Transformational leadership and moral reasoning

Turner, Nick, Barling, Julian, Epitropaki, Olga, Butcher, Vicky and Milner, Caroline (2002). Transformational leadership and moral reasoning. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87 (2), pp. 304-311.


Terms such as moral and ethical leadership are used widely in theory, yet little systematic research has related a sociomoral dimension to leadership in organizations. This study investigated whether managers' moral reasoning (n=132) was associated with the transformational and transactional leadership behaviors they exhibited as perceived by their subordinates (n=407). Managers completed the Defining Issues Test (J. R. Rest, 1990), whereas their subordinates completed the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (B. M. Bass & B. J. Avolio, 1995). Analysis of covariance indicated that managers scoring in the highest group of the moral-reasoning distribution exhibited more transformational leadership behaviors than leaders scoring in the lowest group. As expected, there was no relationship between moral-reasoning group and transactional leadership behaviors. Implications for leadership development are discussed.

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Divisions: Aston Business School > Work & organisational psychology
Aston Business School > Work & organisational psychology research group
Uncontrolled Keywords: moral leadership,ethical leadership,sociomoral dimension,leadership,managers,moral reasoning,transformational leadership behaviors,transactional leadership behaviors,Defining Issues Test,subordinates,Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire,leadership development
Full Text Link: http://psycnet. ... 1-9010.87.2.304
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Published Date: 2002-04
Authors: Turner, Nick
Barling, Julian
Epitropaki, Olga ( 0000-0002-0683-5143)
Butcher, Vicky
Milner, Caroline

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