Ethical Leadership Questionnaire (ELQ) “To purposefully build an appropriate ethical culture within an organisation requires not just a leader, but a leader of ethics” (Spangenberg & Theron, 2005) JvR Psychometrics is proud to introduce a new addition to the South African product range and the Spangenberg and Theron Leadership Suite (S&TLS) – titled the Ethical Leadership Questionnaire (ELQ). The ELQ was developed by two giants in the field of Leadership, Prof Hermann Spangenberg and Prof Callie Theron from the University of Stellenbosch. Kanungo and Medonca (1996) said that an organisation in itself is incapable of doing good or evil in society – that is due to unethical behaviour of individuals, whether managers or employees. Ethical organisational behaviour is highly valued and desired – and to purposefully build an appropriate ethical culture within an organisation requires not just a leader, but a leader of ethics (Spangenberg & Theron, 2005). The ELQ is a 360 assessment tool that is designed to measure a person’s ethical leadership competencies (not their ethical potential). It aims to provide leaders with comprehensive insight into their ethical leadership behaviours across the leadership – management spectrum and ultimately aims to improve leader effectiveness and ethical quality of unit member behaviour. The ELQ model comprises three key processes, 8 leadership positions and 19 distinct leadership dimensions.

  • Creating and sharing an ethical vision
    • Developing a challenging ethical vision, considering ethical environmental dynamics (Understanding ethical dynamics in the external and internal environments; Developing a challenging ethical vision)
    • Formulating and communicating the ethical vision and strategy (Articulating an ethical vision and enlisting followers; Conceptualising ethical strategy)
  • Preparing the unit for implementing the ethical vision and strategy
    • Preparing the leader and followers (Enabling the followers, Enabling the leader; Building trust in the leader and the unit)
    • Preparing the unit (Formulating and implementing ethical structures and systems; Building an ethical culture and climate)
  • Implementing the ethical vision
    • Leading with integrity, courage and Sensitivity – Walk the talk (Acting honestly and with integrity; Acting decisively, displaying courage and hardiness; Demonstrating interpersonal sensitivity)
    • Inspiring ethical thinking and behaviour (Challenging current reality and stimulating ethical learning; Inspiring people towards ethical behaviour)
    • Stimulating ethics across departments and units (Facilitating interdepartmental co-ordination; Influencing external stakeholders)
    • Managing and rewarding ethical initiatives (Planning and implementing ethical initiatives; Reviewing ethical initiatives and behaviour; rewarding ethical contributions and behaviour)

The ELQ is a developmental tool and is accompanied by a Leadership Report which entails an overview of the leader’s ethical leadership skills. The Leadership report also gives the practitioner more detail with regards to individual dimensions and items and also provides the opportunity to, through a gap analysis; understand the leader’s ethical strengths and developmental areas.  The tool is primarily designed for middle to senior managers who have been in their current position for at least six months and should have at least two followers reporting to them. The ELQ can be used to not only provide practitioners with comprehensive insight into an employee’s ethical leadership behaviours, but also to form part of an initiative aimed at accelerating the learning and growth of certain employees for succession planning. The ELQ also offers a  pre-and-post leadership functionality, which can be implemented to determine the effectiveness of certain ethical leadership development initiatives. However, if true development wants to be seen, it is advised to only re-assess after sufficient time (at least 1 year) has passed, to allow for transfer of knowledge to occur and for a true change of behaviour to be manifested. The ELQ is currently available in English and can be completed electronically with a software report being provided to the practitioner. Although training is not a prerequisite for using the ELQ, it is recommended that the practitioner has experience in assessments and feedback. The ELQ is based on competencies and behaviours and can therefore be used by HR practitioners and psychologists alike. The ELQ forms part of the Spangenberg and Theron Leadership Suite that comprises of 5 360° assessment tools, one of which, the LBI -2, has already been published and is distributed by JvR Psychometrics. Currently there is South African research available on the ELQ, and JvR Psychometrics would be happy to partner with clients who are interested in conducting predictive studies in their organisations.