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The Perceptions of Ethical and Sustainable Leadership


Sustainable and ethical leadership in the financial industry expand in importance since the financial crisis of 2007–2009. This research examined the level of sustainable and ethical leadership of leaders in mortgage loan originator (MLO) organizations, as perceived by loan originators. The Perceived Leadership Survey (PLIS) developed by Craig and Gustafson (Leadersh Q 9(2):127–145, 1998) and the Sustainable Leadership Questionnaire (SLQ) developed by McCann and Holt (Int J Sustain Strat Manage 2(2):204–210, 2011) were utilized for this research. The survey results yielded high levels of both ethical and sustainable leadership. Employees also felt their leadership was encouraging ethical and sustainable behavior. However, correlations between the PLIS and SLQ did not prove to be dependent or closely correlated.

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  1. 1.

    Definition of mortgage loan originator (MLO): The MLO works at an originating organization, such as a licensed mortgage bank or registered mortgage broker. The MLO takes a residential mortgage loan application or offer and negotiates terms for such a loan in exchange for compensation or gain.



Perceived Leadership Integrity Scale


Sustainable Leadership Integrity Scale


Mortgage loan originator


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Correspondence to Jack McCann.

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McCann, J., Sweet, M. The Perceptions of Ethical and Sustainable Leadership. J Bus Ethics 121, 373–383 (2014).

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  • Leadership
  • Sustainable leadership
  • Ethical leadership
  • Financial industry
  • Financial crisis
  • Mortgage loan originators