What’s the Difference?: An Exploration Into the Different Aspects of Ethical and Unethical Leadership
Randall Carter Jr.
University of La Verne
October 12, 2011
Table of Contents
* What is the moral responsibility of a leader
* Why is the moral responsibility of a leader important
* Principals of ethical leadership
* Five ethical behaviors
* The impact of unethical leadership in organizations
* Examples of unethical leadership
The purpose of this paper is to understand the principals and the differences between ethical and unethical ...view middle of the document...
Therefore, effective leaders not only emphasized the requirement for self-moral behavior, but also saw their responsibility in influencing the moral behavior of others as the distinguishing mark of leadership and executive responsibility(Martini,2006).
What is the moral responsibility of a leader
Moral responsibility means that the person has moral obligations in the particular situations. Once the moral obligations are disobeyed then become grounds for justified punishment. Deciding what justifies punishment, if anything, is a principle concern of Ethics. Moreover, people who have moral responsibility for an action are usually called moral agents. Agents are creatures that are capable of reflecting on their situation, forming intentions about how they will act, and then carrying out that action.
According to Schmidt (2007), leaders cannot afford to overlook the ethical challenges posed by technological advances, as even a single misstep can be enough to undo a reputation.
* They set the ethical tone that pervades the entire organization. A leader who communicates cynicism or lack of support for ethical conduct can negate even the very best ethics and compliance programs (Schmidt, 2007).
* They lead by example. Ethics is communicated through words, but words are compelling only when they are supported by action. The actions that matter most are those from the people at the top (Schmidt, 2007).
* They motivate others. A leader needs to concern promoting excellence. More than anyone else, the CEO has the ability to promote an ethic of aspiration, not just an ethic of compliance. Companies that are able to promote a positive link between ethics and excellence enjoy a competitive advantage as well as an enviable reputation (Schmidt, 2007).
Why is the moral responsibility of a leader important
The moral responsibility of the leader is important because it is the leader that creates precedence and direction for the balance of the organization. Many choose to look at the common corporation and posture that a corporation cannot be held to morals since it is a thing, not a person. However, one must realize there are people running these organizations who do have a very real duty to moral responsibility. The leaders in these corporations are the ones that will set the tone that the rest of the company will follow. This is true in general business practice and it is true with moral responsibility as well. This issue has seen its share of debate throughout the decades. In a paper addressing the subject David Silver of the University of Delaware states, “Corporations [and leaders therein] can indeed bear a kind of moral responsibility for their actions even while we suppose that they lack free agency, consciousness, bodies and the capacity for intentionality. This is because the conditions of rational warrant of the corporate reactive attitudes are revealed by their own internal structure, and these various deficiencies have no...