Are authentic leaders always moral? The role of Machiavellianism in the relationship between authentic leadership and morality

Sendjaya, Sen, Pekerti, Andre, Härtel, Charmine, Hirst, Giles and Butarbutar, Ivan (2016) Are authentic leaders always moral? The role of Machiavellianism in the relationship between authentic leadership and morality. Journal of Business Ethics, 133 1: 125-139. doi:10.1007/s10551-014-2351-0

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Author Sendjaya, Sen
Pekerti, Andre
Härtel, Charmine
Hirst, Giles
Butarbutar, Ivan
Title Are authentic leaders always moral? The role of Machiavellianism in the relationship between authentic leadership and morality
Journal name Journal of Business Ethics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0167-4544
1573-0697
Publication date 2016-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-014-2351-0
Volume 133
Issue 1
Start page 125
End page 139
Total pages 15
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract Drawing on cognitive moral development and moral identity theories, this study empirically examines the moral antecedents and consequences of authentic leadership. Machiavellianism, an individual difference variable relating to the use of the ‘end justifies the means’ principle, is predicted to affect the link between morality and leadership. Analyses of multi-source, multi-method data comprised case studies, simulations, role-playing exercises, and survey questionnaires were completed by 70 managers in a large public agency, and provide support for our hypotheses. Our findings reveal that Machiavellianism offsets the positive relationship between moral reasoning and authentic leadership. Specifically, we show that when Machiavellianism is high, both the positive relationship between moral reasoning and authentic leadership, and the positive relationship between authentic leadership and moral actions, are reversed. This study offers new insights on the underlying processes contributing to the emergence of leaders’ authentic behavior and moral action. Implications for the moral development of leaders, and directions for improved leadership training are provided.
Keyword Authentic leadership
Machiavellianism
Moral action
Moral reasoning
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
UQ Business School Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 10 Oct 2014, 09:57:30 EST by Professor Charmine Hartel on behalf of UQ Business School