Improving Ethical Leadership in Its Cultural Context: New Challenges and Prospects

A special issue of Administrative Sciences (ISSN 2076-3387). This special issue belongs to the section "Organizational Behavior".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 October 2024 | Viewed by 1255

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Wellington School of Business and Government, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington 6012, New Zealand
Interests: ethical leadership and ethics management; integrity violations and organisational misbehaviour; political integrity; business ethics

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Guest Editor
Wellington School of Business and Government, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington 6012, New Zealand
Interests: ethical leadership; business ethics; organisational integrity building; good governance and anti-corruption policies; Southeast Asia

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Guest Editor
Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG1 4FQ, UK
Interests: public and community leadership; responsible and sustainable business; local governance; community engagement; cross-sectoral collaboration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the current literature on organisational leadership, the complex, multidimensional and cultural environment in which leaders operate is often neglected. And yet, the same environment sets important ramifications and generates ‘VUCA world’ challenges for how leadership is enacted and how leader performance is perceived and evaluated (cf. Hartley, 2018; Liu, 2017; Fairhurst, 2009).

Although the importance of organisational context holds for all kinds of leaders and leadership, cultural context, in terms of the commonly accepted moral values and norms, beliefs and practices within society (Hofstede, 1980; cf. Dickson et al., 2003; Kirkman et al., 2017), is particularly relevant for the study and practice of ethical, values-based leadership in the political and public domain (Giacolone, & Jurkiewicz, 2017; Lasthuizen et al., 2019), as well as in international (business) settings (cf. Eissenbeiß & Brodbeck, 2014; Hopkins & Scott, 2016; Resick et al., 2006, 2011; Zhang et al., 2022).

Thus, for a deeper understanding of ethical leadership, it is of crucial importance to analyse how values, culture and place shape ethical leadership and vice versa, and whether there may exist cross-culturally concordances. Understanding these cultural contexts helps improve the way we interpret, define and research ethical leadership.

This call for papers is also inspired by the growing diversity of perspectives and approaches to theorising on (ethical) leadership and context, from the post-positivist and pragmatic (Liden & Antonakis, 2009) to the social constructivist (Grint & Jackson, 2010), discursive (Fairhurst, 2009), relational (Cunliffe & Eriksen, 2011; Uhl-Bien, 2006), philosophical (Flanigan, 2018) and critical (Collinson, 2014; Collinson et al., 2018; Price, 2018; Voegtlin, 2016).

In this Special Issue, we seek to encourage debate across various disciplines in order to broaden and deepen the interpretations and theorisations of ethical leadership in its cultural context. We are therefore interested in case studies that illuminate cultural contexts, especially from non-Western settings (cf. Van Eeden Jones & Lasthuizen, 2018), alongside studies that employ psychological or quantitative approaches in order to identify and compare how particular contextual factors affect ethical leadership (Eissenbeiß & Brodbeck, 2014), but also studies that explore how ethical leadership is constructed and contested historically, culturally and politically (Eissenbeiß, 2012; Knights & O'Leary, 2006; Liu, 2017).

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of 400-600 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send these to the guest editors Dr. Prof Dr. Karin Lasthuizen, ([email protected]), Dr. Iris Van Eeden Jones ([email protected]), Dr. Elme Vivier ([email protected]), and copy /Administrative Sciences/ Editorial Office ([email protected]) after 1 October 2023. Abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editors for the purposes of ensuring proper fit within the scope of the Special Issue. Any abstracts or full articles should be sent after 1 October 2023.


Collinson, D. (2014). Dichotomies, dialectics and dilemmas: New directions for critical leadership studies? Leadership, 10(1), 36–55.

Collinson, D., Smolović Jones, O., and Grint, K. (2018). ‘No more heroes’: Critical perspectives on leadership romanticism. Organization Studies, 39(11), 1625–1647.

Cunliffe, A. L., and Eriksen, M. (2011). Relational leadership. Human Relations, 64(11), 1425–1449.

Dickson, M. W., Den Hartog, D. N., and Mitchelson, J. K. (2003). Research on leadership in a cross-cultural context: Making progress and raising new questions. The Leadership Quarterly, 14, 729–768.

Eisenbeiß, S.A. (2012). Re-thinking ethical leadership: An interdisciplinary integrative approach,

The Leadership Quarterly, 23(5). 791–808,

Eisenbeiß, S.A. and Brodbeck, F. (2014). Ethical and Unethical Leadership: A Cross-Cultural and Cross-Sectoral Analysis. Journal of Business Ethics, 122, 343–359.

Fairhurst, G. T. (2009). Considering context in discursive leadership research. Human Relations, 62(11), 1607–1633.

Flanigan, J. (2018). Philosophical methodology and leadership ethics. Leadership, 14(6), 707–730.

Giacolone, R.A. and Jurkiewicz, C.L. (Eds.) (2017). Radical Thoughts on Ethical Leadership. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Grint, K., and Jackson, B. (2010). Toward “Socially Constructive” Social Constructions of Leadership. Management Communication Quarterly, 24(2), 348–355.

Hartley, J. (2018). Ten propositions about public leadership, International Journal of Public Leadership, 14(4), 202–217.

Hofstede, G. (1980), Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values, Sage Publications, Beverly Hills, CA.

Hopkins, W. E., and Scott, S. G. (2016). Values-based leadership effectiveness in culturally diverse workplaces.Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, 23(2), 363–385.

Kirkman, B. L., Lowe, K. B., and Gibson, C. B. (2017). A retrospective on “Culture’s Consequences”: The 35-year journey. Journal of International Business Studies, 48(1), 12–29.

Knights, D., and O'Leary, M. (2006). Leadership, ethics and responsibility to the other. Journal of Business Ethics, 67(2), 125–137.

Lasthuizen, K., Heres, L. and Webb, W. (2019). Ethical leadership within the public and political realm: A dance with wolves? Introduction to special symposium issue ‘Ethical Leadership and the Integrity of Public Institutions’. Public Integrity. (6): 549–552.

Liden, R. C., & Antonakis, J. (2009). Considering context in psychological leadership research. Human Relations, 62(11), 1587–1605.

Liu, H. (2017). Reimagining ethical leadership as a relational, contextual and political practice. Leadership, 13(3), 343–367.

Price, T. L. (2018). A “critical leadership ethics” approach to the Ethical Leadership construct. Leadership, 14(6), 687–706.

Resick, C. J., Hanges, P. J., Dickson, M. W., and Mitchelson, J. K. (2006). A cross-cultural examination of the endorsement of ethical leadership. Journal of Business Ethics, 63, 345–359.

Resick, C.J., Martin, G.S., Keating, M.A. et al. (2011). What Ethical Leadership Means to Me: Asian, American, and European Perspectives. J Bus Ethics 101, 435–457.

Uhl-Bien, M. (2006). Relational leadership theory: Exploring the social processes of leadership and organizing. The Leadership Quarterly, 17(6), 654–676.

Van Eeden Jones, I. & Lasthuizen, K. (2018). Building Public Sector Integrity in Indonesia: The Role and Challenges of Ethical Leadership. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, 40(3): 175–185.

Voegtlin, C. (2016). What does it mean to be responsible? Addressing the missing responsibility dimension in ethical leadership research. Leadership 12(5): 581–608.

Zhang, H and Wu, J and Wen, J and Douglas, D (2022) Ethical leadership in multinational companies’ control practices: culture as a moderating factor. International Journal of Organizational Analysis.

Prof. Dr. Karin Lasthuizen
Dr. Iris Van Eeden Jones
Dr. Elme Vivier
Guest Editors

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  • ethical leadership
  • societal values
  • cultural diversity
  • country studies
  • multinational corporations
  • ethical leadership theory

Published Papers (1 paper)

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14 pages, 913 KiB  
The Mediating Role of Attitudes towards Performing Well between Ethical Leadership, Technological Innovation, and Innovative Performance
by Hassan Danial Aslam, Sorinel Căpușneanu, Tasawar Javed, Ileana-Sorina Rakos and Cristian-Marian Barbu
Adm. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 62; - 24 Mar 2024
Viewed by 621
The business sector is rife with unethical managerial practices, such as blaming subordinates for organizational failings, along with the exploitation of colleagues, favoritism, and conflicts of leadership. In light of this, numerous researchers have endeavored to explain the phenomenon of ethical perspectives and [...] Read more.
The business sector is rife with unethical managerial practices, such as blaming subordinates for organizational failings, along with the exploitation of colleagues, favoritism, and conflicts of leadership. In light of this, numerous researchers have endeavored to explain the phenomenon of ethical perspectives and concerns. It is recommended that organizations in the SME sector adopt ethical practices in order to achieve their long-term objectives. This study stresses the influence of ethical leadership and technological innovation, particularly the mediating role of a positive attitude in encouraging good performance. This study, which was conducted in the SME sector of Malaysia in the state of Selangor, employed a convenience sampling technique for data collection and reports that ethical leadership, technological innovation, and attitude significantly influence performance. A mediating role of attitude in relation to technological innovation and innovative performance is hereby reported, and attitude towards performance was found to have an insignificant effect on ethical leadership and innovative performance. This study contributes to the existing body of knowledge by explaining the role of ethical leadership and technological innovation in expressing and assessing the revolutionary business practices required to ensure organizational success. Full article
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