Leadership values: Perspectives of senior executives in Sri Lanka
School of Business and Law
This research note examines the values held by business executives in Sri Lanka, with a focus on exploring values in a cross-cultural environment. Research on organizational and personal values in a Western context is well established. This qualitative study represents a preliminary insight into the values of senior executives in a different cultural context. Participants were interviewed face-to-face and asked about their personal and organizational values and to identify characteristics in both ethical and unethical leaders. They also recalled a professional incident in which their own values were challenged. Given the size and limitations of the study the findings cannot be considered conclusive and represent propositions for future empirical research. The findings suggest that Sri Lankan business executives have clear values which define their personal and professional lives and the characteristics of ethical and unethical leaders. Their ethical dilemmas are mostly defined by cultural and political factors in Sri Lanka, which challenge the business environment.