Influence of integrity and servant leadership on trust in leaders and ethical culture

Anderson, Ryan (2017-12)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : This study stems from the need to address unethical behaviour in the workplace. Servant leadership emerged as a tool to address this issue, through the development of an ethical culture. The role of Integrity in Servant Leaders, as well as the effect that trust in leaders have on implementing ethical culture, emerged as important components of this relationship. Thus, the focus of the research is directed towards determining the role of servant leadership in creating an ethical culture in organisations. To achieve this, the concepts of integrity, servant leadership, trust in leaders and ethical culture were investigated. Literature obtained from a theoretical review of the proposed variables, lead to the conceptualization of the determinants and structural relationships that exist between the concepts. A theoretical model was subsequently developed to explain this, followed by the formulation of substantive hypotheses to empirically determine the validity of the predictions in the literature review. For the research design, the study followed a quantitative approach, whereby the hypothesised causal relationships between the latent variables were tested by means of an ex post facto correlational design and structural equation modelling (SEM), which was used as an analysis technique. The research objective of this study was to test the proposed ethical culture structural model, with the research focus on business leaders and subordinates’ perceptions of the qualities of these leaders. The Ethical Integrity Test (EIT), Servant Leadership Behavioural Scale (SLBS), Leader Trust Scale (LTS) and Ethical Climate Questionnaire (ECQ) were utilised to gather the relevant data from the population. The respective questionnaires were sent to participants via electronic mail invitations. A convenient probability sample of 279 individuals within varied industries was selected. From an analysis of the results, significant positive relationships were confirmed between Integrity and Trust in Leader, Integrity and Servant Leadership, Servant Leadership and Trust in Leader, Servant Leadership and Ethical Culture, as well as between Trust in Leader and Ethical Culture. The study makes inroads into further developing the understanding between ethics and leadership. The positive relationships found between the studied variables have widespread implications for organisational managers in their pursuit of addressing business ethics, and it provides direction for future research on servant leadership and ethics.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Hierdie studie het ontstaan op grond van die behoefte om onetiese gedrag in die werksplek aan te spreek. Onlangse etiese skandale het etiek na die voorpunt van besigheidstudies gedryf en het ‘n hernieude belangstelling in die rol van etiek in die moderne werksplek aangewakker. Onetiese werksgedrag bedreig die stabiliteit in die werksomgewing en forseer dus organisasies om strategieë te implementeer om onetiese gedrag te bekamp. Die literatuur dui daarop dat die ontwikkeling van ‘n etiese kultuur in organisasies ‘n effektiewe strategie sal wees. Dit het die afhanklike veranderlike van die studie gevorm, synde die skepping van ‘n omgewing waarin individue spontaan eties optree in ooreenstemming met die algemeen aanvaarde waardes en norme van die organisasie. Met die bestudering van die literatuur het dienende leierskap navore getree as ‘n leierskapstyl om diè kultuur te skep. Dit is die leier se verantwoordelikheid om ‘n aktiewe rol te speel in die skepping van ‘n etiese klimaat in die werksplek. Dienende leierskap, as ‘n waarde-gebaseerde en groep-georiënteerde benadering tot leierskap, word spesifiek beskou as ‘n effektiewe benadering om ‘n etiese kultuur te ontwikel. Die rol van integriteit in dienende leierskap, sowel as vertroue in leiers het ook as belangrike elemente in die effektiewe ontwikkeling van ‘n etiese organisasiekultuur na vore getree. Gegrondves op ‘n deeglike literatuurstudie is ‘n strukturele model ontwikkel om die oorsaaklike verwantskappe tussen die latente veranderlikes te illustreer. Hipoteses is gevolglik geformuleer om die geldigheid van die gepostuleerde verwantskappe empiries te toets. In terme van die navorsingsontwerp, het die studie ‘n kwantitatiewe benadering gevolg en ’n 'n ex post facto korrelasie-ontwerp gebruik. Strukturele vergelykingsmodellering (SEM) is as ‘n statistiese ontledingstegniek aangewend. Die Ethical Integrity Test (EIT), Servant Leadership Behavioural Scale (SLBS), Leader Trust Scale (LTS) en Ethical Climate Questionnaire (ECQ) is as meetinstrumente gebruik om die relevante data te versamel. ‘n Elektroniese vraelys is aan 'n gerieflikheidsteekproef van 279 individue in verskillende bedrywe gestuur. ‘n Ontleding van die resultate dui op positiewe verwantskappe tussen integriteit en vertroue in leiers, integriteit en dienende leierskap, dienende leierskap en vertroue in leiers, dienende leierskap en etiese kultuur, asook die vertroue in leiers en etiese kultuur. Die studie bied verdere insigte in die komplekse verband tussen sake-etiek en leierskap. Die positiewe verwantskappe wat tussen die veranderlikes ontdek is, behels wydverspreide implikasies wat bestuurders kan help om ‘n etiese kultuur in organisasies te ontwikkel. Die beperkings en aanbevelings van die studie verskaf ook nuttige riglyne vir toekomstige navorsing in die veld.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/102821
This item appears in the following collections: