Ethics: The Key Element of Leadership and Organizational Performance

Busaya Virakul
National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA)
Bangkok, Thailand


This study is a conceptual research paper. Its aim is to investigate the importance of ethics in organizational leadership and performance. The framework for the research consists of four research questions: (a) What does ethical leadership mean? (b) What are the components of ethical leadership? (c) What are the importance and outcomes of ethical leadership? and (d) How is ethics in leadership relevant to organizational performance? All research questions were answered according to an analysis and synthesis of data obtained from a review of relevant literature. The findings show that ethics is actually the key component of leadership in organizations. The main components of ethical leadership are wisdom/prudence, temperance, courage, justice, humility, honesty, integrity, and compassion. A model was created in this research to show where ethics stands in organizational leadership and performance.


Ethics, Ethical leadership, Leadership competency, Organizational performance