What Does Ethical Followership Look Like?

If your boss asked you to do something unethical, would you obey, or would you resist? According to a new article in the Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies,

Followers face ethical dilemmas when leaders approach them with inappropriate requests, such as asking them to engage in behaviors that are clearly unethical. In such situations, followers must make a decision: They can choose to stand up to the unethical request (e.g., by challenging the leader’s directive, refusing to engage in unethical behavior, or proposing alternative courses of action) or they can go along with the leader’s request, in essence becoming complicit with the unethical behavior. This choice will likely be associated with their beliefs about the follower role and how followers should interact with leaders.

Melissa K. Carsten of Winthrop University and Mary Uhl-Bien of the University of Nebraska published “Ethical Followership: An Examination of Followership Beliefs and Crimes of Obedience” on November 9, 2012 in the Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies.

JLOS seeks to advance the theory, research and practice of all aspects of leadership and organizations, covering topics such as organizational behavior, human resource management, strategy, international management, and entrepreneurship. You can get e-alerts about new research from the journal by clicking here.

This entry was posted in Ethics, Leadership and tagged , , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 1500 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, and Melburne, our publishing program includes more than 1000 journals and over 900 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.

3 thoughts on “What Does Ethical Followership Look Like?

  1. Greetings! I’ve been reading your site for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the good work!

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