A1 Journal article (refereed)
Incoherent Yet Still Moral? Followers’ Perceptions of Their Leaders’ Integrity (2022)

Herttalampi, M., Kiuru, N., van Dierendonck, D., & Feldt, T. (2022). Incoherent Yet Still Moral? Followers’ Perceptions of Their Leaders’ Integrity. Scandinavian Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 7(1), Article 11. https://doi.org/10.16993/sjwop.162

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsHerttalampi, Mari; Kiuru, Noona; van Dierendonck, Dirk; Feldt, Taru

Journal or seriesScandinavian Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology


Publication year2022


Issue number1

Article number11

PublisherStockholm University Press

Publication countrySweden

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/82707


The aim of this study was to broaden the current understanding of leader integrity by applying a social-cognitive process model to leaders’ moral decision-making. Leaders (n = 223) were classified into different integrity styles (informational, normative, or diffuse-avoidant) based on their personal descriptions of how they approach moral questions and make moral decisions at work. We then investigated how followers (n = 963) perceived these leaders’ integrity (moral behavior, behavioral integrity, and consistency) and their leader-member exchange (LMX) quality by using a hierarchical leader-follower sample. Followers evaluated normative leaders to show the highest amount of consistency compared to the other integrity styles, although perceptions of leader consistency did not associate with LMX quality. Instead, follower-rated leader moral behavior had the strongest relationship with LMX quality both within and between leader-follower groups. Based on our results, morality is a more important integrity component to follower relationships than consistency. However, the leader’s moral motives behind their decisions might not translate directly and similarly to his or her followers. This means that leaders should pay attention to how transparent, fair, and equal their decisions and justifications behind them appear to others. We also provide a qualitative rating scheme for recognizing differences in personal integrity styles.

Keywordsleadership (properties)leadership (activity)moralsvalues (conceptions)honestydecision making

Free keywordsleader integrity; moral decision-making; leader-member exchange; multilevel

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-15-06 at 00:27