Perceptions of leader integrity: a psychological climate dimension with implications for subordinate job satisfaction

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Virginia Tech


Although the issue of ethical integrity in leadership has received a great deal of attention in the business ethics literature, very little empirical research has explored the role of leader integrity in leadership effectiveness. Using both a student sample and an organizational field sample, this research examined the importance of subordinate perceptions of leader integrity with regard to the effectiveness criteria of subordinate job satisfaction and desire to turnover. Perceived leader integrity was found to be strongly related to subordinate satisfaction, which was, in turn, strongly related to subordinates’ desire to quit. Subordinate sensitivity to ethical issues was identified as a possible moderator of the relation between perceived leader integrity and subordinate satisfaction. It was concluded that practicing managers should be aware that the impressions subordinates form of their ethical integrity carry consequences for job outcomes. Directions for future research are discussed.



psychology, ethics, Leadership