Virtue-based measurement of ethical leadership: The leadership virtues questionnaire

Ronald E. Riggio, Weichun Zhu, Christopher Reina, James A. Maroosis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Approaching ethical leadership from a characterological perspective, this study reports on the creation of the Leadership Virtues Questionnaire (LVQ). Defining an ethical leader as one who adheres to the four cardinal virtues of prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice, as discussed in the ancient texts of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, we developed a rating instrument for assessing leader virtues. A series of studies with managers examined the psychometric properties and correlates of the LVQ. Factor analyses suggested that one factor best captured the construct, not inconsistent with philosophers' notions of the " unity" of the cardinal virtues. The LVQ was shown to be highly positively correlated with transformational leadership, authentic leadership, and another recently developed measure of ethical leadership, and there was evidence of discriminant validity. The LVQ, used with the virtues approach to ethical leadership, should prove to be a valuable tool for the assessment and development of leader virtues and ethics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-250
Number of pages16
JournalConsulting Psychology Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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