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Perspectives of Crisis: Corruption, Ebola, and Exploitive Leadership

Leading the Way in Battling Corruption

James D. Rose


The chapter begins with a review of the endemic Corruption Perception Index scores in countries across Africa, demonstrating the challenge of corruption in Africa. Overall, this chapter demonstrates that African leaders have a unique cultural advantage of a high power distance society that can be leveraged to overcome corruption. As will be discussed, high power distance societies are those that are more readily influenced by leaders. The chapter provides a cross-cultural perspective on Brown, Trevino et al.’s1 conceptualization of ethical leadership which emphasizes the importance of leaders modelling ethical behaviour. The definition is as follows:

Ethical leadership is defined as modeling ethical normatively-appropriate behavior (exemplified by demonstrating integrity, consideration ofothers, and ethical decision making) and the promotion and reinforcement of such behavior?

A review of societal cultures across Africa indicates that the relatively high power distance society should increase the influence of leaders; this indicates leaders can lead the way in the battle against corruption. Results

J. D. Rose (H)

Christian Development Foundation, Eastland, TX, USA e-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

© The Author(s) 2017 63

K. Patterson, B. Winston (eds.), Leading an African Renaissance, Palgrave Studies in African Leadership,

DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-40539-1_4

of two empirical studies in Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, provide support for this perspective. The first study indicates that the most ethical leaders in the study credit ethical role models as having a significant influence on their ethical behaviour. The second study provides an example of leader influence on moral reasoning development, as measured by the Defining Issues Test. Moral reasoning is a key aspect of moral development that has been shown to influence ethical behaviour.3 In summary, this chapter demonstrates that African leaders can lead the way in battling corruption by openly advocating and modelling ethical behaviour, leveraging Africa’s relatively high power distance society.

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