Effects of moral reasoning and management level on ratings of charismatic leadership in-role and extra-role performance of managers: A multi-source examination

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Effects of moral reasoning and management level on ratings of charismatic leadership in-role and extra-role performance of managers: A multi-source examination
The Leadership Quarterly

This study investigated whether upper and lower-echelon managers' moral reasoning (n=377) was associated with the levels of charismatic leadership in-role and extra-role performance they displayed as perceived by their subordinates (n=1731) superiors and self.  Managers completed the Defining Issues Test (Rest 1990) to assess their moral reasoning capacity. Self-ratings of managers' charismatic leadership in-role and extra-role performance were collected two weeks later. Subordinate- and superior-ratings of these constructs were collected one month later. Analysis of covariance indicated that managers possessing the highest (i.e. postconventional) level of moral reasoning outperformed managers at the lower preconventional and conventional levels but displayed lower levels of self-rated charismatic leadership. Upper-echelon managers displayed higher levels of charismatic leadership and extra-role performance than lower-echelon managers. Within and between analysis (WABA) indicated that upper-echelon managers at conventional and postconventional levels of moral reasoning agreed with their subordinates and superiors that their charismatic leadership ratings exceed those in lower management but are lower than those of leaders who possess preconventional moral reasoning.

Citation: 
The Leadership Quarterly 22 (2011) 434 – 450

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