Actions speak louder than words

Tanner, Carmen; Brügger, Adrian; van Schie, Susan; Lebherz, Carmen (2010). Actions speak louder than words. Zeitschrift für Psychologie / Journal of psychology, 218(4), pp. 225-233. Hogrefe 10.1027/0044-3409/a000032

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Ethical scandals in business have led to calls for more ethical or moral leadership. Yet, we still know very little about what characterizes ethical leadership and what its positive consequences actually are. We argue that the major question is not about what leaders value, but rather whether their ethical values are regularly reflected in behavioral patterns across situations and situational challenges. To address this, we have begun to build the Ethical Leadership Behavior Scale, which is based on behaviors reflecting concrete manifestations of ethical values (e.g., fairness, respect) across occasions and situational barriers. A study with 592 employees of 110 work units in two departments provided a first test of this scale and demonstrated that the level of ethical leadership behavior predicts important work-related attitudes (job satisfaction, work engagement, affective organizational commitment) and outcomes (health complaints, emotional exhaustion, absenteeism).

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Innovation Management > Consumer Behavior
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Tanner, Carmen, Gadient-Brügger, Adrian


600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology








Adrian Gadient-Brügger

Date Deposited:

05 Mar 2014 23:49

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:28

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

ethical leadership, ethical behavior, ethical values, job attitudes, work outcomes




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