Chapter 4: The Relationship Between Values and Leadership Styles
From the Book: The Refractive Thinker®: Vol. III: Change Management


What is the relationship between the leadership styles and the values of chief executive officers? How can boards of organizations tarnished by scandals select chief executives with strong value systems who can bring ethical reforms and restore trust?
The U.S. nonprofit sector is in need of reforms to restore public trust after several highly publicized scandals resulting from mismanagement and leadership failures undermined the reputation of the sector. Selecting leaders who can bring positive, values-based change to the nonprofit industry represents a significant challenge and an opportunity. Understanding the relationship between values and leadership styles of nonprofit leaders can assure nonprofit boards that transformational leaders have strong values systems and can also assist boards in the leadership assessment and selection process.
A quantitative, correlational research study was undertaken to measure the relationship between the leadership styles (transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire) and values (personal, social, morality-based, and competency-based) of nonprofit leaders. The results of the study produced statistical indications suggesting that the predominant transformational leadership paradigm may offer a solution to restore the reputation of nonprofits and re-establish public trust. Nonprofit boards may use existing instruments, such as the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire and a modified version of the Rokeach Value Survey, which was used in this study, in the assessment and selection of transformational leaders with strong value systems. Further leadership research may provide additional insights on the relationship of leadership styles and values of chief executives.