Ethical Leadership with Both “Moral Person” and “Moral Manager” Aspects: Scale Development and Cross-Cultural Validation

Weichun Zhu, Xiaoming Zheng, Hongwei He, Gang Wang, Xi Zhang

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Abstract

The importance of ethical leadership in organizations has been increasingly recognized, especially as a shield against unethical employee behaviors and corporate misconducts. Ethical leadership has been theorized to include two aspects: “moral person” and “moral manager.” This conceptualization resonates well with Chinese teachings of Confucius on leadership and management—namely xiuji (cultivating oneself) and anren (bringing the good to others). Based on the theoretical framework of ethical leadership, we develop and validate a new ethical leadership measure (ELM). Through qualitative studies (i.e., face-to-face interviews, open-ended surveys, and literature review) and five quantitative studies, we establish the reliability and convergent, discriminant, and predictive validities of the ELM in a Chinese context. In addition, using a US sample, we find that the ELM has partial measurement invariance across Chinese and American contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Volume158
Issue number0
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • Ethical leadership
  • Ethical leadership measure
  • Moral manager
  • Moral person
  • Xiuji–anren

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