Moralized leadership: The construction and consequences of ethical leader perceptions

Ryan Fehr, Kai Chi Yam, Carolyn Dang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


First, we introduce moralization as the primary process through which followers come to view their leaders as ethical. Second, we use moral foundations theory to illustrate the types of leader behavior that followers are most likely to moralize. Third, we identify motivations to maintain moral self-regard and a moral reputation as two distinct pathways through which moralization influences follower behavior. Finally, we show how the values that underlie leaders' moralized behavior (e.g., compassion, loyalty) determine the specific types of follower behavior that emerge (e.g., prosocial behavior, pro-organizational behavior).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-209
Number of pages28
JournalAcademy of Management Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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