Ethical and unethical leadership: Exploring new avenues for future research

Michael E. Brown, Marie S. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

482 Scopus citations


The purpose of this article is to review literature that is relevant to the social scientific study of ethics and leadership, as well as outline areas for future study. We first discuss ethical leadership and then draw from emerging research on "dark side" organizational behavior to widen the boundaries of the review to include unethical leadership. Next, three emerging trends within the organizational behavior literature are proposed for a leadership and ethics research agenda: 1) emotions, 2) fit/congruence, and 3) identity/ identification. We believe each shows promise in extending current thinking. The review closes with discussion of important issues that are relevant to the advancement of research on leadership and ethics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-616
Number of pages34
JournalBusiness Ethics Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Philosophy
  • Economics and Econometrics


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