Application of ethical leadership and workers’ performance: A perspectives from public and private owned enterprises


  • Anthonia Awele OLANNYE Faculty of Management Sciences, Department of Business Administration and Marketing, Delta State University, Asaba Campus, Nigeria


enterprises, ethical, leadership, worker performance


The main objective of the study was to determine the rationale of ethical leadership in public and privately-owned enterprises. It involved two public sectors and two private sector enterprises, which comprised 221 respondents from the staff and management of the enterprises as the sample size for the study. The survey research method was used in gathering information from respondents. A stratified sampling technique was adopted for the study. A validated structured questionnaire was used for data collection. The statistical techniques adopted for processing the data and testing the hypotheses for this study compared mean using independent t-test via the use of statistical package for social science (SPSS) software version 2 1. Descriptive statistics and frequency analysis were used. The mean response was tested using a t-test. The findings of the study revealed that there is no significant difference in ethical leadership between the public and private enterprises given that the variables revealed thus (Sig. = .728, P> 0.05) and  (Sig. .238, P> 0.05). The study concluded that the leadership of the public and private enterprise should have the ethical values, interpersonal qualities and capabilities to carry out the different tasks as needed by the organizations.


Download data is not yet available.


Aksiana, I. B. W., & Sujana, I. K. (2019). Effect of Risk Preference, Professional Domination, Information, and Professional Relationship on Ethical Decision Making of Tax Consultants. International Research Journal of Management, IT and Social Sciences, 6(4), 174-179.

Arnold, D. N. (2009). Integrity under attack: The State of Scholarly Publishing. News Journal of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, 42(10), 1 -3.

Avey, J. B., Wemsing, T. S. & Palanski, M. E. (2012). Exploring the process of ethical leadership: The mediating role of employee voice and psychological ownership. Journal of Business Ethics, 107, 2 1-34.

Avolio, B.J.; R.J. Reichard, S.T. Hannah, F.O. Walumbwa & A. Chan (2009): A meta-analytic review of leadership impact research: Experimental and quasi-experimental studies. The Leadership Quarterly 20(5): 764-784.

Bass, B.M. & Riggio, R.E. (2006): Transformational leadership, 2nd ed. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Bass, B.M., Avolio, B.J., Jung, D.I. & Berson, Y. (2003): Predicting unit performance by assessing transformational and transactional leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(2):207-21 8.

Bennis, W., & Nanus, B. (2007). Leadership: The strategies for taking charge: New York: Harper & Row.

Berghofer, D. & Schwartz, G. (ud). Ethical Leadership: Right Relationship and1h Emotional Bottom Line, The Gold Standard for Success, The Institute for Ethical Leadership. Retrieved Online on July 16, 2011, at HTTP// www.ethical leadership. corn

Berrone, P., Surroca, J. & Tribó J. A. (2007) Corporate Ethical Identity as a Determinant of Firm Performance: A Test of the Mediating Role of Stakeholder Satisfaction, Journal of Business Ethics, 76(1): 35-53.

Brown, M. E., & Trevino, L. K. (2006). Ethical leadership: A review and future directions. The Leadership Quarterly, 17(6), 595-6 16.

Brown, M. E., & Treviño, L. K. (2006). Ethical leadership: A review and future directions. The leadership quarterly, 17(6), 595-616.

Brown, M. E., Treviflo, L. K., & Harrison, D. A. (2005). Ethical leadership: A social learning perspective for construct development and testing. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 97(2): 117-134.

Brown, M. E., Treviño, L. K., & Harrison, D. A. (2005). Ethical leadership: A social learning perspective for construct development and testing. Organizational behavior and human decision processes, 97(2), 117-134.

Ciulla, J. B. (2005). Integrating leadership with ethics: is good leadership contrary to human nature? In P. J. Doh & S. A. Stumpf (Eds.), Handbook on responsible leadership and governance in global business (159-179). Cheltenham UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.

Dansereau, F., Graen, G., & Haga, W. J. (1975) A vertical dyad linkage approach to leadership within formal organisations: A longitudinal investigation of the role making process. Organisational Behaviour and Human Performance, 13(1), 46-78.

Demeter, C. M., & Tapardel, A. C. (2013). Public and private leadership and performance management, Change and Leadership, 17, 162-167.

Dewi, I. G. A. A. P., & Dewi, P. P. (2018). Big Five Personality, Ethical Sensitivity, and Performance of Auditors. International research journal of management, IT and social sciences, 5(2), 195-209.

Ebitu, E. T. (2012). Promoting ethical behaviour in business in Nigeria and the international market, International Journal of Innovation in Management Sciences, 4(2): 126 — 130.

Ekpo, A. H., & Umoh, O.J. (2008). Overview of the Nigerian Economic Growth & Development. Abuja, Nigeria: CBN Research Units.

Freeman, R. E. & Stewart, L. (2006). Developing ethical leadership. Bridge Papers. Document Number)

Freeman, R. E., Martin, K., Parmar, B., Cording, M., & Werhane, P. H. (2006). Leading through values and ethical principles. In R. J. Burke & C. L. Cooper (Eds.), Inspiring Leaders, Routledge Publishing. Oxford, UK.

Gallagher, A., & Tschudin, V. (2010). Educating for ethical leadership. Nurse education today, 30(3), 224-227.

Kannair, J. (2007). The Ethical Mind. Harvard Business Review, 85(3): 51-56.

Kim, W. G., & Brymer, R. A. (2011). The effects of ethical leadership on manager job satisfaction, commitment, behavioral outcomes, and firm performance. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 30(4), 1020-1026.

Kuoppala, J. A., Larnminpaa, J., Liira, M.D. & Vainio, H. (2008): Leadership, JOb Well-Being, and Health Effects - A Systematic Review and a Meta-Analysis. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine 50(8):904-915.

Lawanson, O.I.. (2002). Promotion of Non-Oil Export in the Nigerian Economy. FBN Quarterly Review, 2(1), March.

Lee, D., Coustasse, A. & Sr. Sikula, A. (2011): Transformational leadership äii1 workplace injury and absenteeism: Analysis of a National Nursing Assistant Survey. Health Care Management Review: 36(4):380-387.

Mathews, M. P. (2002). Nigeria: Current Issues and Historical Background. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

Northouse, G. (2007). Leadership Theory and Practice, (3rd edn), Thousand Oak, London, New Delhi, Sage Publications, Inc.

Northouse, P. G. (2010). Public administration theory as discourse. Administrative Theory and Practise, 12, 132-139.

Obadan, M.I (2000) Privatization of Public Enterprises in Nigeria: Issues and Conditions for Success in the Second Republic Ibadan: National Center for Economic Management and Administration.

Ogundele, O. J. K. (2012). Management and organisation: Theory and behaviour. Lagos: Molofin Nominees.

Olannye, A.P. (2006). Research Methods For Business: A Skill Building Approach, Lagos: Pee] en Publishers.

Osemeke, M. (2007). Banking Reforms in Nigeria and its Impact on Poverty Alleviation, Journal of Business & Management Studies (JBMS), Ozoro, Nigeria: Delta State Polytechnic..2(1),.72-81.

Paarlberg, L.E. & Lavigna, B. (2010): Transformational Leadership and Public Service Motivation: Driving Individual and Organizational Performance. Public Administration Review, 70:710-718.

Perreault, G. (2010). Ethical Followers: A Link to Ethical Leadership. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 4(1): 7 8-89.

Peter, A. O. (2015). Effect of Ethical Leadership on Employee Performance in Uganda. Net Journal of Business Management, 3(1). 1-12

Pollitt, C. & Geert, B. (2004) Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis. 2nd Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

Qiu, T. & Peschek, B. S. (2013) The effect of interpersonal counter-productive workplace behaviours on the performance of New Product development Teams. American Journal of Management Vol. 12(1).

Resick, C.J., Hanges, P.J., Dickson, M.W. & Mitchelson, J.K. (2006) A Cross-Cultural Examination of the Endorsement of Ethical Leadership, Journal of Business Ethics, 63(4): 345—359.

Ritz, A. (2009): Public service motivation and organizational performance in the Swiss federal government. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 75(1): 53-78.

Robbins, S. P. & Judge, T. A. (2013).Organisational behaviour, 15th edition. England: Pearson Education Limited

Toor, S. & Ofori, G. (2009) Ethical Leadership: Examining the Relationships with Full Range Leadership Model, Employee Outcomes, and Organizational Culture, Journal of Business Ethics, 90: 533-547.

Trevino, L. K., & Brown, M. E. (2005). Managing to be ethical: Debunking five business ethics myths. Strategic human resource management: theory and practice.

Uche, C. B. N. (2012). Unethical behaviour of managers in the public and private corporate organisations in Nigeria. (the University of Lagos, An Unpublished PhD Thesis).

Walumbwa, F. O., Mayer, D. M., Wang, P., Wang, H., Workman, K., & Christensen, A. L. (2011). Linking ethical leadership to employee performance: The roles of leader–member exchange, self-efficacy, and organizational identification. Organizational behavior and human decision processes, 115(2), 204-213.

Wayne, L. (2009). A promise to be ethical in an era of immorality. New York Times. Retrieved on November 4, 2009, from 2009/05/30/business

Yukl, G. (2006). Leadership in organizations, 6th edition. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall Upper Saddle River, NJ.



How to Cite

OLANNYE, A. A. (2021). Application of ethical leadership and workers’ performance: A perspectives from public and private owned enterprises. International Research Journal of Management, IT and Social Sciences, 8(3), 204-218.



Peer Review Articles