Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 102, Issue 1, pp 119–133 | Cite as

The Sound of Silence – A Space for Morality? The Role of Solitude for Ethical Decision Making

  • Kleio AkrivouEmail author
  • Dimitrios Bourantas
  • Shenjiang Mo
  • Evi Papalois


Building on research and measures on solitude, ethical leadership theories, and decision making literatures, we propose a conceptual model to better understand processes enabling ethical leadership neglected in the literature. The role of solitude as antecedent is explored in this model, whereby its selective utilization focuses inner directionality toward growing authentic executive awareness as a moral person and a moral manager and allows an integration between inner and outer directionality toward ethical leadership and resulting decision-making processes that will have an impact on others’ perceptions of leader authentic ethical leadership. Thus it is proposed that utilization of solitude positively predicts executive-level authentic ethical leadership action and in turn, ethical decision making perceived fairness and integrity. We also propose two moderators, strengthening the hypothesized (positive) association between solitude and ethical leadership; these are the executive’s ability for moral reasoning and a motivation for socialized (as opposed to personalized) power.


ethical leadership solitude business ethics ethical decision making 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kleio Akrivou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dimitrios Bourantas
    • 2
  • Shenjiang Mo
    • 1
    • 3
  • Evi Papalois
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Organizational Behaviour, Henley Business School, School of ManagementUniversity of ReadingReadingU.K.
  2. 2.Department of Management Science and TechnologyAthens University of Economics and BusinessAthensGreece
  3. 3.School of ManagementZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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