Get access

Does Ethical Leadership Matter in Government? Effects on Organizational Commitment, Absenteeism, and Willingness to Report Ethical Problems



Recent ethical scandals involving managers in government organizations have highlighted the need for more research on ethical leadership in public sector organizations. To assess the consequences of ethical leadership, 161 managers in a large state government agency and 415 of their direct reports were surveyed, and personnel records were obtained to measure absenteeism. Results indicate that after controlling for the effects of employee characteristics, perceptions of procedural fairness, and supportive leader behavior, ethical leadership reduced absenteeism and had a positive influence on organizational commitment and willingness to report ethical problems. Implications of the findings and suggestions for future research are presented.