Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)
Gary J. Bredfeldt
Character, ethics, leadership, Scripture, service, worldview
Ethics in Religion | Leadership Studies
Smith, Steven T., "A Phenomenological Study of Scripture-Based Ethical Principles Embedded Within Corporate Leadership Practices" (2022). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3420.
The ethical treatment of others within the corporate working environment is essential for that corporation's success. Ethical treatment of others applies to business transactions with customers and clients and engages the policies designed to formulate the ethical treatment of company employees. Although most major corporation documentation includes corporate code of conduct policies, the ethical principles used to define those policies and enact leadership based upon those policies are not always consistent. Four research questions defined the structure of this qualitative phenomenological study. The study’s purpose was to define the nature of Scripture-based ethics within the corporate environment. The theory guiding this study is Servant Leadership Theory as defined by Greenleaf (1977) and supported by Northouse (2019) as it identifies the critical nature of leaders acting as servants for their followers. The study utilized a purposeful sampling strategy to recruit 15 participants. The researcher collected data through recorded online video interviews and transcribed the data using the NVIVO software package. The research identified six main themes: (1) Corporate Foundations, (2) Beliefs, (3) Ethical Foundations, (4) Scriptural Foundations, (5) Life Experience, and (6) Doing the Right Thing. Theme analysis revealed that an ingrained sense of right and wrong resides within humanity, and that sense derives its nature from God’s moral character written on the hearts of humanity. Data analysis also revealed a lack of formal professional ethics training at the leadership level. Future research should deploy a research design that expands this study to additional leadership levels, other industries, and internationally.