Ethics and Responsibility in Leadership

“Divorced from ethics, leadership is reduced to management and politics to mere technique.”
James MacGregor Burns

What is the meaning of ethical and moral principles for leadership? In many cases, morals and values guide leadership behavior. They influence the means and goals of leadership – for better or worse. Therefore, it is important to understand how ethical principles affect the leadership process.

Against this background, our research in this field is concerned with the determinants, mechanisms, and effects of ethical and unethical (or destructive) leadership. What concrete behaviors do (un)ethical leaders show? What individual and situational conditions shape these behaviors? How and why do followers perceive their leaders as (un)ethical and what does this mean with regard to ethical leadership development? How does (un)ethical leadership affect followers with regard to their values, behaviors, wellbeing, and performance? 

Dr. Martin Fladerer

Projects & Research Groups
Does the Place Make the People?

Key Publications

Braun, S., & Peus, C. (2018). Crossover of Work–Life Balance Perceptions: Does Authentic Leadership Matter? Journal of Business Ethics, 149(4), 875-893.

Egorov, M., Kalshoven, K., Pircher Verdorfer, A., & Peus, C. (2020). It’s a Match: Moralization and the Effects of Moral Foundations Congruence on Ethical and Unethical Leadership Perception. Journal of Business Ethics, 167(4), 707–723.

Pircher Verdorfer, A., Fladerer, M., & Zwarg, C. (2021). Moral Emotion and Intuition in Organizations. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Business and Management. Oxford University Press.

Salem, M., Van Quaquebeke, N., & Besiou, M. (2020). Adaptability in Humanitarian Operations: Role of Prosocial Motivation and Authoritarian Leadership. In Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 2020, No. 1, p. 18889). Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510: Academy of Management.

Salem, M., Van Quaquebeke, N., Besiou, M., & Meyer, L. (2019). Intergroup leadership: How leaders can enhance performance of humanitarian operations. Production and Operations Management28(11), 2877-2897.

Salem, M., Van Quaquebeke, N., & Besiou, M. (2018). How field office leaders drive learning and creativity in humanitarian aid: Exploring the role of boundary‐spanning leadership for expatriate and local aid worker collaboration. Journal of Organizational Behavior39(5), 594-611.

Schmid, E. A., Pircher Verdorfer, A., & Peus, C. (2019). Shedding light on leaders’ self-interest: Theory and measurement of exploitative leadership. Journal of Management, 45(4), 1401–1433.