Even though books and articles in the popular business press consider leader integrity an essential quality of effective leaders, business research has yet to establish firmly the nature of leader integrity and its causes and effects. One reason why integrity research may still be in its early stages is the failure of the literature to describe leader integrity fully and to use such descriptions to develop construct valid measures. Drawing on implicit leadership theory, which states that followers categorize leaders based on multiple traits, attributes and past experiences, this article argues for a multidimensional approach to a leader integrity definition and measurement. The article offers two proof-of-concept tests of how followers may make attributions of leader integrity. Results support two hypotheses suggesting that when making attributions of leader integrity followers use complex information that comes from diverse sources and the information may include judgements of both the moral values of leaders and whether the leader espouses and enacts these values consistently.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Strategy and Management