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Business Ethics Quarterly

Volume 20, Issue 4, October 2010

Michael E. Brown, Marie S. Mitchell
Pages 583-616
DOI: 10.5840/beq201020439

Ethical and Unethical Leadership
Exploring New Avenues for Future Research

The purpose of this article is to review literature that is relevant to the social scientific study of ethics and leadership, as well as outline areas for future study. We first discuss ethical leadership and then draw from emerging research on “dark side” organizational behavior to widen the boundaries of the review to include unethical leadership. Next, three emerging trends within the organizational behavior literature are proposed for a leadership and ethics research agenda: 1) emotions, 2) fit/congruence, and 3) identity/identification. We believe each shows promise in extending current thinking. The review closes with discussion of important issues that are relevant to the advancement of research on leadership and ethics.

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