Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 63, Issue 4, pp 345–359 | Cite as

A Cross-Cultural Examination of the Endorsement of Ethical Leadership

  • Christian J. ResickEmail author
  • Paul J. Hanges
  • Marcus W. Dickson
  • Jacqueline K. Mitchelson


The western-based leadership and ethics literatures were reviewed to identify the key characteristics that conceptually define what it means to be an ethical leader. Data from the Global Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness (GLOBE) project were then used to analyze the degree to which four aspects of ethical leadership – Character/Integrity, Altruism, Collective Motivation, and Encouragement – were endorsed as important for effective leadership across cultures. First, using multi-group confirmatory factor analyses measurement equivalence of the ethical leadership scales was found, which provides indication that the four dimensions have similar meaning across cultures. Then, using analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests each of the four dimensions were found to be universally endorsed as important for effective leadership. However, cultures also varied significantly in the degree of endorsement for each dimension. In the increasingly global business environment, these findings have implications for organizations implementing ethics programs across cultures and preparing leaders for expatriate assignments.

Key words

cross-culture studies ethical leadership leadership 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian J. Resick
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul J. Hanges
    • 2
  • Marcus W. Dickson
    • 3
  • Jacqueline K. Mitchelson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkU.S.A.
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyWayne State UniversityDetroitU.S.A.

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