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Ethical Leadership on the Horizontal Scene: A Case Study on Middle Managers in the Tech Industry
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Due to an increased importance for organisations to act according to ethical leadership, we identified the need to extend the perspective of how ethical leadership practices are developed, enhanced and spread among leaders horizontally. Since previous literature has focused on ethical leadership from a top management perspective, it is of interest to examine how ethical leadership is discussed and practised among middle managers as they encounter ethical dilemmas to a greater extent. By conducting a qualitative content analysis of interviews and documents, we declare a case study on middle managers in a tech company. Suggesting social learning as a proper lens to investigate our issue, we found that middle managers learn ethical conduct prominently via identification and knowledge sharing including feedback and reflection. By identifying important elements of ethical leadership, we could further interpret what practices were spread and reinforced among mid-level managers. These were the ability to be transparent, authentic, available and to value diversity, inclusion, and risk-taking for the sake of employees. However, it was evident that the horizontal learning of ethical conduct occurs in a reactive manner, triggered by events in a complex web of social learning. Therefore, in order for ethical leadership to regularly be learnt between the middle managers, a formal structure and the ethical culture can reinforce the way in which ethical leadership practices are spread horizontally.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 66
Keywords [en]
Social Learning, Ethical Leadership, Ethical Leadership practices, Knowledge Sharing, Middle Managers, Organizational Ethics
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-388865OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-388865DiVA, id: diva2:1335681
Subject / course
Business Studies
Educational program
Master Programme in Business and Management
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-07-08 Created: 2019-07-06 Last updated: 2019-07-08Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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