SAGE Publications (UK and US), SAGE Open, 2(11), p. 215824402110218, 2021
Incessant occurrences of character failure of people in leadership positions that have characterized organizations in recent years call for critical examination of leadership behaviors. The Social Learning Theory and Trickle-Down Model are some of the common approaches previously used to analyze ethical leadership behaviors. However, the challenges with how these models inspire ethical behaviors call for further examination of the issue. Using a multidisciplinary integrative literature review, we present Vroom’s Valence–Instrumentality–Expectancy (VIE) Model of Motivation as an alternative model for examining ethical leadership behaviors. The VIE Model provides clarity regarding how leaders are motivated to behave ethically. We utilize ideas from the VIE model in conjunction with Starratt’s Three-Step Approach to develop a unique framework for examining ethical leadership behaviors. Our model highlights the importance of a leader’s values in creating organizational ethical values that eventually translate into professional ethical values. Using the motivational approach to inspire ethical leadership will drive organizational members to internalize ethical behavior as a conviction rather than complying with a set rule.