Ethical Leadership Styles of Future Managers in Central and Eastern European Countries

Ethical Leadership Styles of Future Managers in Central and Eastern European Countries

Anna Remišová (Comenius University, Slovakia) and Anna Lašáková (Comenius University, Slovakia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6433-3.ch049
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Abstract

There is a limited understanding what the constituent elements of the ethical leadership are. Although various researchers defined ethical leadership as a specific leadership style, with typical personality traits and behaviors, the precise instantiation of the content of ethical leadership was only seldom investigated. The body of empirical research on ethical leadership is only slowly beginning to build up. Furthermore, the ethical leadership in Central and Eastern European countries (CEE countries) is permanently an under-researched issue. This article focuses on the interdisciplinary perspective in regard to the empirical research of ethical traits and behaviors of leaders and the level of preference of respective leadership attributes. First, selected influential theoretical considerations of the issue of ethical leadership are being discussed. In the application part of this article, particular ethical leadership personality traits and behaviors are being identified through the qualitative-quantitative research lens. Next, four ethical leadership styles within the cluster of five CEE countries, namely Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia are specified. Cross-country variations are a matter of concern, too. In the Slovak – CEE countries comparison significant differences concerning the level of preference of ethical leadership styles are indicated. Impact of various demographic predictors on the level of preference of ethical leadership is researched, too.
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Ethical Leadership Dimensions

As already outlined, the ethical leadership is still a relatively new concept in management studies. Although in the western leadership theory it was research by some scientists (Fulmer, 2004; Brown et al., 2005; Knights & O’Leary, 2006), gaining knowledge about this particular leadership style in CEE countries is still underdeveloped. In one of the most influential work in regard to ethical leadership, Trevino et al state that in their qualitative research on the perception of ethical leadership they found that (Trevino et al., 2003):

  • 1.

    Personal moral behavior is linked to ethical leadership;

  • 2.

    Ethics is a top-down phenomenon in large organizations; and

  • 3.

    Ethical people are in the praxis not always perceived as ethical leaders, because of the pressure to succeed, to make profit, and to compete successfully with business competitors.

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