Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Don Forsyth


Leadership research currently lacks significant attention to followership as an essential component of leadership. Existing literature addresses leader traits and behaviors more than those of followers, but also falls short by offering greater focus on ethical rather than unethical leadership. The current study attempts to fill this gap by examining not only followers as an overlooked yet essential influence, but also unethical leadership, particularly as it relates to follower perceptions of such behavior. The investigation uses follower personality (defined by the Big Five Factor Personality Dimensions) as a potential predictor for follower support or rejection of unethical leadership. Findings of this study indicate that extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness and openness in followers are significantly correlated with follower rejection of unethical leader behavior. Neuroticism was not significantly related to either acceptance or rejection of unethical leader behavior. The implications of these findings are considered.