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The Importance Of Ethical Leaders Essay

3269 words - 13 pages

Statement of the Problem
Leadership is an organizational role that has an effect on every organizational matter. From the employees’ morale, customers’ satisfaction, and the organizational effectiveness, organizational leaders and their behaviors directly or indirectly affect everything. In addition to the leadership’s impact on the organization and its elements, leaders are often perceived as role models for the organizational members. Consequently, it is important that leaders are not only competent but also ethical in their everyday conduct, (Toor & Ofori, 2009). But, how can leader’s ethical behavior be distinguished? \ What are these ethical behaviors that affect the followers? And, how do we know when a leader is an ethical leader? Clearly, ethical leadership is a critical organizational matter, which needs a robust definition, and a model that shows how it effects the organization and its elements.
One of the significant aspects of ethical leadership is its emphasis on internalized moral perspective, moral person, moral manager, and idealized influence (Brown and Trevin ̃o, 2006; Walumbwa et al., 2008). Many researchers have discussed the ethical intentions beneath leaders behaviors, and offered ways to detect those intentions. Ladkin (2008) writes about “Leading beautifully” as a guideline for leaders. Ladkin (2008) believes that ‘‘leading beautifully’’ has three major dimensions: ‘‘mastery’’ – in understanding the leader’s self and her context, ‘‘coherence’’ – congruence between various forms of leader’s self and with her purpose and message, and ‘‘purpose’’ – attending to her goal. Further, Ladkin (2008) suggests that leading beautifully ‘‘brings into play the ethical dimension of a leader’s endeavor’’ and questions if her purpose ‘‘serves the best interests of the human condition’’ (p. 33). Further more, Kanungo (2001) writes that ethical leaders participate in actions and behaviors that benefit others while they stay away from those behaviors that can cause harm to others.
In the past, the term “authentic leadership” is used to define ethical leadership. Researches examine authentic leadership as an attempt to discover more about ethical leadership. Researchers argue that authentic leadership is concerned with self-awareness, relational transparency, internalized moral perspective, and balanced processing (Gardner et al., 2005; Walumbwa et al., 2008). Although Authenticity is an important aspect of ethical leadership and the above definition creates a good list of behaviors, it doesn’t solely define all aspects of ethical leadership. It has also been argued that Influence processes used by leaders are driven by the underlying ethical values (Groves et al., 2011). Therefore, another approach to inspect ethical intent would be to examine the influence process used by leaders. Since leader’s influence processes are very much linked to her leadership styles, it’s appropriate to look at some leadership styles and the compatible...

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