Ethical Leadership Evaluations After Moral Transgression: Social Distance Makes the Difference

Published on Apr 1, 2011in Journal of Business Ethics
· DOI :10.1007/s10551-010-0671-2
Andranik Tumasjan14
Estimated H-index: 14
(TUM: Technische Universität München),
Maria Strobel8
Estimated H-index: 8
(TUM: Technische Universität München),
Isabell M. Welpe22
Estimated H-index: 22
(TUM: Technische Universität München)
In light of continuing corporate scandals, the study of ethical leadership remains an important area of research which helps to understand the antecedents and consequences of ethical behavior in organizations. The present study investigates how social distance influences ethical leadership evaluations, and how in turn ethical leadership evaluations affect leader–member exchange (LMX) after a leader’s moral transgression. Based on construal level theory, we propose that higher social distance will lead to more severe evaluations of immoral behavior and therefore entail lower ethical leadership ratings. More- over, we hypothesize that ethical leadership will positively affect LMX. Participants read a scenario describing a moral situation in which a leader, who was presented in either high or low social distance, behaves unethically toward an employee. We tested our predictions using a structural equation modeling approach. As expected, participants in the high social distance condition judged leaders more harshly (i.e., they gave lower ethical leadership ratings) than in the low social distance condition. Thus, social distance moderated the extent to which leaders are perceived as ethical leaders after moral transgression. Moreover, in accordance with our proposition, ethical leadership ratings had a positive influence on LMX.
  • References (50)
  • Citations (44)
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
1,763 Citations
1,364 Citations
697 Citations
78% of Scinapse members use related papers. After signing in, all features are FREE.
#1Gary A. Ballinger (UVA: University of Virginia)H-Index: 9
#2David W. Lehman (NUS: National University of Singapore)H-Index: 8
Last. F. David Schoorman (SPbU: Saint Petersburg State University)H-Index: 22
view all 3 authors...
We conducted two studies that investigated the role of leadership succession as a moderator of the relationship between LMX and turnover in organizations. In a sample of 330 employees in 45 veterinary hospitals, high-LMX employees were less likely to leave the organization prior to a succession event but in nine hospitals that experienced a succession event, high-LMX employees were more likely to leave than low-LMX employees following the event. In the second study, we used a between subjects re...
54 CitationsSource
Lindell and Whitney introduced a partial correlation technique, now referred to as the correlational marker technique, for controlling method variance using a marker variable that is theoretically unrelated to substantive variables in a study. This article (a) first reviews their specific analysis plan, and then (b) reviews empirical studies that have followed all or part of this plan. The authors also (c) describe a structural equation method that has been applied to the analysis of marker vari...
412 CitationsSource
#1Diana Rus (EUR: Erasmus University Rotterdam)H-Index: 6
#2Knippenberg van D (EUR: Erasmus University Rotterdam)H-Index: 64
Last. Barbara Wisse (UG: University of Groningen)H-Index: 18
view all 3 authors...
Abstract The present research investigated the relationship between leader self-definition processes and leader self-serving behaviors. We hypothesized that self-definition as a leader interacts with social reference information (descriptive and injunctive) in predicting leader self-serving actions. Six studies (i.e., two laboratory experiments, two scenario experiments, and two cross-sectional surveys) showed that self-definition as a leader affected the extent to which leader resource self-all...
35 CitationsSource
#1Yaacov Trope (NYU: New York University)H-Index: 67
#2Nira Liberman (TAU: Tel Aviv University)H-Index: 48
People are capable of thinking about the future, the past, remote locations, another person’s perspective, and counterfactual alternatives. Without denying the uniqueness of each process, it is proposed that they constitute different forms of traversing psychological distance. Psychological distance is egocentric: Its reference point is the self in the here and now, and the different ways in which an object might be removed from that point—in time, in space, in social distance, and in hypothetic...
1,884 CitationsSource
#1Jens Agerström (Lund University)H-Index: 13
#2Fredrik Björklund (Lund University)H-Index: 20
Last. Carl Martin Allwood (Lund University)H-Index: 23
view all 3 authors...
The primary goal of this study was to examine whether changes in the temporal distance of a moral dilemma affect how it is perceived and subsequently resolved. Based on Construal Level Theory (Trope & Liberman, 2003), it was predicted that the relative weight of abstract justice features should increase and the relative weight of concrete care features should decrease with temporal distance. The results showed that females became increasingly justice-oriented with greater temporal distance. Howe...
13 CitationsSource
#1Angela Y. Lee (NU: Northwestern University)H-Index: 29
#2Punam Anand Keller (Dartmouth College)H-Index: 21
Last. Brian Sternthal (NU: Northwestern University)H-Index: 36
view all 3 authors...
This research investigates the relationship between regulatory focus and construal level. The findings indicate that promotion-focused individuals are more likely to construe information at abstract, high levels, whereas those with a prevention focus are more likely to construe information at concrete, low levels (experiments 1 and 2). Further, such fit (vs. nonfit) between an individual's regulatory focus and the construal level at which information is represented leads to more favorable attitu...
245 CitationsSource
#1Niels Van Quaquebeke (EUR: Erasmus University Rotterdam)H-Index: 19
#2Rudolf Kerschreiter (EUR: Erasmus University Rotterdam)H-Index: 14
Last. Rolf van Dick (EUR: Erasmus University Rotterdam)H-Index: 47
view all 4 authors...
Ideals (or ideal values) help people to navigate in social life. They indicate at a very fundamental level what people are concerned about, what they strive for, and what they want to be affiliated with. Transferring this to a leader-follower analysis, our first Study (N = 306) confirms that followers’ identification and satisfaction with their leaders are stronger, the more leaders match followers’ ideal leader values. Study 2 (N = 244) extends the perspective by introducing the novel concept o...
27 CitationsSource
#1Hettie A. Richardson (LSU: Louisiana State University)H-Index: 10
#2Marcia J. SimmeringH-Index: 11
Last. Michael C. SturmanH-Index: 21
view all 3 authors...
Many researchers who use same-source data face concerns about common method variance (CMV). Although post hoc statistical detection and correction techniques for CMV have been proposed, there is a lack of empirical evidence regarding their efficacy. Because of disagreement among scholars regarding the likelihood and nature of CMV in self-report data, the current study evaluates three post hoc strategies and the strategy of doing nothing within three sets of assumptions about CMV: that CMV does n...
600 CitationsSource
he present research examines the impact of temporal distance on moral concerns in situations where selfish motives clash with altruistic considerations. Drawing upon Construal Level Theory (Trope & Liberman, 2003) which posits that abstract, high-level features of events and social values take on more weight with greater temporal distance, we hypothesized that moral concerns should be higher for temporally distant situations. The results from five experiments supported this conjecture. People in...
68 CitationsSource
Ziel des vorliegenden Beitrages ist, die Gutekriterien eines Instruments zur Erfassung von ethischer Fuhrung zu uberprufen. Ausgangspunkt war die Ubersetzung der Ethical Leadership Scale von Brown, Trevino und Harrison (2005) ins Deutsche (ELS-D). Anschliesend wurde anhand dreier Stichproben (N1 = 100, N2 = 119, N3 = 507) die faktorielle Binnenstruktur des Instrumentes uberpruft. Es ergaben sich zwei Faktoren (ethische Mitarbeiterfuhrung und ethisches Rollenmodell). Es zeigten sich konvergente V...
22 CitationsSource
Cited By44
This study aims to construct and empirically test a theoretical model of a mediated relationship between ethical leadership and organizational cynicism.,From a communication perspective, this study examines the underlying mechanism of the association between ethical leadership and organizational cynicism. A cross-sectional survey was sent to participants in different occupations. Path analysis was used to test the overall model fit.,The results indicate that ethical leadership has both a direct ...
The purpose of this study is to examine the possibility of adverse consequences regarding the recently enacted Dodd–Frank Act (DFA) pay-equity disclosure requirement in the USA, which will likely lead to lower levels of perceived Chief Executive Officer (CEO) pay fairness by subordinates. Specifically, the study examines whether the pay-equity disclosure leads to increased earnings management when business-unit managers have friendship ties with the CEO.,An experiment is conducted wherein partic...
Previous studies have not integrated the impact of the area of study into the notion of employee engagement. The purpose of this study is to empirically measure the association between employee engagement and the two antecedent factors of perceived organizational support (POS) and employee loyalty across different areas of study.,A nationally representative survey of 2,408 adults in the USA collected by the worker representation and participation survey (WRPS) was used. A multinomial logit regre...
1 CitationsSource
#1Ann C. Peng (MU: University of Missouri)
#2Dongkyu Kim (UdeM: Université de Montréal)
#1Olga Epitropaki (Durham University)H-Index: 20
#2Ana B. Radulovic (Singidunum University)
Last. Robin Martin (University of Manchester)H-Index: 31
view all 5 authors...
Abstract A growing body of literature has focused on transgressions in the workplace and more recently, with respect to leader-follower relationships. Despite the important implications of leader and follower transgressions and relationship repair for work outcomes, there has not been a systematic review that examines the broad spectrum of leader and follower transgressions and most importantly adopts a dynamic relational process perspective. We view transgressions as key events in leader-follow...
1 CitationsSource
#1Widya Paramita (UNSW: University of New South Wales)H-Index: 2
#2Felix Septianto (University of Auckland)H-Index: 4
view all 5 authors...
Abstract Despite the tremendous growth of Airbnb, various media have reported ethical misconduct occurring within the Airbnb context by both hosts and users. The current research seeks to examine the interactive effects of power (high vs. low) and psychological distance (close vs. distant) to explain individual tolerance of unethical behavior across two experimental studies for the case of Airbnb. Specifically, we propose that when an individual (i.e., an Airbnb host or user) feels powerless (vs...
The purpose of this paper is to understand challenges facing organizations in the twenty-first century and address these challenges through suggesting future leadership development based on relevant leadership theories, which would motivate and guide future research directions in a streamlined manner.,The present study adopted the exploratory literature review, using the integrative method, to review the theoretical and empirical literature on leadership development published since the 2000s, pr...
1 CitationsSource
#1Diego Costa PintoH-Index: 5
#2Adilson Borges (NEOMA Business School)H-Index: 12
Last. Mário B. Ferreira (University of Lisbon)H-Index: 11
view all 4 authors...
Business ethics research has long been interested in understanding the conditions under which ethical consumption is consistent versus context-dependent. Extant research suggests that many consumers fail to make consistent ethical consumption decisions and tend to engage in ethical decisions associated with ingroup (vs. outgroup) identity cues. To fill this gap, four experiments examine how construal levels moderate the influence of ingroup versus outgroup identity cues in ethical consumption. T...
#1Jarrod M. Haar (AUT: Auckland University of Technology)H-Index: 19
#2Maree Roche (University of Waikato)H-Index: 9
Last. David Brougham (Massey University)H-Index: 5
view all 3 authors...
The need for ethical leadership in navigating today’s complex, global and competitive organisations has been established. While research has confirmed the importance of ethical leaders in promoting positive organisational and employee outcomes, scant research has examined the antecedents of ethical leadership. Furthermore, there has been a call for further examination of leadership models, particularly indigenous leadership models. Responding to these issues, this study suggests Māori leaders’ v...
3 CitationsSource
The purpose of this paper is to examine the impacts of companies’ voluntary adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as well as the readability of privacy statements on US customers’ intention to disclose information and their trust in a company.,Building on the construal level theory and psychological distance, the authors conduct a 2 × 2 + 2 between-participants experiment with 255 participants.,The findings show that a company’s voluntary adoption of the GDPR has positive eff...