Title: Do ethical leaders exist? A unified theoretical framework to identify and evaluate them

Authors: Brian J. Galli; Francisco J. Santos Arteaga; Debora Di Caprio; Dennis T. Kennedy

Addresses: School of Computer Science, Innovation and Management Engineering, Long Island University, Brookville, New York, USA ' School of Economics and Management, Free University of Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy; Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain ' Department of Mathematics and Statistics, York University, Toronto, M3J 1P3, Canada; Polo Tecnologico IISS G. Galilei, Via Cadorna 14, 39100, Bolzano, Italy ' Business Systems and Analytics Department, La Salle University, Philadelphia, PA 19141, USA

Abstract: The literature has consistently verified the strong relationship existing between ethics and leadership. At the same time, it has also developed several differing views regarding the main attributes determining what constitutes an ethical leader. Critics of ethical leadership theory emphasise the lack of shared focus amongst existing researchers on the subject. Such a drawback complicates substantially the identification of the main factors required to demonstrate effective ethical leadership. This paper aims at identifying the main nexus areas arising across the existing body of research so that the main factors constituting the concept of ethical leadership can be identified. Besides identifying the uniform set of guidelines and principles defining ethical leadership, we will discuss whether or not it can be learned while also describing the key capacities required from a leader in order to develop it. Finally, the main strengths and limitations of ethical leadership theory will be analysed.

Keywords: leadership ethics; change management; ethical leadership theory; organisational development; ethical leaders.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMDM.2016.080705

International Journal of Management and Decision Making, 2016 Vol.15 No.3/4, pp.277 - 307

Available online: 28 Nov 2016 *

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