The impact of ethics on recent leadership practices has assumed a prominent role in both practical and theoretical discussions of organizational leadership successes and failures. A leader's ability to affect followers' attitudes and behaviors is important in this pursuit because it can result in greater job performance (Tanner, Brugger, Van Schie, & Lebherz, 2010). Ethical leadership may provide an effective approach for fostering positive employee outlooks and actions. Employees respond positively to the ethical leader's principled leadership, altruism, empowerment, and reward systems, suggesting that improved employee attitudes and work-related behaviors may follow (Brown & Trevino, 2006).

Three established measures of attitudes and behaviors are employee job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and organizational citizenship behavior. The following research study examined the potential of ethical leadership to foster higher levels of these outcomes and found that employees led by highly ethical leaders reported greater job satisfaction and organizational commitment than did employees led by less ethical leaders. No significant difference was reported among employees regarding the impact of ethical leadership on their level of organizational citizenship behavior. These findings suggest both theoretical and practitioner level insights.

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