Followers' moral judgments and leaders' integrity-based transgressions: A synthesis of literatures
Abstract This paper reviews the state of knowledge about integrity-based transgressions with an emphasis on the leader-follower relationship. Our review highlighted many important contributions of this literature, but, it revealed several limitations that should be addressed within a followership paradigm. We then synthesized the integrity and trust literatures with a targeted review of moral experimental philosophy. Cushman's (2008) dual process model suggests that because followers simultaneously assess leaders' intentions and their causal nexus with negative outcomes, they might judge behavioral and moral integrity transgressions in different ways. Judgments of moral condemnation should primarily be a function of perceived intent while blame and punishment of the leader based on behavior should be jointly affected by cause and intent. This moral assessment is expected to influence followers' trust through its effect on moral identity. A framework is offered for guiding future studies of followers' interpretations of leaders' integrity-based transgressions.