Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore the connection between three aspects of leadership - role modeling, strictness, and openness - and nine types of integrity violations within the Dutch police force. Design/methodology/approach - In this paper data were collected by means of a questionnaire from five regional police organizations in The Netherlands (2,130 questionnaires to regular police officers, response rate 51 percent). Respondents were requested to describe their direct supervisor's leadership qualities and the frequency of integrity violations in their unit. Multivariate analysis techniques were employed to test the relation between the three leadership styles and the nine types of integrity violations. Findings - The paper finds that role modeling, strictness, and openness of leaders influence the behavior of police officers, but the impact of the variables on the different types of integrity violations varies. Role modeling is especially significant in limiting unethical conduct in the context of interpersonal relationships. Employees appear to copy the leader's integrity standards in their daily interaction with one another. Strictness is important as well, but appears to be particularly effective in controlling fraud, corruption and the misuse of resources. The impact of openness is less evident. Research limitations/implications - The study in this paper has taken the field of leadership and ethics a step forward by relating different aspects of leadership with different types of violations. The results are significant for further development of theories on ethics and leadership. Future research should combine different sources and methods in order to further test the findings. Practical implications - The results in this paper have implications for integrity policies and leadership training. A multifaceted leadership strategy will be most effective in safeguarding and improving the integrity of (police) organizations. Originality/value - The paper shows that leadership is the most frequently cited organizational factor in discussions about the safeguarding of ethics and integrity. However, empirical data are lacking regarding the extent to which different aspects of leadership individually contribute to different kinds of integrity violations.

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doi.org/10.1108/13639510710833884, hdl.handle.net/1765/61770
Policing (Bingley): an international journal of police strategies and management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Huberts, L.W.J.C, Kaptein, S.P, & Lasthuizen, K. (2007). A study of the impact of three leadership styles on integrity violations committed by police officers. Policing (Bingley): an international journal of police strategies and management, 30(4), 587–607. doi:10.1108/13639510710833884