Elizabeth Umphress, Foster School of Business at University of Washington

Consequences of Leader Diversity Ideology on Ethical leadership Perception and organizational Citizenship Behavior
Elizabeth Umphress


Winter 2021
Lecture Time: 
Friday, March 5, 2021 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm
Lecture Location: 


The Ethics of Diversity Ideology: Consequences of Leader Diversity Ideology on Ethical Leadership Perception and Organizational Citizenship Behavior Although scholars have noted that leader diversity ideologies are imbued with ethical or normative content (e.g., Nkomo & Hoobler, 2014), previous literature has not theoretically or empirically addressed this assumption. We integrate the theory of recognition and the ethical leadership framework to better understand how and why a leader’s diversity ideology influences follower ethical leadership perceptions. We theorize that leaders who communicate about diversity by acknowledging individuals’ various identities (identity-conscious ideology) are deemed by followers as more ethical than leaders who do not (identity-blind ideologies). We further suggest that this effect is stronger for followers who are more likely to view demographic identities as consequential within society, or those higher in institutional discrimination awareness. Finally, we assert that this interactive effect on ethical leadership will subsequently influence discretionary, proactive behavior directed toward the organization. We found support for our predictions in a laboratory and field study. Our predictions and findings help advance theory and research in the ethics and diversity areas by illustrating the ethical consequences of diversity ideologies.

Recording & Additional Notes

Professor of Management
Evert McCabe Endowed Fellow
PhD Tulane University (2003)
BA University of Texas (1997)
Academic Expertise
organizational behavior
Current Research
Ethical Decision Making, Organizational Justice, Diversity Issues
Positions Held
Professor at the University of Washington since 2020
Associate Professor at the University of Washington, 2011-2020
Associate Professor at Texas A&M University, 2009-2011
Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University, 2003-2009