Skip main navigation

Ethical Leadership

What is ethical leadership? Watch this video to find out!
0.6
History, is perhaps not the best place to search out examples of ethical leaders. Yet, corporate collapses through unethical behavior, have been the catalyst for enhanced regulatory rules and greater demands for compliance. The need for public and stakeholder trust to be restored has never been greater. Particularly, for example, after the recent deception, over exhaust emissions, committed by high profile car manufacturers. We now see a general desire for the business world to become more trustworthy environment. Ethics and ethical leadership, has become a top priority for businesses, due to society’s impatience with irresponsible and selfish acts, that have impoverished, members of the public and tarnished the image of corporations.
54.6
Ethical behavior, needs to be demonstrated and embraced at all levels of organization as the public and stakeholders demand a more caring and just society. Let’s look at these ideas in more detail. Unethical behavior is concerned with behavior or events which are morally wrong or are prohibited by law, including activities such as fraud, conflicts of interests, dishonesty, discrimination, and coercion, as well as activities such as receiving gifts as a reward for improper behavior. Ethical leadership theory, mainly deals with the conduct of leaders based on duty or rules governing leader’s behavior and actions. Teleological theories, try to answer rights and wrongs concerning conduct, and then attempt to describe desirable consequences. [NOISE] Other approaches are based on ethical egoism, utilitarianism, and altruism.
123.2
These theories, all have a role in shaping Western ideology and underscoring, what society sees as desirable or virtuous characteristics in leadership, which includes positive features such as perseverance, public spiritedness, integrity, truthfulness, fidelity, benevolence, and humility, a tall order. Many people contest that leaders may have difficulty, displaying these characteristics, when company profits and share prices are at stake. The modern understanding of ethical leadership is derived from research by Heifetz’s, Burn’s, and Greenleaf’s and reaches all the way back to the 18th century philosopher Kant. Ethics is central to leadership. Leaders need to reinforce organizational values from which they can engage subordinates and utilize them to reach common goals. The principles of ethical leadership are derived from many disciplines.
186.5
But, here are common themes: One, ethical leaders, respect others. Two, ethical leaders, serve others. Three, ethical leaders are just. Four, ethical leaders are honest. Five, ethical leaders, build community. Ethical leaders makeup and behavior, needs to fill a vacuum in contemporary organizational management, where the ethic of caring and understanding followers needs, shapes the leader-follower relationship. Altruism, justice, honesty, and a sense of community, should be incorporated into organizational goals for the benefit of society. However, there is one drawback. Ethical leadership is seen to be in the early stages of development as a concept. This presents researchers with problems regarding theoretical formulation and research processes.
248.9
Nonetheless, as organizations move towards value-based culture, where shared core values have become the foundation of behavior at all levels of decision making, we can hopefully, look forward to a new style of leadership, that meets expectations of stakeholders and society alike. Now, let’s summarize. Ethics and ethical leadership has become a top priority for businesses, due to society’s impatience with irresponsible and selfish acts, that have impoverished members of the public, and tarnished the image of corporations. Ethical behavior, needs to be demonstrated and embraced at all levels of an organization, as the public and stakeholders demand a more caring and just society. Ethical leadership theory, mainly deals with the conduct of leaders based on the duty of rules governing leader’s behavior and actions.
309.4
Teleological theories, try to answer rights and wrongs concerning conduct and then attempt to describe desirable consequences. Other approaches are based on ethical egoism, utilitarianism, and altruism. These theories all have a role in shaping Western ideology and understanding, what society sees as desirable or virtuous characteristics in leadership, which includes positive features such as perseverance, public spiritedness, integrity, truthfulness, fidelity, benevolence, and humility.
350.6
Now, here are five key points: One, corporate collapses through unethical behavior have been the catalyst for enhanced regulatory rules and greater demands for compliance. Two, ethical leadership theory, mainly deals with the conduct of leaders based on the duty or rules governing leader’s behavior and actions. Three, leaders need to reinforce organizational values from which they can engage subordinates and utilize them to reach common goals. Four, the principles of ethical leadership are derived from disciplines, where respect for the individual is a common theme. Five, there is an inherent need to have a value-based culture, where shared core values, become the foundation of ethical behavior and decision making.

In this video from the University of Law Business School, you will learn about ethical leadership. We will define the term and see relevant example of what it means.

This article is from the free online

Ethical Management and Decision Making

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education