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ADM 612 - Leadership. Lecture 14 – Leadership Ethics. Introduction. Very little unifying literature on leadership ethics. Ethics Defined. Ethics derives from the Greek word “ethos” meaning “customs”, “conduct”, or “character.”

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Adm 612 leadership l.jpg

ADM 612 - Leadership

Lecture 14 – Leadership Ethics

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  • Very little unifying literature on leadership ethics.

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Ethics Defined

  • Ethics derives from the Greek word “ethos” meaning “customs”, “conduct”, or “character.”

  • Concerned with the kinds of values and morals an individual or society finds desirable or appropriate.

  • Also concerns virtuousness of individuals and their motives.

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Ethics Defined

  • In terms of leadership, ethics has to do with what leaders do and who leaders are.

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Ethical Theories

  • Ethical theories can be divided broadly between theories about leaders’ conduct and about their characters.

  • The conduct theories can be further subdivided into theories about consequences and duties or rules.

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Deontological Theories (Duty)

  • Is the action itself good? Not just the consequences.

  • Actions of the leader and his or her moral obligation to do the right thing.

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Virtue-based Theories

  • Focuses on the character of the leader.

  • Virtues and moral abilities are not innate but can be acquired and learned through practice.

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Virtue-based Theories

  • Aristotle (individuals in communities): courage, temperance, generosity, self-control, honesty, sociability, modesty, fairness, and justice.

  • Velasquez (managers): perseverance, public-spiritedness, integrity, truthfulness, fidelity, benevolence, and humility.

  • Our virtues come from our actions; and our actions manifest our virtues.

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Centrality of Ethics to Leadership

  • The influence dimension of leadership places a heavy ethical burden and responsibility.

  • Ethical responsibility to treat subordinates with dignity and respect.

  • Leaders have a greater ethical responsibility because of their position.

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Centrality of Ethics to Leadership

  • Leaders help to establish and reinforce organizational values.

  • All leaders have values and have an enormous impact on the ethical values of the organization.

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Heifetz’s Perspective on Ethical Leadership

  • Leaders must use authority to mobilize people to face tough issues.

  • Provides a “holding environment” in which there is trust, nurturance, and empathy.

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Heifetz’s Perspective on Ethical Leadership

  • Within a supportive context, followers feel safe to confront and deal with hard problems.

  • Leaders get people to pay attention to issues, act as a reality check, manage and frame issues, orchestrate conflicting perspectives, facilitate decision-making.

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Burn’s Perspective on Ethical Leadership

  • Transformation leadership places a strong emphasis on followers’ needs, values, and morals.

  • Move followers to higher plane of moral responsibility.

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Greenleaf’s Perspective on Ethical Leadership

  • Servant leadership emphasizes that leaders should be attentive to the concerns of their followers and empathize with them; they should take care of them and nurture them.

  • Social responsibility to be concerned with the have-nots and recognize them as equal stakeholders in the organization.

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Common Themes

  • Leader-follower relationship central to ethical leadership.

  • Pay close attention to needs of followers.

  • “Ethic of caring.”

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  • Timely research on ethical issues.

  • Ethics should be considered an integral part of the broad domain of leadership.

  • Highlights several principles that are important to the development of ethical leadership.

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  • Early stage of development and does not have a strong body of traditional research findings.

  • Most of the leadership ethical theory based on the writings of a few individuals who have written essays and texts strongly influenced by their personal opinions.

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  • Not widely taught or used.

  • But can be taught or used by all individuals at all levels of an organization.

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  • Leadership involves values, and leader must know and be concerned about her own values.

  • Leaders can better understand themselves and strengthen their own leadership.

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Greenleaf’s Perspective on Ethical Leadership

  • Removes inequalities and social injustices.

  • Uses less institutional and formal power and shifts more responsibilities to followers.