If you are a parent, have noticed how children always seem to copy our not-so-great habits, in spite of how well we instruct them? Research shows, the same is true in your company or organisation!
As leaders we know we influence the people we work with, right? How does this actually work? John Schaubroeck and others did research to find out.
They define ethical leadership as a leader’s use of social influence to promote ethical conduct. This leadership directly influences employees (followers) but also – and as it turns out more importantly – indirectly through replication of a leader’s behaviour and through the work culture (embedding of shared understandings).
What is specifically interesting is that the indirect effects (replication and culture) further resonate through multiple levels of hierarchy effecting conduct throughout an organisation.
So, now we have proof that habits and culture of executive leaders resonate through most of the organisation. This is particularly fascinating if we think about some of the recent corporate scandals.