Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Joshua D. Henson

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas Gollery

Third Advisor

Dr. Charles Gaulden


Exploring the nuanced dimensions of leadership within contemporary organizational contexts, in this study, I delved into the correlation and interchangeability between virtuous and ethical leadership paradigms. Anchored in a methodological framework that includes a thorough literature review and a correlation research design, I assessed the relationship between perceptions of virtuous leadership (measured by the virtuous leadership questionnaire) and ethical leadership (measured by the ethical leadership scale) among leaders and subordinates across a representative demographic of the professional business environment. Drawing from a qualified participant pool of 533, I found a statistically significant, direct, and robust correlation (r = .91, p < .001) between virtuous and ethical leadership perceptions. Simple linear regression analysis showed that perceptions of virtuous leadership significantly predict those of ethical leadership, explaining 83.02% of the variance in ethical leadership perceptions (F (1,531) = 2,596.06, p < .001, R² = .83). These findings illuminate the close alignment between the constructs of virtuous and ethical leadership and suggest the potential use of their measurement instruments interchangeably without modification. By challenging traditional leadership models and advocating for an integrated approach to moral leadership, I highlight the critical importance of fostering both ethical behaviors and virtuous traits for effective leadership. A discussion of the implications for leadership development within organizations and outline directions for future research is provided, emphasizing the need for a holistic approach to cultivating leadership qualities that enhance organizational culture and effectiveness.

Included in

Leadership Commons