Bottom line mentality, ethical leadership, stress
The goal of the presented research is to explain the importance of integrating the literatures on leader bottom-line mentality (BLM) and behavioral ethics and to demonstrate that leader BLM can adversely impact followers' perceptions of ethical leadership. By doing so, several contributions can be made. First, I identify an antecedent of ethical leadership. Predominantly, most ethical leadership research has focused on identifying its outcomes (Brown & Mitchell, 2010). Second, I will offer new theoretical insights regarding the antecedents of ethical leadership. Past ethical leadership research has primarily relied on social exchange (Blau, 1964; Gouldner, 1960) and social cognitive (Bandura, 1977, 1986) theories, whereas I will draw on trait activation and cognitive stress theories to examine the relationship between BLM and ethical leadership. By integrating these two theories I will demonstrate Kerr's (1975) example of “the folly of rewarding A, while hoping for B.” Third, I will explain and demonstrate why follower BLM and leader stress perceptions are important boundary conditions regarding the primary relationship of interest and overall model. Comprehensively, I examine and demonstrate the potential of a backfiring effect that can be strengthened or weakened. This research aims to shed light on the often disregarded catch-22 leaders face in world that is increasingly concerned about bottom-line outcomes, while also demanding an immaculate standard of ethical behavior from leaders.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Business Administration
Business Administration; Management
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Rice, Darryl, "Judged by the bottom-line but expected to lead ethically: A leader's catch 22" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1298.