Ethical Leadership Measures for Public Service in Sri Lanka

  •  A.T. Wijesekera    
  •  R. Lalitha Fernando    


A lack of concern on ethics in public administration may be considered the biggest barrier to quality service delivery. Many efforts have been made to promote ethical standards between public servants. Among those efforts, improving leadership skills can prove to be effective in promoting ethics in public service (Hart 2001).Therefore, ethical leadership behavior is very vital as that ensures ethical guidance. In order to identify the ethical leadership behavior of the public sector, customized measures are essential. This study describes the process of development of a 30-item instrument for measuring ethical leadership behavior in the public service with reference to Divisional Secretariats in Sri Lanka. According to Hinkin's (1998) recommendations in items generating both qualitative and quantitative methods were utilized. First observed the articles which were published related to ethical leadership and examined to find items and dimensions. A focus group discussion was conducted with 20 in-depth interviews to generate additional items to determine whether additional dimensions of ethical leadership would emerge. Based on these two steps, the researcher found 30-items with five dimensions. They were fairness, employee orientation, role clarification, integrity and ethical guidance. These 30-items were included in a questionnaire and a quantitative study was undertaken with 100 respondents employed in the Divisional Secretariats within Gampatha District. Reliability test and factor analysis were used to ensure reliability and validity of this measures. Finally, these 30-items were loaded to four dimensions. Such as people orientation, integrity, ethical guidance and role clarification.

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