On The Psychology of Displaying Ethical Leadership. A Behavioral Ethics Approach

Niek Hoogervorst
  • Speaker
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University Rotterdam

Event Information

PhD Defence
Business-Society Management
Fri. 23 Sep. 2011
13:30-15:00 hours
Senate Hall, Woudestein Campus


Given the abundance of ethical scandals in businesses, sports, governments and religious organizations, it should come as no surprise that social scientists have increasingly put ethical leadership on the forefront of their research agenda. However, the literature on ethical leadership has primarily taken a normative approach, suggesting what leaders should do. This approach does not help in explaining why leaders sometimes deviate from such moral standards. In fact, little empirical work has been conducted on the question of when or why leaders actually engage in (un)ethical behavior (a behavioral ethics approach).
The research presented in this dissertation aims to take a first step in filling this gap in the literature by identifying and examining antecedents of several ethical leader behaviors. I aim to answer important empirical questions such as: When do leaders go beyond their self-interest? When do leaders treat their followers in a fair manner? And, do leaders consistently take action against unethical followers, or do they sometimes condone unethical follower behavior? In answering such questions, I will show that aspects of leaders themselves (motives and dispositions), aspects of their followers (motives and actions) and aspects of the environment in which leaders operate interact in determining whether leaders engage in ethical leader behaviors or not.
Contact information:
Marisa van Iperen
David De Cremer
David De Cremer
Professor of Behavioral Business Ethics
  • Promotor
Eric van Dijk
Eric van Dijk
  • Member Doctoral Committee
Lucas Meijs
Professor of Volunteering, Civil Society and Businesses and Professor of Strategic Philanthropy
  • Member Doctoral Committee
Jeroen Stouten
Jeroen Stouten
  • Member Doctoral Committee
Marius van Dijke
Endowed Professor in Behavioral Ethics
  • Daily Supervisor
Marisa van Iperen
Marisa van Iperen
  • Coordinator