The Ironic Double Whammy of Being an Ethical Leader: Follower Response to Leader Infidelity

  • Steven L. Grover
  • Markus C. Hasel

Abstract

This study examines how leaders’ ethical behavior outside of work affects followers’ attitudes toward them. Building on leader integrity and apology research, we conducted a scenario-based study that experimentally manipulated leader reputation (ethical/unethical), type of sex scandal (involving abuse of power or not) and the leader’s response (denial, apology or atonement). The results support and extend recent work on apologies, suggesting that ethical leaders suffer more than unethical leaders from extra-role sex scandals, and that meaningful apologies are effective for personal responsibility but not for violations involving an official abuse of power.

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Published
2018-09-01
How to Cite
Grover, S. L., & Hasel, M. C. (2018). The Ironic Double Whammy of Being an Ethical Leader: Follower Response to Leader Infidelity. M@n@gement, 21(3). Retrieved from https://management-aims.com/index.php/mgmt/article/view/3807
Section
Original Research Articles