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Perceived leader integrity as a mediator between ethical leadership and ethical climate in a teaching context

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  • Ibeawuchi K. Enwereuzor
  • Ike E. Onyishi
  • Florence Chiji Albi-Oparaocha
  • Kenneth Amaeshi

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Original languageEnglish
Article number52
JournalBMC Psychology
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2020

Abstract

Background: Scandalous incidents occurring in prominent organisations in the world have brought to limelight the role of leaders in shaping the ethical climate of their organisations. As a result, several studies across different organisational/occupational contexts and climes have examined and unanimously proven that ethical leadership was positively related to ethical climate. However, there is rarely any of these studies that was conducted in teaching context. Besides, the mechanisms involved between ethical leadership and ethical climate seems not to have been addressed in literature. Thus, this paper reports the findings of a study that investigated the mediating role of perceived leader integrity in the ethical leadership-ethical climate relationship among teachers. Methods: Data were collected from 336 teachers (105 male and 231 female) in three-time periods using measures of ethical leadership, perceived leader integrity, ethical climate, and demographics. Results: The results from OLS regression-based path analysis showed that: 1) ethical leadership was positively related to perceived leader integrity, 2) perceived leader integrity was positively related to ethical climate, 3) ethical leadership was positively related to ethical climate, and 4) the positive relationship between ethical leadership and ethical climate was mediated by perceived leader integrity. Conclusions: The current study extends the social learning theory by identifying perceived leader integrity as a mechanism underlying the relationship between ethical leadership and ethical climate. The findings have some implications for personnel selection especially in relation to selection of ethical leaders.

    Research areas

  • ethical climate, ethical leadership, head teacher, leader, organisation, perceived leader integrity, school, teaching context

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