Development of an ethical leadership behaviour scale

Buys, Helena (2019-04)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : In recent years, ethical scandals have become almost commonplace, both in South Africa and internationally. Unethical behaviour is not a new phenomenon and no organisation is immune to its effects. Organisational leaders play a critical role in establishing an ethical culture through role modelling. Ethical leadership is based on the principle of right and wrong behaviour towards others. This style of leading can help to establish firm foundations for acceptable conduct, inspire employees and can lead to the creation of ethical structures and accountability systems. This study aims to satisfy the need for ethical organisational leaders by developing a valid and reliable ethical leadership assessment that is specific to the South African context. The Ethical Leadership Behaviour Scale (ELBS) was developed through a scientifically rigorous approach, which resulted in a multi-dimensional scale. These five dimensions were conceptually defined, and items were developed to measure each aspect of the definition. The data collection process involved the use of an electronic version of the questionnaire, with a total of 202 completed forms. Empirical testing of the theorised model and its hypotheses included an item analysis and exploratory factor analysis (EFA) on each ELBS subscale, as well as a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) on the overall ELBS measurement model. The results of these analyses showed satisfactory reliability and unidimensionality for all five subscales. The CFA for the five-factor model did not show close fit and a further investigation into the results suggested the presence of a broad, general ethical leadership factor. Consequently, the five-factor model was extended into a bi-factor model, where all the items were specified to load on their designated dimension as well as the general factor. The bi-factor model showed close fit across various fit indices. Regarding its contribution to research, this study resulted in the development of a new measure for ethical leadership that is potentially reliable and valid for the South African context. The ELBS can be used to develop organisational leaders by identifying specific areas of their ethical leadership style that need improvement. The limitations and recommendations made by this study provide useful guidelines for future research.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Etiese skandale raak al hoe meer algemeen in die Suid-Afrikaanse en internasionale konteks. Onetiese gedrag is nie ‘n nuwe verskynsel nie, en geen organisasie val buite sy greep nie. Organisatoriese leiers speel ‘n kritiese rol in die skepping van ‘n etiese kultuur deur hul optrede as ‘n etiese rolmodel. Etiese leierskap is gebaseer op die beginsel van regte en verkeerde optrede teenoor ander. Die implementering van hierdie leierskapstyl kan dus lei tot die vestiging van aanvaarbare en geïnspireerde gedrag, asook die skepping van etiese sisteme en strukture wat verantwoordbaarheid beklemtoon. Hierdie studie beoog om die behoefte aan etiese leierskap te bevredig deur die ontwerp van ‘n geldige en betroubare meetinstrument vir die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks. Die Ethical Leadership Behaviour Scale (ELBS) is ontwikkel op ‘n streng wetenskaplike wyse, wat gelei het tot ‘n multi-dimensionele skaal. Die vyf dimensies is konseptueel gedefinieer en items is ontwikkel om elke aspek daarvan te meet. Die data-insamelingsfase het gebruik gemaak van ‘n elektroniese weergawe van die vraelys, waarna 202 voltooide vraelyste ontvang is. Die empiriese toetsing van die model en sy hipoteses het itemontleding en eksploratiewe faktorontleding ingesluit, asook bevestigende faktorontleding. Die resultate van die eersgenoemde analises het bevredigende betroubaarheid en eendimensionaliteit vir al vyf subskale van die Ethical Leadership Behaviour Scale (ELBS) getoon. Die bevestigende faktorontleding op die vyf-faktor model het nie tot ʼn goeie passing vir die algehele metingsmodel gelei nie. Die statistiese resultate het wel die teenwoordigheid van ‘n breë, algemene etiese leierskapsfaktor voorgestel. Gevolglik is die metingsmodel tot ʼn bi-faktor model aangepas sodat al die etiese leierskapsitems op hul onderskeie dimensies laai, asook op die algemene leierskapsfaktor. Die bi-faktor metingsmodel het goeie passing verkry. Hierdie studie lewer ‘n unieke bydrae tot huidige navorsing aangesien dit gelei het tot die ontwikkeling van ‘n nuwe etiese leierskapsvraelys wat potensieel geldig en betroubaar is vir die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks. Die ELBS kan as ‘n hulpbron vir die ontwikkeling van leiers in organisasies gebruik word. Aangesien die skaal multi-dimensioneel is, is dit moontlik om spesifieke terugvoer aan leiers te gee rakende hulle leierskapstyl en ontwikkelingsareas. Die leemtes en aanbevelings van die studie verskaf bruikbare riglyne vir toekomstige navorsing.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/106168
This item appears in the following collections: