Leader character, ethos, and virtue: Individual and collective considerations

Hannah, Sean T.; Avolio, Bruce J.
October 2011
Leadership Quarterly;Oct2011, Vol. 22 Issue 5, p989
Academic Journal
Abstract: We advance the discussion that each leader has a moral component that can be defined as character that is distinct from values, personality, and other similar constructs. We seek to clarify what underpins forms of character-based leadership and exemplary leader behaviors. We build out our previous discussion (Hannah & Avolio, this issue) that the locus of character is within the leader and is an integral part of the leader''s self-system. Further, we extend the domain of character research toward its upper bounds and introduce the notion of ethos as a distinct class of character and relate ethos to extra-ethical virtuous behaviors. Finally, we place character in relationship to collectives and discuss bidirectional influences operating between leader character and the context.


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