Date Added: Jul 2009
Unethical behavior of leaders has consequences for leaders themselves, followers, and their respective organizations. After defining relevant terms including ethics, morality, and ethical and unethical leadership, a conceptual framework for the unethical behavior of leaders is proposed, which includes the three "Perfect storm" dimensions of leaders, followers, and situational context. Additionally, the mediating variable termed "Critical incident" suggests that unethical leadership behavior is precipitated by a catalyzing thought, condition, intention, or event. With specific examples illustrating the conceptual framework dimensions and salient characteristics of each, the paper then concludes with a discussion of the implications of unethical leadership behavior, with attention given to further research foci.