(4) Defining Moral Leadership: Perspectives of 12 Leaders

Nancy L. Maldonado

Candace H. Lacey

Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative study was to hear the voices of contemporary moral leaders regarding their definitions of moral leadership and the actions and behaviors that frame this type of leadership. Participants for this phenomenological study were selected by graduate students using a researcher-developed rating scale. Participants included six females and six males. Data were analyzed using content analysis. Findings indicate participants defined moral leadership as leading by example, taking a stand, speaking out, calling forth the best in others, and/or following one’s own and/or prescribed definitions of right and wrong. The participants identified certain qualities as constituting moral and ethical characteristics. These include humility, listening, and personal truthfulness as well as actions related to justice. Based on the findings of this study, recommendations for future research suggest focusing on a more diverse group of identified moral leaders.

Citation: Maldonado, N. L., & Lacey, C. H. (2001). Defining moral leadership: Perspectives of 12 leaders. Florida Journal of Educational Research41(4), 79-101.

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