Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


School of Business

First Advisor

Dr. Craig Johnson

Second Advisor

Dr. Debra Worden

Third Advisor

Dr. David Robinson


In today’s world, it is imperative that organizations continuously innovate because their long-term survival is threatened when they do not. Research has shown that two elements are required for an organization to be innovative: an innovative climate and an effective leadership style. Recent studies have begun to explore the relationship between the ethical dimension of leadership and outcomes of an innovative climate, such as promotion of technological innovation and support for innovation.

While there is evidence that ethical leadership may improve innovative climate, the relationship between the two constructs has not been explored. The purpose of this study was to begin the exploration of the possible link between ethical leadership and innovation climate, along with its five dimensions.

Four hundred eighteen participants who work in a variety of industries and occupations participated in the study. Of this number, 359 participants were online panelists of an online research company, and 59 were students and instructors in Bachelor and Masters level courses at three Oregon universities. The former completed the questionnaire over the Internet, and the latter completed hard copy questionnaires in the classroom.

A 5-point Likert score questionnaire was used in the study; it encompassed the ten statements in the Ethical Leadership Scale (ELS) and the 61 statements in the Siegel Scale of Support for Innovation (SSSI). The results showed significant positive correlations between ethical leadership and innovation climate and ethical leadership and each of the five dimensions: continuous development, ownership, normal for diversity, leadership, and consistency.

This study sets the stage for future empirical research regarding the relationship between two important constructs, both of which are required for long-term organizational success. They provide evidence that at least from the employee’s perspective, a leader’s ethical behaviors have a positive relationship with multiple dimensions of an innovation climate.