What is it about?

Integrity means different things to different people, but research indicates people consider both the moral behaviors of their leaders and the consistency of their leaders' actions and words. This study reveals the effects of each type of integrity, individually, and together, in evaluating organizational leaders. It also indicates women hold leaders to a higher standard than men.

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Why is it important?

Integrity is central to how followers perceive their leaders. This research clarifies how followers use integrity to assess their leaders, including revealing that followers do not just take high integrity for granted--they notice it. Broadly, the study reveals that leaders who display high or low levels of different types of integrity receive a complex pattern of ratings by followers, and the characteristics of followers change how they use this integrity information.


This article is the first experimental test of an existing multidimensional perspective on leadership integrity and reveals how followers use integrity information to judge their leaders. It reveals leaders should not just strive to avoid bad behaviors, but they should aspire to display high integrity.

Benjamin Thomas
University of Nebraska at Omaha

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Integrity according to Whom? An Experiment of the Effects of Gender, Moral Integrity, and Behavioral Consistency on Evaluations of Leaders, Organization Management Journal, June 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/15416518.2019.1628698.
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