helping the greater good over
45


their own interests or in helping individuals who were in bad situations. See Table 9
for examples of quotes in each category.
Table 9
Examples of Responses to the Outside of Work Experiences Trigger Event Question
Category Sample Quote
Parents My father took me to a bank as a child for my first savings account. He was dressed shabbily after doing some laborious work and we were not being helped. My father spoke to the bank president and immediately had his money removed stating that all people regardless of how they look, how much money they had etc should be able to be treated equally and fairly and it appeared that this institution and he were in conflict of that belief so he didn't want to promote the behavior by leaving his money in the institution.
Sprituality/Personal Beliefs My internal compass and spirtual beliefs do.
Volunteering Working as a volunteer in my church group.
Having to stand up for what I am a trustee of a 501-C3 organization to support
you believe the rugby team I played for years ago and which I'm still associated. Players, often time my friends, try to use the tax exempt status of the fund whenever they can to get a tax write off. Many times I will not permit this because it doesn't conform to IRS guidelines even though it would enrich the fund.
Thinking of Others I think doing what is right, treating others the way you want to be treated is a basis. I found a wallet near the Art Musuem with over $275 in it. The drivers license indicated it was a foreign person. I took the wallet over the Police station and left it. I checked back later and the person had gone to the Police station and claim his wallet.
46


The following six categories emerged for the data in response to the on the
job experiences question: reporting unethical behavior (N = 4), experiences not
related to work (N = 3), witnessing unethical behavior (N = 4), other leaders (N = 3),
standing up for your beliefs (N = 6), and thinking of others (N = 17). Reporting
unethical behavior consisted of instances where individuals had to report unethical
acts of other individuals to the applicable authorities. Experiences not related to work
consisted of responses stating that work was not a factor in their development as an
ethical leader. The other leader category consisted of responses where individuals
learned how to deal with tough situations or just how to be a better leader from
following the example of leaders they admired. The definitions for standing up for
your beliefs and thinking of others are the same as the ones used for the outside of
work experiences. See Table 10 for examples of quotes in each category.
47


Table 10
Examples of Responses to the On the Job Work Experiences Trigger Event Question
Category Sample Quote
Reporting Employee Behavior Had to report another employee who was using City resources and time for the benefit of himself and not the organization
Thinking of others/Taking alternative perspectives My position calls for me to make decisions that may not be in the best interest of my agency but in the best interest of the City as a whole. I must remember that my responsibility is to doing the right thing for the city and not building a personal empire.
Witnessing unethical behavior My very first position as a marketing engineer for a major manufacturer my direct supervisor was terminated for provided "financial rewards" to the purchasing agent of our client. Both were terminated.
Other leaders My supervisor was reassigned to a person he did not like and did not agree with. He had 3 choices, l)quit, 2)work with new boss to try to change their relationship and outcomes or 3) work behind the scenes to sabotage all his bosses efforts. He chose #2.
Not Work My father, mother and family values surrounded by my faith impact who I am today. Work has never been my influence between right and wrong.
Stand up for your beliefs My department conducts regular meetings to discuss budget issues and priorities. The first time I spoke up to support projects for my staff, even though it was unpopular with some managers, was a defining moment.
48


There are a few similarities between the experiences reported inside and
outside of work. In both cases, thinking of others was the most common theme found
in answers, 27 out of the 78 responses gathered.
In addition to describing the experience that led to their development as an
ethical leader, the participants were also asked to rate how positive (or negative) the
experience was at the time and then also how positive (or negative) the experience
was looking back on it. Overall, the experiences cited for the on the job events were
positive at the time (M = 3.22) and positive looking back on it (M = 4.16). However,
results of a paired sample t-test indicated that the experiences were significantly
more positive looking back, then at the time they occurred (t (36) = -4.072, p = .000).
Similarly, the experiences cited for the outside of work trigger events were positive
at the time (M = 3.76) and positive looking back on them (M = 4.45). The results of a
paired sample t-test indicated that the experiences were significantly more positive
looking back, then at the time that they occurred (t (32) = -3.377, p = .002).
I also quantified the data, quantizing (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 1998), to perform an
ANOVA to test the fifth hypothesis. The results of an ANOVA analysis revealed that
neither the outside of work experiences or on the job experiences were significantly
related to ratings of perceived ethical leadership.
49


CHAPTER 4
DISCUSSION
Taken together, the quantitative and qualitative data gathered in this study
offer preliminary insight into the development of ethical leadership. The majority of
the results of this study did not support the proposed hypotheses. Results of a power
analysis reveal that this is largely due to small sample size. For a Pearson product
correlation, effect size equals the correlation coefficient (Howell, 2002). Therefore,
the test of the relationship between mentors and ratings of ethical leadership had a
power coefficient of .219. While the power coefficient of the relationship between
proteges and ratings of ethical leadership is .475. This is still weak by most
standards, but it is twice the size of the next highest power coefficient. Thus, lack of
power seems to be the main reason I did not find significant results. The sample size
(N = 39) significantly decreased the power of the statistical tests. To reach a power
coefficient of .80 for the mentor hypothesis I need a sample of 500 managers and 500
subordinates. This may be particularly important in this study since ethical
leadership is a complex construct, where the effect of each development activity on
its emergence is small. Obviously, a larger sample size is needed for further research.
The moral identity factors, internalization and symbolization, were not
correlated with ratings of perceived ethical leadership (See Table 3). Thus, the data
50


did not support the first hypothesis. One possible reason for this is that moral identity
is not a stable trait and thus may become more or less salient in different contexts
(Aquino & Reed, 2002). This is evident in the low reliability of the measure. Aquino
and Reed explained that it might become more or less salient because of the presence
of comparable situational stimuli that make the moral identity more prominent.
Therefore, this suggests that if the work climate does not offer situational stimuli that
encourage ethical behavior, then the self-importance of moral identity will not
present itself at work.
Several scholars have emphasized the importance of climate in predicting
ethical behavior (Trevino, 1986; Dickson et al., 2001). This finding then leads us to
believe that climate is also important to the extent that leaders consider moral
identity important at work. Making moral identity more salient in the work place has
serious implications for encouraging leaders to think of the moral implications of
their actions. This finding is important in that moral identity is related to self-reports
of volunteering behavior and actual donation behavior (Aquino & Reed, 2002). Both
of these activities suggest the presence of altruistic values, one characteristic of
ethical leaders.
I did not find support for the second hypothesis regarding the relationship
between skill-based or behavior-based ethics training and ratings of perceived ethical
leadership. There are several possible reasons this relationship did not emerge. First,
51


there is no other study that the author could find that examined the link between
ethics training and ratings of ethical leadership; therefore, comparing it to similar
studies is not possible. However, previous studies conducted on ethics training have
found that certain types of ethics training are more effective than other types of
training (Weaver, Trevino & Cochran; 1999). Thus, the fact that there was no
relationship found between training and ratings of ethical leadership may be because
the ethics training classes that the participants enrolled in were not effective.
Additional research on ethics training also found that the effects of ethics
training were short lived. Tanner & Cudd (1999) found that participants ethical
standards declined sharply in the four weeks following an ethics class. Thus,
depending on when the participants took their ethics classes, the effects of these
classes may have been short-lived and would not increase their ratings of perceived
ethical leadership.
In addition, several researchers have emphasized the importance that there are
numerous factors that influence the effectiveness of training including trainee and
trainer characteristics, trainee motivation, and organizational climate (Quinones,
1997). Again, researchers need to investigate this in more detail before discounting
the relationship between ethics training and ethical leadership. A final reason that
explains why there was no support for the training hypothesis is that there is a
possibility that the classes that the participants enrolled in did not focus on the same
52


ethical leadership behaviors measured in the study. Thus, this study did not capture
the effects of the training.
The third hypothesis, that receiving feedback that helps leaders act more
ethically, communicate the importance of ethics, reward ethical behavior or have
better awareness of others needs will be positively related to ethical leadership, was
not supported. One possible reason the data did not support this hypothesis was range
restriction. The mean and mode of this variable indicated that the most frequent
response to the questions on feedback was once. Therefore, participants indicated
that over the course of their careers, they received feedback on how to act ethically in
the workplace, how to communicate the importance of ethics in the workplace and
how to reward ethical behavior an average of one time in their career. In contrast, I
am sure that the majority of the leaders surveyed would respond differently when
asked how many times in their career they received feedback on meeting their
budget, increasing revenues or improving customer service.
This finding is in line with the findings of many organizational culture
researchers who found that ethics codes may be important, but if the organization is
not demonstrating and encouraging these behaviors on a daily basis, then the codes
fall by the wayside (Sims & Brinkman, 2003). Nowhere is this more evident than
Enron. The company maintained that it valued honesty and integrity but then the
communication and feedback that the employees received from their leaders revolved
53


around increasing profits at all costs (Sims & Brinkman, 2003). For instance, former
Enron CEO and President Jeffrey Skilling, was described numerous times as only
caring about money. Making big deals, increasing profits, and breaking the rules
were rewarded at the company, while integrity and honesty were only sayings on the
wall (Sims & Brinkman, 2003). Thus, this is a perfect example of where leaders were
not receiving feedback on how to act ethically or on how to encourage others to be
ethical.
While Enron is an extreme example, others have found similar results.
Trevino and her colleagues found that leaders might be ethical people, but unless
they communicate the importance of ethics to their employees, they will not have a
reputation of an ethical leader (2000). If a leader is seen as ethically neutral,
employees assume that anything goes as far as ethics is concerned (2000). Thus, this
finding may explain several things about the relationship between receiving feedback
on ethics and ratings of ethical leadership. While ethics is a hot topic in corporate
circles, it has yet to penetrate the daily workings of organizations. One CEO
interviewed in the Trevino, et al. study stated the following:
We do some good things [turn down unethical business
opportunities, develop people, champion diversity], but compare
the number of times that we recognize those [ethical]
achievements versus how much we recognize financial
achievements its not close. I mean, I cringe ... saying that ...
Im not saying we dont work at these things, but ... the
recognition is still very much on financial performance and ... and
54


its true in almost all organizations ... And thats what wrong.
Thats whats out of kilter. (Trevino, et al, p.133, 2000).
Thus, this finding suggests that as long as leaders are not communicating with
their employees about ethics and rewarding ethical behavior, then ethical leadership
will not help reinforce a culture of ethics in organizations.
The results of a correlation analysis revealed that having an ethical mentor
was not related to ratings of perceived ethical leadership. There are several possible
explanations for this finding. First, the mentoring variable violated two multivariate
assumptions including normality and homogeneity of variances. A reflect and
logarithm transformation was not successful in inducing normality. Combine this
with the low sample size (N = 38) and low power (.22), the chances of finding a
relationship, if one exists, was slim.
Another explanation concerns feedback. Mentoring involves giving proteges
feedback within the business sector. Therefore, having an ethical mentor may not
transfer into higher ratings of ethical leadership, particularly if leaders are
uncomfortable talking about ethics. Furthermore, while leaders may make tough
ethical decisions on a daily basis, their proteges may not have knowledge of the
decisions that they make or the reasons behind them.
The data did offer support for the hypothesis that having an ethical protege
was related to ratings of perceived ethical leadership (r = .409, p < .01) (N = 28). The
55


first explanation for this finding is that individuals serving as mentors develop a
sense of enjoyment from helping their protege and this leads to possession of
altruistic values, which is one characteristic of ethical leadership. This finding also
lends support to the importance of an ethical climate. The presence of individuals
around you who are ethical increases the chances that you will also act ethically.
Robinson and OLeary-Kelly (1998) found that the level of antisocial behavior
displayed by a work group significantly predicted the level of antisocial behavior
displayed by individual members. While these findings were at the group level, it
helps explain the positive relationship found between ethical proteges and ratings of
ethical leadership.
Research conducted by Brass, Butterfield and Skaggs also explains the
positive relationship found between ethical proteges and ratings of perceived ethical
leadership. Brass et al. (1998) focused on the role that social networks play in
unethical behavior. While acting ethically is only one component of being an ethical
leader, we gain valuable insight from their research. They propose that relationships
in social networks are likely to influence attitudes and values, and individuals who
have similar attitudes and values are more likely to form strong relationships (Brass,
et al., 1998). This offers one explanation of the finding that having an ethical protege
relates to higher ratings of perceived ethical leadership. An ethical protege is more
likely to place a high importance on ethics and will seek out ethical mentors.
56


Furthermore,, an e.thical leader may feel more comfortable communicating the
importance of ethics, and rewarding ethical behavior with proteges who have similar
values and who are comfortable talking about values in the workplace. Nevertheless,
identifying ethical individuals within the organizations social network may be
important in cultivating an ethical social network that feeds the organizational culture
and helps individuals, leaders included, to act more ethically on a daily basis.
Even though I found support for the relationship between having an ethical
protege and ratings of perceived ethical leadership, I did not find support between
having an ethical mentor and higher ratings of perceived ethical leadership. One
possible explanation for this finding is that the mentoring relationships reported by
the participants, while ethical, may not have been positive relationships. Eby & Allen
(2002) emphasize that if a protege is not treated with respect, s/he will not benefit
from having a mentor. Furthermore, while mentoring is an important source of
organizational learning, perhaps it is dependent on proteges to choose relevant
organizational learning topics. Thus, proteges who only focus on career development
or improving a specific skill set through interactions with an ethical mentor, may not
be exposed to learning how the mentor makes ethical decisions within the workplace.
Thus, while an individual may have a mentor who they view as ethical, the protege
may not learn how to be ethical themselves if they do not engage their mentors in the
right types of conversations.
57


Overall, the results of the regression analysis reveal that ethics training, ethics
feedback, and developmental relationships are not good predictors of ethical
leadership (F (4,26) = 1.63, p = .202). This could be caused by low sample size
(N=39) or by low statistical power. The measure of perceived ethical leadership may
also not be a good predictor of ethical leadership in organizations. The ramifications
of this are discussed below in the limitations.
I found only partial support for the hypothesis that self-awareness would
moderate the relationship between ratings of perceived ethical leadership and ethics
training, feedback, mentor and protege relationships. The only significant
relationship found in the study was the relationship between having a protege and
ratings of perceived ethical leadership. Likewise, this was the only relationship
moderated by self-awareness.
Thus, if a leader is experiencing an ethical dilemma and their protege helps
them work through the problem, the leader will have self-awareness as to where their
personal ethical strengths and weaknesses influenced their decision-making skills.
This could also work in the opposite way. If a protege has an ethical dilemma s/he is
working through, it may shed light on the leaders own ethical weaknesses upon later
analysis. Possessing self-awareness is necessary to apply the knowledge learned in a
mentoring relationship to increase a leaders display of ethical leadership behavior.
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As explained earlier in regards to social networks within organizations,
ethical individuals may be more aware of their values in the workplace. Thus, these
individuals will feel more comfortable and more likely to reflect on their values in
the workplace (Brass, et al., 1998). Increased sharing of communication leads to high
level of self-awareness (London, 2002), which lead to higher ratings of ethical
leadership.
Having an ethical protege may lead to higher ratings of ethical leadership in
that the protege may cause the leader to reexamine their values or behavior in light of
questions or perspectives raised by proteges. This would cause leaders to have higher
levels of self-awareness. Possessing higher levels of self awareness also increases the
motivation to act morally in some circumstances. If individuals want to appear
ethical, then studies show that increasing self-awareness will increase motivation to
act ethically (Batson & Thompson, 2001). Thus, this would increase the ratings of
perceived ethical leadership.
I did not find statistical support for the final hypothesis. The results of an
ANOVA analysis revealed that neither the outside of work experiences or on the job
experiences were significantly related to ratings of perceived ethical leadership. Low
sample size, which led to the low number of cases in each category, explains why
this finding was not significant. However, the richness that the qualitative responses
add to the study of ethical leadership is still evident. It is curious that most of the
59


categories that emerged from the on the job questions did not match the constructs
examined in this study. Participants did respond that other leaders did lead to their
development as ethical leaders. Examples in this category included modeling leaders
who handled a certain situation well or just general principles they learned from
leaders that they worked with. This category matches the hypothesis that having an
ethical mentor would lead to higher ratings of ethical leadership. However, the
categories that emerged in the data were unique (See Table 9 & 10).
For the on the job experiences, two categories that emerged as having an
impact on the development of ethical leadership were reporting unethical behavior
and witnessing unethical behavior. These findings suggest that trigger events allow
employees to gain valuable lessons. This finding also has implications for the role of
the organization in setting ethical standards. It appears that organizational
communication is important in filtering messages concerning ethical conduct.
It is clear from the qualitative responses that how organizations, leaders, and
peers deal with ethically ambiguous situations sends a strong message to leaders on
where ethics stands in the organization. Furthermore, talking about the situations that
individuals successfully handle outside of the work situation may shed light or give
them confidence to handle tough situations at work.
One important finding from this research is also the amount of ethical
development that occurs outside of the work place. One category that emerged when
60


individuals were asked to describe the on the job experience that was most influential
in developing their ethical leadership, was not work. The responses in this category
stated that parenting, personal beliefs or spirituality influenced their development as
ethical leaders, not work. This finding reiterates the importance of organizations and
organizational leaders in starting the conversation on ethics. Clearly some individuals
do not view ethics as important to the workplace. However, it is imperative that
ethics has an important place in the organization before individuals will feel
comfortable speaking about ethics, acting ethically and becoming ethical leaders.
The responses given to the answer regarding the experience outside of work
that led to the development of ethical leadership also requires careful examination.
There was one category, thinking of others, that emerged in the on the job and
outside of work responses. Experiences listed in this category refer to instances
where individuals had to put others or the organizations interests ahead of their own.
A few responses also consisted of stories of how others misfortunes made them stop
and think about how they could put individuals in a similar situation. For example,
one respondent wrote of an unethical practice by one telephone company to
overcharge customers. This person had to explain to an elderly woman why her
charges were so high, and this encouraged the manager not to place other people in a
similar situation. The prevalence of this category is not surprising given the
definition of ethical leadership used in this study. Several components of that
61


definition, possessing altruistic values, acting fairly and trustworthy and
understanding those with who they work with, revolve around thinking of others.
Given the importance of this construct to developing ethical leaders,
organizations now need to identify how they can facilitate this learning through
planned trigger events. Possible sources of this type of experience may occur through
stakeholder analysis exercises, volunteering opportunities within the surrounding
community (which emerged as a category in the outside of work question) and
exercises surrounding the importance of putting the organizations interests in front
of your own.
The other categories that emerged from the outside of work question include
parenting, and spiritual or personal beliefs. While organizations are not likely to
influence or train these types of experiences, they do suggest that important
development occurs before individuals arrive in organizations, and selection
practices should tap into these areas. Numerous researchers have looked at integrity
as a selection variable. Researchers need to carry on the investigation of this variable
and its relationship to ethical leadership.
The final interesting finding from the qualitative question is that overall, the
experiences cited for the on the job events and outside of work experiences were
positive at the time the event occurred and positive looking back on it. However, the
experiences were significantly more positive looking back, then at the time they
62


occurred. This raises several interesting questions. First, that leadership research
needs to focus more on these positive trigger events because they had a positive
impact on the development of ethical leadership. Furthermore, individual coaching
may help facilitate the lessons learned from these experiences. The findings suggest
that important reflection of these events occurred long after the event was over.
Furthermore, these findings also suggest that individuals reacted positively to
standing up for their beliefs, to reporting unethical behavior and to thinking of others.
These positive feelings could lead to increased self-confidence in handling similar
situations.
Future Research
Several areas need further examination in light of the findings of this study.
Since many of the concepts discussed in this study are in their infancy, researchers
need to further define and validate the constructs and assessments of these constructs
in an ethics light. For instance, extensive research exists on development activities
(McCauley, et al., 1994); however, the questions used in these assessments do not
measure these activities in regards to ethics training or ethics feedback received.
More widely accepted definitions and validated measures in the ethics arena, will
make research in this area more productive.
63


Next, researchers need to examine the link between personality and moral
identity. This research needs to explore the connection between individual
characteristics, such as personality, and the display of ethical leadership. Explaining
the relationship between moral identity and ethical leadership is important given the
findings that moral identity has been linked to self-reported volunteerism and actual
donation behavior (Aquino & Reed, 2002).
There needs to be further research on ethics training. First of all, researchers
need to validate the questions used to measure the development activities, including
the questions regarding ethics training. Given the difficult of conducting research on
ethics training, a validated measure that assesses ethics training is needed.
Researchers also need to identify the specific characteristics of the courses,
the trainers, and the trainees that lead to successful ethics courses. After identifying
these characteristics, then research needs to examine the relationship between ethics
training and ethical leadership.
Given that the hypothesis on having an ethical protege was the only
significant hypothesis, researchers need to investigate the relationship between
ethical proteges and ethical leadership. First, researchers need to identify how the
protege-mentor relationship increases ratings of perceived ethical leadership.
Furthermore, given the findings of Robinson and OLeary-Kelly, researchers need to
apply multi-level research methods to the concept of ethical leadership. What work
64


group characteristics lead to influence ethical leadership? What organizational
characteristics encourage ethical leadership?
The findings from the qualitative responses offer several new areas that
require further research. First, the mention of other leaders being a factor in the
development of ethical leadership means that the mentoring relationship needs to be
investigated in more detail. Why was it listed as an important event, but not
significant in the hypothesis testing. What are the characteristics of the mentors who
did inspire the development of ethical leadership?
Limitations
There are several limitations to this study. Previous research gives an
indication of the reliability and validity of two of the main scales, moral identity and
perceived ethical leadership. However, the scale measuring employee development
activities and career insight do not have reliability and validity data, thus the
psychometrics of these measures is questionable. Furthermore, due to small sample
size, factor analysis was not possible. Thus, even if a hypothesized relationship
exists, due to the poor psychometrics of the scales, the relationships may not have
been detected.
Next, the majority of the participants worked in the public sector. This may
weaken the generalization of the findings to public organizations. This research
65


needs to be replicated with participants in different settings and with a larger sample
size. Despite the limitations of this study, it does offer an initial look at what types of
activities lead to the development of ethical leadership. Studies building off the
suggestions offered here will further the search for ways that organizations can
develop ethical leaders.
66


APPENDIX A
MANAGER SURVEY
67


Please indicate the degree to which the following statements describe you.
To a very little extent Somewhat To a fair extent Quite a bit To a very great extent
I have clear career goals. 1 2 3 4 5
I have realistic career goals. 1 2 3 4 5
I know my strengths (things that I do well). 1 2 3 4 5
I know my weaknesses (things that 1 am not good at). 1 2 3 4 5
I'm always trying to figure myself out. 1 2 3 4 5
I think about myself a lot. 1 2 3 4 5
I often daydream about myself 1 2 3 4 5
I generally pay attention to my inner feelings. 1 2 3 4 5
I'm constantly thinking about my reasons for doing things. 1 2 3 4 5
I sometimes step back (in my mind) in order to examine myself from a distance. 1 2 3 4 5
I'm quick to notice changes in my mood. 1 2 3 4 5
I know the way my mind works when I work through a problem. 1 2 3 4 5
68


Ethical leader: a leader who thinks and acts on behalf of others, acts with integrity,
fairness, and honesty, and communicates the importance of ethics in the workplace.
Recall the single ON-THE-JOB experience that you feel that was most important in
making you an ethical leader, the experience that you feel has had the greatest impact
on the values you hold today. Please describe in as much detail as possible.
1. To what extent do you considered the experience cited to have been positive (and
negative) at the time the event took place
a. Extremely Negative b. Negative c. Neutral d. Positive e. Extremely
Positive
2. Extent to which you considered the experience cited to have been positive (and
negative) looking back on it.
a. Extremely Negative b. Negative c. Neutral d. Positive e. Extremely
Positive
Recall the single experience (outside of work) that you feel that was most important
in making you an ethical leader, the experience that you feel has had the greatest
impact on the values you hold today. Please describe in as much detail as possible.
3. To what extent do you considered the experience cited to have been positive (and
negative) at the time the event took place
69


a. Extremely Negative b. Negative c. Neutral d. Positive e. Extremely
Positive
4. Extent to which you considered the experience cited to have been positive (and
negative) looking back on it.
a. Extremely Negative b. Negative c. Neutral d. Positive e. Extremely
Positive
70


Here is a list of some characteristics that may describe a person: caring,
compassionate, fair, friendly, generous, helpful, hardworking, honest, and kind.
For a moment, visualize in your mind the kind of person who has these
characteristics. Imagine how that person would think, feel, and act. When you have a
clear image of what this person would be like, answer the following questions.
Strongly disagree Disagree Neither agree or disagree Agree Strongly agree
It would make me feel good to be a person who has these characteristics. 1 2 3 4 5
Being someone who has these characteristics is an important part of who I am. 1 2 3 4 5
I would be ashamed to be a person who has these characteristics. 1 2 3 4 5
Having these characteristics is not really important to me. 1 2 3 4 5
I strongly desire to have these characteristics. 1 2 3 4 5
I often wear clothes that identify me as having these characteristics. 1 2 3 4 5
The types of things I do in my spare time (e.g. hobbies) clearly identify me as having these characteristics. 1 2 3 4 5
The kinds of books and magazines that I read identify me as having these characteristics. 1 2 3 4 5
The fact that I have these characteristics is communicated to others by my membership in certain organizations. 1 2 3 4 5
I am actively involved in activities that communicate to others that I have these characteristics. 1 2 3 4 5
71


1. How many times in your career have you participated in training focusing on
raising your self-awareness?
A. 4 or more times C. 1 time
B. 2-3 times D. Never
2. To what extent were you able to practice the techniques that you learned once you
returned to work?
A. Not at all D. Quite a lot
B. A little E. To great extent
C. Moderate F. NA
3. What was the average length of each session (in days)?_____________________
4. How many times in your career have you participated in training focusing on
avoiding ethical violations in the workplace?
A. 4 or more times C. 1 time
B. 2-3 times D. Never
5. To what extent were you able to practice the techniques that you learned once you
returned to work?
A. Not at all D. Quite a lot
B. A little E. To great extent
C. Moderate F. NA
6. What was the average length of each session (in days)?_____________________
7. How many times in your career have you participated in training focusing on
avoiding ethical violations in the workplace?
A. 4 or more times C. 1 time
B. 2-3 times D. Never
72


8.
To what extent were you able to practice the techniques that you learned once you
returned to work?
A. Not at all
E. To great extent
B. A little
F. NA
C. Moderate
D. Quite a lot
9. What was the average length of each session (in days)?
10. How many times in your career have you participated in training focusing on
rewarding ethical behavior in the workplace?
A. 4 or more times C. 1 time
B. 2-3 times
D. Never
11. To what extent were you able to practice the techniques that you learned once you
returned to work?
A. Not at all D. Quite a lot
B. A little E. To great extent
C. Moderate F. NA
12. What was the average length of each session (in days)?__________________
13. How many times in your career have you received feedback about acting ethically
in the workplace?
A. 4 or more times C. 1 time
B. 2-3 times D. Never
14. How many times in your career have you received feedback about communicating
the importance of ethics? A. 4 or more times C. 1 time
B. 2-3 times D. Never
73


15. How many times have you received feedback regarding the importance of
increasing your self-awareness? (This includes any feedback you have received on
ways to increase your self-awareness.)
A. 4 or more times C. 1 time
B. 2-3 times D. Never
16. How many times have you received feedback about how to reward ethical
behavior at work, including how much time/energy/resources you should direct
toward this?
A. 4 or more times
B. 2-3 times
C. 1 time
D. Never
74


A mentor is generally defined as a higher-ranking, influential individual in your
work environment who has advanced experience and knowledge and is committed to
providing upward mobility and support in your career. An ethical person is said to
be someone who thinks and acts on behalf of others, acts with integrity, fairness, and
honesty, and communicates the importance of ethics in the workplace.
A protege is generally defined as a lower-ranking individual in your work
environment who has less experience and knowledge and who looks to you to
provide upward mobility and support in his/her career. Your protege may or may not
be one of your direct reports. An ethical person is said to be someone who thinks
and acts on behalf of others, acts with integrity, fairness, and honesty, and
communicates the importance of ethics in the workplace.
1. Using these definitions, how many mentors have you had dining your career who
you would describe as ethical?
a. 4 or more b. 2-3 c. One d. Zero
2. Using these definitions, how many mentors have you had during your career who
you would describe as ethical?
a. 4 or more b. 2-3 c. One d. Zero
Demographics:
Gender M F
Age & years of education (12=high school, 16=undergraduate, 18=master's,
20+=doctorate)_________________
How long have you worked with your current employer (in years)?______________
Does your organization have an ethics code? YES NO NA
Does this ethics code motivate you to be an ethical leader? YES NO NA
What agency/department and division do you work in?_______________________
Identification Code (your birthday & mother's maiden name, ex: 05/10/Shaver). This
code is only used to link your survey with your subordinates' surveys.
75


APPENDIX B
SUBORDINATE SURVEY
76


Direct Report Questionnaire
This study is being conducted by Wendy OConnell, a graduate student at the
University of Colorado at Denver, under the direction of Dr. Annette Towler,
Assistant Professor of Psychology (303-352-2656). The survey should take
approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. All data will be aggregated and no
individual respondents or organizations will be identified. Therefore, your individual
responses will be completely anonymous. Participation is voluntary, and refusal to
participate or withdrawal from the study will present no penalty.
If you have any questions about the project or would like a summary of the
results, please contact Wendy OConnell (wkoconne@ouray.cudenver.edu), and if
you have any questions concerning your right as a research subject, please contact the
CU-Denver Office of Academic Affairs, CU-Denver Building, Suite 700 at 303-556-
4060. Please return the completed surveys to Jim Nimmer at Career Service
Authority by Monday, May 17lh. Thank you for your time and feedback!
Individuals have different definitions of ethics. For the purpose of this survey, ethical
conduct includes: acting with integrity, honesty, trustworthiness and fairness,
applying virtues when making decisions, considering the impact that decisions will
have on those around you and encouraging others to do the same, rewarding ethical
behavior, and reprimanding unethical behavior.
This questionnaire is about the work supervisor who sent this survey to you. For each
statement on the next page, please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree.
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My Supervisor: Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree Nor Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
Educates me on how to act ethically. 1 2 3 4 5
Goes beyond his/her self-interest for the good of the group. 1 2 3 4 5
Acts in ways that build my trust. 1 2 3 4 5
Is honest. 1 2 3 4 5
Has explained to our work unit what his/her ethical expectations are of us. 1 2 3 4 5
Has discussed with us the formal procedure for disciplining employees who act unethically. 1 2 3 4 5
Considers the impact of his/her actions on parties inside and outside the company. 1 2 3 4 5
Talks optimistically about the future. 1 2 3 4 5
Instills pride in being associated with him/her. 1 2 3 4 5
Helps me develop ethical decision making skills. 1 2 3 4 5
Never pressures me to act unethically. 1 2 3 4 5
Emphasizes the importance of having a collective mission. 1 2 3 4 5
Expresses confidence that goals would be achieved. ' 1 2 3 4 5
Disciplines employees fairly. 1 2 3 4 5
Reports unethical behavior to the appropriate parties. 1 2 3 4 5
Rewards employees fairly. 1 2 3 4 5
Is Ethical. 1 2 3 4 5
Talks about important values and beliefs. 1 2 3 4 5
Articulates a compelling vision of the future. 1 2 3 4 5
Talks enthusiastically about what needs to be accomplished. 1 2 3 4 5
Rewards staff for considering ethical implications when pursuing department goals and objectives. 1 2 3 4 5
Reprimands employees for unethical behavior. 1 2 3 4 5
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My Supervisor: Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree Nor Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
Rewards employees for ethical behavior.
Encourages me to report unethical behavior.
Is perceived as an ethical leader.
Would support me if I challenged unfair company policies.
Has explained the recourse available if I question the ethical behavior of others.
Reprimands employees who are dishonest.
Takes action to stop unfair treatment of others.
Displays a sense of power and confidence.
Considers the moral and ethical consequences of his/her decisions.
Specifies the importance of having a strong sense of purpose.
What division within your agency/department do you work in?
What agency or department do you work in?
Please enter the code that your supervisor gave you:
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