Wednesday, 25 January 2017

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

an article by Brian J. Galli (Long Island University, Brookville, New York, USA), Francisco J. Santos Arteaga (Free University of Bolzano, Italy; Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain), Debora Di Caprio (York University, Toronto, Canada; Polo Tecnologico IISS G. Galilei, Bolzano, Italy) and Dennis T. Kennedy (La Salle University, Philadelphia, USA) published in International Journal of Management and Decision Making Volume 15 Number 3/4 (2016)


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.

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