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Personality traits broadly impact people’s behavior and decisions in the organizational realm. One of the leading personality models suggests that people’s personalities can be expressed by five dimensions: openness to experience, conscientiousness, pleasantness, extroversion, and neuroticism . While these characteristics are stable in most human lives, they are assumed to be more pronounced in times of crisis, since crises are weak situations. According to the situational strength theory, people are less aware of the desired rules and codes of conduct in weak situations. Thus, they tend to rely more on their traits and less on the existing procedures. The current work aimed to examine if, during a crisis, the personal characteristics of the manager will be more pronounced and thus have a larger influence on their ethical leadership. In three studies, we show a strong link between agreeableness and conscientiousness and the ethical leadership of managers. However, contrary to our hypotheses, the link between personality traits and ethical leadership is stronger in regular times and not during a crisis. Our findings emphasize the importance of characterizing managers’ personality traits for organizations’ sustainability. Second, they highlight how significant is the relationship between managers and their employees.
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