Lunch Talk: Who's leading whom? - Mutual influences in moral decision making between leaders and subordinates over time

Talk by Simon Karg (Aarhus University)

Oplysninger om arrangementet


torsdag 28. oktober 2021,  kl. 12:00 - 13:00


Zoom or Building 1350 Room 627

Join at Aarhus University, Room 627 (6th floor), Building 1350 or

Join online here
No registration necessary.

Lunch will be provided (for free).

Leaders are frequently said to shape ethical conduct of subordinates in organizations in a top-down manner. Yet, subordinates may also exert important influences on leaders. Despite calls for studying such mutual influences, little research has addressed these processes so far. In this talk, I present two preregistered studies that build on research on ethical leadership and collaborative corruption to examine the social dynamics affecting ethical decision making in leader-subordinate dyads. Adapting a well-established cheating task, we study how the mutual influence of leaders on subordinates, and subordinates on leaders unfolds over repeated interactions. We find strong mutualistic influences on ethical behavior in leader-subordinate dyads. Yet, the degree and direction of these influences are moderated by the ethical make-up of these dyads, i.e., the willingness of individual leaders and subordinates to engage in dishonest conduct in the first place. Additionally, we find congruency effects for character judgments, such that dyads that cheat together evaluate each other positively, and especially competent and close. This indicates that ensuring ethical behavior in hierarchical relationships is a two-way street, requiring both ethical subordinates and leaders to ensure long-lasting ethicality. Next to these results, I will share a few insights and learnings from conducting large scale interaction studies online using the open source software oTree

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