Brown et al. (2005) have defined ethical leadership as “the demonstration of normatively appropriate conduct through personal actions and interpersonal relationships, and the promotion of such conduct to followers through two way communication, reinforcement, and decision making” (Aronson 2001; Kanungo 2001; Trevino et al. 2003). When the leader’s moral integrity is in doubt, the leader will more likely fail to influence followers to achieve organizational goals (Kanungo 2001).
Drawing on this definition of ethical leadership and in line with previous research (Trevino et al. 2003; Brown et al. 2005) describes ethical leaders as honest, trustworthy, fair, and caring. Such leaders make principled and fair choices and structure work environments justly. Other components are a leader’s
transparency, engagement in open communication with followers, and clarification of expectations and responsibilities so that employees are clear on what is expected from them (Kanungo 2001).
There are several other leadership models in the literature, such as charismatic leadership, laissez-fair leadership, task-related leadership, relationship-oriented leadership, participative leadership, autocratic leadership, entrepreneurial leadership, situational leadership, normative decision leadership, and cognitive resource theory leadership.