Tango in the Dark: The Interplay of Leaderâ€™s and Followerâ€™s Level of Self-Construal and its Impact on Ethical Leadership
AbstractIn line with romantic views on leadership, leaders are traditionally held responsible for any kind of ethical misconduct in organizations. Through explicating the influence of followers on their leaders' (unethical) decision-making, we aim to add some nuances to this view with the present chapter. To begin with, we suggest that people generally regard leadership as ethical when the leader takes the collective into account, while only focusing on own gains is largely regarded as unethical. We then posit that the degree to which leaders' decisions are directed towards the one versus the other outcome depends on the leadersâ€™ level of self-construal, that is, the way how they see themselves in relation to others. Looking at leader's ethical decision making through this lens suggests that it is open to external influence, in that leadersâ€™ self-construal is susceptible to external cues. In particular, followers form an important part of such external cues for a leader's level of self-construal. We thus suggest various mechanisms via which followers indirectly influence their leaders' ethical decision making. In sum, we put forward a model in which we show how leaders and followers reciprocally affect their level of self-construal and thus ultimately the degree to which ethical leadership is enacted.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam. in its series Research Paper with number ERS-2011-005-ORG.
Date of creation: 04 Mar 2011
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leadership; followers; ethical leadership;
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