LAWRENCE TECHNOLOGICAL UNIV SOUTHFIELD MI SOUTHFIELD United States
The Department of Defense makes improved ethical behavior and decision making an annual priority within its military, civilian, and contracted workforce. Research indicates that leadership, particularly authentic leadership, can have a positive impact on improving the ethical behavior and decision making of employees. This study included a quantitative survey design with moderating variables to explore the level of authentic leadership practiced and its impact on ethical behavior in N 342 employees from the Detroit Arsenal located in Warren, Michigan. The elements that support the theoretical makeup of authentic leadership as supported in the literature were examinedtransparency, moralethical, balanced processing, and self-awarenessas well as the impact of authentic leadership on ethical behavior across organizations. Additionally, the relationship between authentic leadership and ethical behavior was tested for its moderation by gender, pay grade, educational level. The results indicated that there is not a significant correlation between authentic leadership and ethical behavior for this population. There were also no significant differences found in this relationship with regards to organization. Additionally, no moderation effect was found for any of the variables. Three recommendations for Detroit Arsenal senior leaders are suggested from this study. First, make formal authentic leadership training available to subordinate leaders. Second, modify the approach to formal ethics training. Finally, emphasize ethical behavior routinely in both formal and informal communications with the workforce.