n South African Journal of Labour Relations - Exploring how middle managers experience the impact of senior management on their integrity

Volume 36, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0379-8410
  • E-ISSN: 2520-3223



The increased number of high-profile cases of senior management failure and leadership misconduct has drawn attention to responsible leadership and leadership with integrity. The purpose of this research was to gain a better understanding of how middle managers experience the impact of senior management practices on their integrity. This study was conducted within the interpretive research paradigm. Sampling was criterion based. In-depth interviews were conducted and the data were analysed using a grounded theory method. The findings indicate that senior managers should engage in two debates with middle managers in the organisation. Firstly, there is the debate about whether a manager is differentiated from other managers when he or she leads with integrity. Secondly, there is the debate that concerns defining integrity and linking it to personal standards and values, as well as aligning these standards and values with the organisational strategy, vision and mission. This research provides a basic framework that can help to create a positive context within which the relationship between senior managers and middle managers can function. This could lead to a decrease in unethical employee activity and to the increasing and effective exercise of integrity.

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