This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Relationship Among Character Strengths, Moral Potency, and Individual Performance




Heyler, Scott

Type of Degree





Ethical decision making is a critical component of successful leadership. Many individuals struggle with the ability to move from deciding what is ethical to taking ethical action. The so-called decision-action gap causes difficulties for individuals as they attempt to lead ethically. Moral potency is defined and presented as a possible solution to bridging the decision-action gap. In this study, I surveyed a sample of cadets at the United States Air Force Academy in order to determine which of the Values in Action Character Strengths are positively related to moral potency. Additionally, I investigated the relationship between moral potency and individual performance. Several character strengths were identified as antecedents to moral potency. Suggestions for improving individual levels of moral potency are made based on the results of this study. A non-significant relationship between moral potency and performance is discussed. Ideas for future research regarding the development of moral potency are presented.