Ethical Leadership: A Factor in Mission Readiness
DEFENSE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY MANAGEMENT INST PATRICK AFB FL Patrick AFB
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Emotional exhaustion is a threat to mission readiness. This paper describes a psychological process in which ethical leadership influences emotional exhaustion not only directly, but also indirectly through unit cohesion. The model was tested among 338 uniformed Department of Defense personnel deployed in combat zones-personnel likely exposed to operational situations that generally are or can potentially become high moral intensity situations. The tests revealed that unit cohesion partially mediates the relationship between ethical leadership and emotional exhaustion. A boundary condition was also identified for this process namely, the process does not hold among low-conscientiousness personnel. Implications for command practice are discussed.