Sample Essay on Article Review

Article Review

Main Arguments of the Article

What is the Research Hypothesis?

  • The paper seeks to define the presence of a relationship between ethical leadership and organizational culture.
  • According to the article, ethics is defined as a form of social learning that relies on normatively appropriate behaviors by integrating a two-way communication that elicits behavior that is good and moral when applied to leadership, decision-making, and interpersonal relationship. For example, a CEO of a company has to act morally in their mannerisms, decisions and actions to be considered as ethical.
  • The article attempts to fill the void in research that links ethical leadership and organizational culture, while trying to draw correlations where the two interact, their influence on each other, and methodologies applied to cement their usefulness towards promoting an ethical organization.

What is the Methodology Used for the Research?

  • The article uses quantitative research methodology such as interviews, sampling, questionnaires, and content analysis to derive favorable results.
  • The use of a sample size of 902 employees in different management levels was in line with the article’s research objective that sought to determine the plausibility of application of ethical leadership to organizational culture, and vice versa.
  • Using a system of self-evaluations for the managers, the article determines several key variables that draw correlations between organizational culture and ethical leadership.
  • The major background variables considered in the research were age, gender, and management level. Accordingly, the results generated were grouped to provide concise details of the issues surrounding management of ethics in an organization, regardless of the type of business or industry.

What are the Correlations to Other Researches?

  • The practicality of the research was achieved using Kaptein’s eight dimensional corporate ethical virtues (CEV) model.
  • The model is based on transparency, supportability, clarity, and congruency of supervisors, congruency of senior management, feasibility, discussability, and sanctionability. For example, sanctionability involves the form of punishment and reward for employees based on their ethicality.
  • The research suggests that a combination of all or most of these dimensions shows an organization with a strong ethical culture.
  • The research attempts to show a correlation between the dimensions and self-evaluations by managers using different background variables.
  • The results suggest a system where self-evaluation of managers with different background variables provides different views on the level and practicality of ethics affecting the organization’s culture.
  • One major argument of the article is that manager’s self-evaluation on their ethical behavior is directly representative of their thoughts on their organization’s ethical culture.

What was the Results Generated?

  • The research showed that women considered their ethical leadership to be superior to men’s.
  • Older managers between 41 and 50 also considered their ethical leadership to be superior to those of other younger managers. Additionally, higher managerial levels tended to rate their ethical leadership evaluations to be higher, as compared to middle and lower level managers that considered their ethical leadership to be lesser.
  • The size of organizations did not have any effect on self-evaluations on ethical leadership for managers, regardless of gender, age, or managerial level.
  • Based on ethical culture, men had evaluation that is more positive on ethical culture as compared to women, while upper management evaluations on ethical culture of their organizations were more positive as compared to their younger lower level managers.
  • Finally, managers working in the financial and insurance industries considered their organization’s as having the best ethical cultures. For example, a manager working in a bank would be more ethical, than another working in a manufacturing company.

Strengths of the Article

The Effect of Research Sources

  • The article draws and presents its literature based on concrete research derived from acceptable and accredited research sources such as books, journals, and publications. Since these researches have been accredited, it cements the viability of the article for professional and academic use to perform empirical researches.
  • The authors have managed to link their sampled research with previous literature that has generated similar results that are representative of the research hypothesis.
  • Despite the lack of a link between ethical leadership and organizational culture through empirical studies and conceptual and theoretical works, the authors have managed to derive data and information from other sources, merge it with their research, and present concrete, concise, and articulate presentation of information.

The Effect of Application of a Quantitative Research System

  • The article has also used a quantitative research system to derive data through sampling, survey, questionnaires, and content analysis. For example, marketing companies conduct surveys of certain views such as customer feedback to ascertain a product’s usefulness. This has produced a new set of data and information that can be used to achieve the research hypothesis.
  • The presentation and highlighting of the method used to perform the research also serves to cement the validity of the research.
  • Use of background variables such as gender, age groups, management levels, and type of business has developed a set of variables that can be used to analytically present the results. This provides an avenue to develop close and open linkages to other research parameters such as Kaptein’s eight dimension corporate ethical virtues.            
  • The article also uses people derived from the professional world that are employed and mainly contain of managers. This ensures that the quality of the research is concrete and valuable.

The Effect of Objectivity

  • The article outlines some of the assumptions made to perform the research. It shows the effects, both positive and negative, that the assumptions have on maintaining the quality of the research.
  • It provides a methodology for the performance of future researches on the topic that would alleviate the effects of the assumptions.
  • Finally, possible avenues that other researchers can pursue to widen the scope, accuracy, and wealth of information for the research are provided. This acts as a means to give other researchers possibilities for expanding the research.

Weaknesses of the Article

The effect of lesser respondents on the research

  • The article has a poor source material for the sampled survey conducted. According to the method section, it suggests that based on the 3000 questionnaires sent to people, only 902 were found to be viable and useful for the performance of the research.
  • For example, in an election, poor turnout of voters that is below 50% results in observers saying the election does not represent the views and voice of the people. This represents only a 34% of the sampled, which can be interpreted to mean that the results generated cannot be definitively considered as viable due to the poor sample questionnaire returns that fall below half of the respondents.
  • The article assumes that ethical leadership is only possible with managers and does not consider the fact that there exist other leaders in different facets and levels of the organization.
  • Use of questionnaires to perform the survey can result in the respondents giving false information.
  • The article assumes that organizational culture is similar for all industries and businesses.
  • The article only offers a summary of the results from the research, which means that it is impossible to sift through the data to gain better insights on the research outcome.
  • The article used a small demographical data since the background variables were lesser.
  • The article used some sources that were old and their content could have been refuted by other contemporary researches.

The Effect of Geographical Location Choice

  • The sampled group was also drawn from one country only, Finland. Therefore, this research can be considered as a case study analysis of the Finnish managers.
  • It assumes that the demographical factors present in this country can be used to represent similar representations in other countries around the world. This is a weak assumption since it disregards such variables as economic development of different countries, their labor laws, socio-cultural orientation of people, and political ideologies. Consequently, this perceives the data and information retrieved as highly inaccurate, biased, and marginalized.

The Effect of Lack of Literature on the Research Hypothesis

  • There is a lack of research on the link between ethical leadership and organizational culture; it is difficult to prove any of the presentations given on the article. It is important that any research be supported by past researches either theoretical or empirical on the research topic.
  • A lack of any backup results in the presentation of information whose quality, viability, and accuracy are laden with uncertainties can be easily be construed as making the article seem inaccurate and unreliable.
  • In spite of the rich source material on different topics, as well as an articulate and concise research, first time research on any topic is usually considered a laden with flaws since some allegations cannot be proved during the conductance of the research.

Personal Insights

What is the plausibility of the research outcome?

  • One of the pertinent lessons learnt from this research is that financial and insurance businesses are considered as having or presenting the best ethical culture for their organizations.
  • Interestingly, this is unlike the myriad of scandals present among companies operating in this realm such as the Enron saga. Complaints from customers being served by businesses or organizations in these industries are considered as the highest as compared to other industries.
  • Therefore, it seems implausible to believe that the article suggests that financial and insurance institutions have the best ethical culture.
  • The article proffers a new research topic that does not have other researches on the same. A new research topic always proffers weak sentiments that are flawed and subject to critique on their viability.
  • The article assumes that ethical leadership is only possible with managers and does not consider the fact that there exist other leaders in different facets and levels of the organization.
  • The article assumes that organizational culture is similar for all industries and businesses. This is a flawed assumption.
  • The article should applied the use of other quantitative research methodologies to cement the validity and accuracy of the results presented.
  • Ethical leadership cannot be presented from the views of the leaders themselves, but should rather be presented from the views of the employees on their leaders. This would ensure that the results presented are accurate.
  • The view that ethical leadership increases with age is possible since leadership is a journey that improves with age, experience, and managerial level.
  • Ethical leadership is an essential tool for creating a flexible, just, and favorable business environment that enhances equality and effectual competition.

Links to New Public Management Issues

  • The article suggests that upper level managers have better self-evaluations of their ethical leadership styles as compared to middle level managers and low-level managers. This is due to the effects of demands pressed down on the lower management staff that stem not only from their staff under them, but also from top management.
  •  Balancing these pressures from upper and lower levels of the organizations seems critical in the creation of effective systems, strategies, and policies that serve the needs of all pertinent parties. Therefore, these managers are faced with ethical problems on a continual basis, which accounts for their low ethical leadership and organizational culture evaluations.

What is the Viability of Application of Ethical Leadership?

  • Another issue revolves around the move towards employment of young savvy managers at different levels of management. In a world where organizations are shifting their focus to ethical cultures, it is vital that the top leadership act as the role model to drive this change.
  • However, according to the article, young managers presented self-evaluations that rated poorly their ethical leadership and organizational cultures. Therefore, this creates a logjam where organization’s vision and goal for ethical cultures are maimed by the employment of an unethical person to the top management.
  • According to the social theory, people tend to follow their own personal inhibitions, based on the actions of their leaders or role models. Therefore, poor ethical leadership directly translates to the junior staff adapting similar norms and behaviors.
  • Concurrently, women rate highly in their self-evaluations of ethical leaderships and organizational cultures. However, due to the shifting business dynamics and organizational survival, it is vital that the organization’s management act unethically when dealing with some issues. This also creates a logjam where an organization’s vision for enhancing or promoting an ethical culture are maintained by the management, but maimed by the organization’s modus operandi and business systems, or strategies.
  • Use of the eight dimensions can be a useful tool for public management since its applicability and effectiveness is profound. Therefore, it can act to improve ethical leadership at different managerial levels.
  • Aligning a company’s vision and mission to ethical leadership results in employees having a code of conduct and sets standards for the norms of the organization.
  • The allocation of tasks in an organization should embody a culture of ethics and leadership authority. This means that leaders should promote an organizational culture where employees are aware of their core duties. This is one of the primary factors of ethical leadership being applied to an organizational culture.


  • Ethical leadership is an important norm that requires the application of strategies and behaviors that conform to a predefined code of ethics.
  • Organizational culture, on the other hand, refers to the means through which an organization collectively marshals its systems, employees, and clientele towards accepting certain norms, behaviors, and codes of standards.
  • Linking these two is the objective of the article, it has utilized a variety of sources, and quantitative research to retrieve and present data and information that supports this research hypothesis.
  • The strengths and weaknesses of the article are also defined and highlighted.