their response to those attributes (see, for example, Lord and Maher 1990).
How the leader's self-presentation is perceived by followers has broader ethical and performance consequences. These include obvious instances of unfairness, self-seeking at others' expense, weakness, vacillation, and outright misconduct, all of which detract from the leader's standing with followers. Emler and Hogan ( 1991) say, "There is no inbuilt tendency to use power responsibly. You cannot randomly allocate leadership responsibility and expect the interests of justice or society to be well served. Those in charge have a responsibility to make moral decisions greater than those they command . . . [and] those differences become more consequential the further up the hierarchy one goes" (p. 86).
Clearly there are ethical challenges in the use of authority and power. Among these are the destructive effects on the social contract between the leader and followers. Being a leader allows more influence and power over others' outcomes and events more broadly. The leader also has many benefits and privileges, including higher financial rewards and the freedom to keep at a distance, if desired. But these benefits come at the price of responsibility and accountability to followers (see Hollander 1978b). Where the leader is seen to be power-oriented, exploitative, and self-serving, especially in the face of failures, the goal of mutual identification is hardly attainable. Instead, followers may feel alienated and ultimately take their allegiance elsewhere. That prospect poses an essential challenge today.
The assistance of Elisa H. Schwager and Ketty Russeva in the preparation of this chapter is gratefully acknowledged.
Allport F. H. 1924. Social Psychology. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.
Barnard C. I. 1938. The Functions of the Executive. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.