Skip to Main Content

The Need for Ethical Leadership in Combating Corruption

Journal Title International Review of Administrative Sciences
Published Date June 04, 2019
Research Type
Authors Russell Hassan


In this article, we empirically assess the role of ethical leadership in reducing corruption. We also examine whether the effectiveness of ethical leadership in curbing corruption depends on the quality of the reward system in public organizations. We focus on two related components of the reward system: the use of performance-based rewards and procedural fairness. Using data collected through a survey of 741 employees in 154 government and non-profit organizations in Pakistan, we find a negative association between ethical managerial leadership and reports of corruption. We also find that the use of performance-based rewards is associated with fewer incidences of corruption, and that the negative relationship between ethical leadership and corruption is stronger when employees report low levels of procedural fairness. We discuss the implications of these findings for research on and strategies for combating corruption in public organizations.

Bashir, M. & Hassan, S. (2020). The Need for Ethical Leadership in Combatting Corruption. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 86, 673-690.