Organizational stakeholders place great importance on leaders’ integrity, which, current theory indicates is a multidimensional construct. Drawing from leadership categorization theory and multidimensional leadership perspective, this research offered novel tests of the independent and interactive effects of a leaders’ behavioral consistency (the alignment between a leader’s words and actions) and moral integrity (doing right and not doing wrong) using experimental methods. The results of the 2x3x3 between-subjects (N = 781) factorial design reveal the moderate-strong magnitude of the effects of leader integrity on followers’ evaluations, and indicate the two dimensions of leader integrity—behavioral consistency and moral integrity—interact in fascinating ways. Results also indicate gender and leader integrity interact. Implications include support for a multidimensional view of leader integrity, but reveal nuances in this theoretical perspective, emphasizing the value of both avoiding low integrity and striving for high integrity, and a caution on the importance of gender in considering leaders' integrity.
Thomas, Benjamin J.
"Integrity according to Whom? An Experiment of the Effects of Gender, Moral
Integrity, and Behavioral Consistency on Evaluations of Leaders,"
Organization Management Journal: Vol. 16:
3, Article 6.
Available at: https://scholarship.shu.edu/omj/vol16/iss3/6