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Authentic leadership and follower moral decision intention: Role of follower moral identity

Weichun Zhu, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The author intended to examine the effects of authentic leadership, transformational leadership, and transactional leadership on follower moral identity and follower moral decision intention, and the influence processes through which authentic leadership, transformational leadership, and transactional leadership impacts follower moral decision intention. More specifically, the author tested whether follower moral identity mediates the effect of authentic and transformational leadership on follower moral decision intention and whether moral intensity moderates the effect of authentic leadership, transformational leadership, and transactional leadership on follower moral decision intention. ^ Based on three pilot tests with undergraduate samples and one experimental study with a real field sample (i.e., teachers in public settings), it was found that authentic and transformational leadership has a positive effect on follower moral identity and follower moral decision intention. Moreover, it was also found that follower moral identity mediates the effects of both authentic leadership and transformational leadership on follower moral decision intention. Contrary to the expectation, transactional leadership had a negative effect on follower moral decision intention. Furthermore, moral intensity moderated the effect of authentic leadership and transformational leadership on follower moral decision intention in that the effects of authentic leadership and transformational leadership on follower moral decision intention are stronger when moral intensity is low. ^ This study has a number of theoretical contributions and practical implications. This study made a significant theoretical contribution to both the leadership area and the ethical decision making field in that it has introduced a testable theoretical model to explain how authentic and transformational leadership affects follower moral identity and moral decision intention. This study also made a significant theoretical contribution to the moral development field in that it took the leadership factor into account and generalized to working adults in organizations. One unique practical implication is that, in order to promote follower moral decision intention, it is necessary to promote follower moral identity. Another important practical implication is that organizations need to develop authentic and transformational leadership across different organizational levels in order to develop follower moral identity and follower moral decision intention, which could help pave the way for an organization's sustainable development. ^

Subject Area

Business Administration, Management

Recommended Citation

Zhu, Weichun, "Authentic leadership and follower moral decision intention: Role of follower moral identity" (2006). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3216345.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3216345

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