The purpose of this paper is to examine self‐assessed character among Australian managers in relation to selected demographic variables of these managers, and to establish the initial psychometric properties of the Virtuous Leadership Scale used to measure dimensions of character.
Data were collected through a national online survey of managers utilizing the membership base of the Australian Institute of Management.
The findings reveal that self‐assessed character is multifaceted and varies across specific demographics (gender, age, level of seniority, years as an executive), and is subject to some degree of social desirability bias. Further research is warranted to explore these outcomes and relationships.
The study is limited by national culture and management self‐report data that need verification across different national cultures, work settings, and work groups. The findings indicate that integrity is a key character attribute reported by managers, but the present results require further validation across industry sectors and other organizational contexts.
The findings suggest the need for further examination of character as an important component of leadership success, strategy, and impact.
The study identifies attributes of character linked to selected demographic (personal and professional) variables of practising managers, and points the way for further examination of the part character has to play in the leadership of organizations.
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