The articles are a collection of research centered around what defines an ethical leader, what integrity within a leader looks like, the type of followers a leader of ethics obtains, what type of influence an ethical leader has on followers, notable leaders who displayed ethical leadership throughout history, and finally the challenges and solutions that are found ithin the ideas and concepts of ethical leadership. Although throughout these articles it is found that leadership is a very multifaceted process and can be found to be complex at times; the entire process of ethical leadership is a fresh idea in most research.
As many of the articles will find, there has been a new need for ethical leadership as many leaders and companies throughout recent history have been great examples of what leadership looks like while lacking ethics. The collective research will conclude that there is a growing need for ethical leadership individually and holistically throughout ompanies worldwide. How this can be accomplished is left open ended with many questions and theories as to how individuals and organizations can capitalize on obtaining true ethical leadership.
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Introduction This literature review analyzes the research and conclusions of twenty four articles which were chosen to highlight six main topics of: Defining leadership and ethics Integrity ofa leader Followers of the ethical leader Leadership’s influence on followers Notable ethical leaders in history Challenges and solutions in maintaining ethical leadership This research was conducted utilizing the databases Ebscohost, Academic
OneFile, LexisNexis Academic, Mergent Online, ProQuest Entrepreneurship, ABI/INFORMS Dateline, ABI/INFORMS Global, ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry. Throughout this literature review one will find a registry of prominent keywords utilized to search for information regarding leadership ethics including the key terms ethics, morals, merits, management, trust building, and integrity.
The configuration of this literature review scrutinizes with greater intensity and focus on the ultimate findings of these six topic: (1) the definition of leadership and ethics (2) the integrity of a leader, (3) the ollower’s of the ethical leader, (4) the leaderships’ influence on followers, (5) notable ethical leaders throughout history, (6) and finally the challenges and solutions in maintaining ethics within leadership.
Defining Ethical Leadership Ethical Leadership According to Noriega and Drew, authors of an article studying ethical leadership and dilemmas within the workplace , when considering ethical leadership there has been a recent interest in the study of whether or not ethics plays an important aspect on impacting the results of leadership. There is a need for leaders to have capability of implementing change and ssentially taking the lead within their field of study or way of work.
When defining the actual term leader it is highlighted in the article Ethical leadership and dilemmas in the workplace that it was first seen in the English language beginning in the early thirteen-hundreds originally coming from the meaning that one is traveling and showing the way to others in such a way that the actions taken by this individual were impacting others in a meaningful manner (Noriega & Drew, 2013). According to Noriega and Drew, one must define what the true meaning of leadership truly is.
True leaders displaying ethics in all regards are to have good communication skills however are to have a combination of excellent aptitude and ethics. However, beyond competence and good qualitative ethics, one must accept that there are multiple ways that the term leadership is actually defined as there are multiple types of leadership. The main problem and issue with the word leader being defined in different types is that there are multiple definitions accepted among experts to this day (Noriega & Drew, 2013).
According to Noriega and Drew the definition of an ethical leader in action is ssentially a development in which the leader determines what is right or wrong, carries this method of logic into every day interactions, and actively sets an example for others to pursue (Noriega & Drew, 2013). What is ethical anyway? Ethics is a very broad subject and one that is equally important to debate in many areas of business however not as important to specifically define and argue according to Paul Gregory, author of the article Ethical Leadership.
Many individuals have specific and broad Opinions regarding what is ethical and what is not, however it is most important to realize that when specifically ebating the intricate details of morals the actual point of acting ethically is tragically lost (Gregory, 2010). When thinking about the concept of defining ethics, it can get too complicated and lose its meaning. According to the article Ethical Leadership, the true definition of ethics is in which it is earned.
Thinking about a leader that earns the title of being ethical has obtained this high honor from inspiring trust throughout followers. Most leaders in whom inspire trust are displaying and executing ethical behavior. This influence to inspire typically hows a leader that has obtained great success and has been given restricted access to information that many others do not obtain. It is this leader that handles this success within the position in which is held and successfully inspires others with trusting behavior (Gregory, 2010).
One of the most important facts about ethical leadership is that as the leader inspires the followers with trust, essentially earning an ethical title, the ethical nature of the leader is only as good as the entire company or business displays. This is why it is absolutely crucial for the leader to ensure that the ircle of trust is never broken and ethical behavior is encouraged in a revolving fashion. A revealing question that any leader or follower can ask when thinking whether or not a decision is ethical is “How is this going to be morally viewed if it were on the front of every major news paper” (Gregory, 201 0)?
Setting Ethical Standards for Leaders Considering the fact that when a leader is defined in multiple ways and what truly determines what is ethical is subjective In multiple ways, there must be standards to hold a leader accountable to be a true ethical leader (Spitzer, 2000). A truly noteworthy statement from the article The Ethical Leader declared: The importance of principles to organizations in the third millennium cannot be underestimated. Good ethics are good business.
They not only keep the organization out of lawsuits while enhancing its reputation, they also infuse increased spirit and synergy, peace of mind and trustworthiness, within its walls (Spitzer, 2000). Standards must be set within industries and businesses to show the correct example for leaders. This concept is illustrated uniquely in the way that when standards and principles are set throughout industries and businesses alike, eaders can find an easier avenue to lead with example in ethics.
When a company sets standards, it is able to fall back on a principle-based ethic systems in which the internal code is established to hold leaders accountable to the companys ethical standards. When a company lacks these established principles, there will be an alternative company plan to resort to human sentiment, instinct, or a harms-benefits calculus. These alternatives are devastating to a company or organization as human sentiment can change, instincts can be rationalized, and a harms-benefits calculus can select one rowd over another.
Ultimately many companies are continually replacing these systems that balance and maintain principles or ethics with externally measured systems of ethics or behavior. Accepting the fact that unethical behaviors will occur within a company or place of business must not be openly accepted as it will eventually provide an aging example that non- ethical behavior is measured externally. When these standards are continually externally compromised and illustrated to leaders, employees, and the company as a whole it separates the company’s identify from the needed moral convictions.
These internal moral convictions must be measured, established, and maintained from an internal process (Spitzer, 2000). Ethics within the Leaders Organization The actual organization in which is led by the ethical leader must be an ethical organization from the inside out. Although this argument suggests that the organization must be ethical a part from those who are a part of the organization, such as leadership and the employees, others have a valid point suggesting that the organization is only as ethical as the members in which are a part of the actual organization (McCurdy, 1998).
Thus organizations must maintain ethics by employing ethical individuals who contribute in such a way that maintains an ethical standard. The actual individuals throughout the organization truly hold the responsibility to ensure that the organization remains ethical. The organization cannot be blamed for causing unethical behavior within individuals however the organization can be helpful in creating an environment for individuals to continue to strive for an ethical place of business. The organization itself must have instruments that are designed to enable individuals to openly address the ethical issues hat OCCUr within the organization.
When these instruments are implemented properly, uniformity throughout the organization is aligned between individuals at all levels to ensure that the overall disposition of company associates is strengthened (McCurdy, 1998). Although the individuals do make the decisions that will lead to an ethical organization, it is the organization that must maintain a standard for ethics for all individuals a part of the organization. The organization must have a standard and definition that is clearly identified as to what is ethically cceptable and what will be executed throughout the organization as an acceptable standard or principle.
The organization must not only define and establish an internal principle or standard of what is ethically acceptable, but should also frequently challenge what is ethically acceptable by staying up to date on all issues that should be considered or addressed as ethical standards and definitions constantly change at a rapid rate (McCurdy, 1998). The Integrity of a Leader How to Identify a leader with Integrity Defining an ethical leader brings discussion to the matter Of whether an ndividual, especially a leader, has what it takes to uphold integrity.
This presents the challenge for an organization to locate an individual whom upholds true integrity. How an organization locates a leader that displays an acceptable code of ethics through integrity is difficult but not impossible. According to Kenny Moore (2012), in the article Choosing Business leaders With Integrity, it is outlined how it is possible to determine if a future leader or executive is trustworthy. Beyond determining if this individual can be trusted, it is possible to decide when it is the right time to promote these eaders throughout their career.
All of this is achievable through a series of five tests grouped together to form a litmus test for measuring a leader’s integrity and confidence. When evaluating and potentially identifying a leader with integrity there are five simple steps in which the individual can be evaluated against. First, how does this individual treat waiters? An executive’s character will be deeply revealed when one can evaluate how the executive treats others that are in a powerless position throughout the community. Ultimately revealing what one would do when no one is watching can help etermine if the executive or potential leader has integrity.
The second step in determining integrity would be the Carl Sandburg test. Analyze and review how the executive or leader treats everyday individuals that make up the organization’s working body. Review the interactions and evaluate if the leader is engaging the employees in such a way that shows the true motives and passions of the leader (Moore, 2012). Thirdly, assess the leader’s interior business conversation. This interior business conversation is what essentially powers the leadeds thought process on moral decision making. This is a powerful tool in analyzing what the leader is truly seeking from the organization.
Is the leader worried only about profit or career advancement? Is the leader worried about the influence of the company on customers and the wellbeing of the companys employees? Step four is ensuring that the leader may actually consider the fact that the problem may be the leadership itself. Integrity can be identified by simply seeing that one admits that there may be an issue of ethical behavior within an organization and allowing the problems to surface in order to resolve them. Leaders who are open egarding ethical issues within an organization make it possible to analyze and review the issues within the organization and truly fix them.
Finally, consider if the leader is willing to make the workplace accommodating to artists. What are artists? Corporately speaking, an artist is someone that the leader can rely on that is not solely basing information off of accounting or engineering numbers. Allowing the voice of an individual that is an artist’s allows the corporation to become free of simply worrying about all analytics. This ensures that employees are continually able to have a voice throughout he organization and therefore grow the spiritual aspect of the organization (Moore, 2012).
A leader’s impact with Integrity After defining leadership, ethics, an ethical leader, and how to locate this ethical leader; research continues to center around not only the importance of knowing what ethical leadership is but also the impact it can make on an organization (Hooijberg et al. , 2010). When considering the actual connection between a leader’s success rate and the level of integrity that the leader retains, the relationship between these two factors must be analyzed and xamined to truly understand the connection of whether or not a leader’s impact on the organization can be strengthened with integrity alone.
As many researchers have analyzed leadership’s behavioral approaches rather than actually focusing on the role of integrity, the study completed by Hooijberg, Lane, and Diverse (201 0), shows the impact that integrity has on the success rate of each leader. The model that was completed sampled information on all types of leadership styles, values, and overall effectiveness. The study included simply one hundred and seventy-five chiefs and directors of state overnment agencies that were the best and highest level of leaders in their industry.
The effectiveness of each individual’s leadership within this study was conducted and compared through five main sections including: 1 . Overall managerial success 2. Overall leadership effectiveness 3. Extent to which the manager meets managerial performance standards 4. How well he/she performs compared to his/her managerial peers 5. How well he/she performs as a role model Once this information was gathered from the sampling group of one hundred and seventy-five leaders/managers, an exploratory factor analysis was onducted to simply find a single factor Structure Of integrity across separate stakeholder’s viewpoints.
These stakeholders included self, direct reports, peers, and bosses. Once the stakeholders viewpoints of whether or not the leaders had integrity were compared with the data analysis of the leader’s performance, the study could conclude whether or not a leader with integrity had a better impact for performance within an organization. In this study it was clear to see that when leaders do maintain integrity, the performance standard and impact on the organization increase in a positive manner Hooijberg et al. , 2010) Behavioral Integrity and Workplace Outcomes What determines the actual outcomes within the workplace?
Much research has been conducted on behavioral integrity and how there is a connection between how a leader acts and how the individuals throughout the workplace perceive this form of action by the leader. The study of behavioral integrity is essentially highlighting and researching the level of how individuals from an organization recognize how the leaders of that organization characterize themselves and their standards or principles. Essentially, despite the fact that leader may display every aspect of integrity, the leader’s followers may not perceive this accurately enough.
This then shows the crucial aspect that perception is equally as important as the actual act behaving with integrity. Despite it being important for a leader to act with true ethics or integrity, the follower’s perception of the leaders integrity is what creates trust or susceptibility within the organization (Kannan-Narasimhan & Lawrence, 201 1). According to Kannan-Narasimhan and Lawrence (2011), the key in connecting successful workplace outcomes regarding behavioral integrity hroughout an organization is to realize that trust is one of the most important relationships to be established between leaders and their followers.
Considering the concept of trust, it is truly displaying the fact that one individual or group accepts exposure to the proceedings of another group or individual and willingly bases this on the anticipation that this other group or individual will carry out a specific act that is crucial to the original individual or group regardless Of the fact that there is no way to control the group given this privilege of trust. This being said, research would then onclude with this evidence that trust is the most important factor to securing a positive relationship throughout the organization between a leader and followers.
Not only will trust secure this relationship however it will also connect the relationship between behavioral integrity and the organizational outcome (Kannan-Narasimhan & Lawrence, 201 1). Integrity and Relationships within the Organization When integrity is integrated throughout the workplace, it impacts the relationships between not only the leaders and followers but the relationships between all organization members. It is important for leaders to utilize the impact that an ethical leader can use knowing that there may be more to maximizing employees’ production or main metrics when pertaining to the employee’s actual job function.
The main point that many leaders miss is that integrity and ethical behavior being actively communicated to all members of the organization will ensure that this behavior is not only replicated throughout the organization but all relationships will be strengthened (Workers Doubt Integrity, 2000). According to the survey conducted by Walker Information and Hudson Institute, over thirty percent of mployees that responded to the survey stated that they at some point throughout their career suspected that there was an ethical violation throughout the company’s leadership.
This pertained to falsifying reports, records, unfair treatment of other associates, and blatant dishonesty to additional managers within a short amount of time. For this scope of the survey, over sixty percent of the individuals who responded stated that none of the activity witnessed was reported as there was a continuous fear that these unethical leaders and associates would not keep any of the information eing reported confidential.
The survey also indicated that the associates feared that the company would simply ignore these reports of unethical behavior as the company was acting unethical to begin with, and ultimately a fearing that management or the company would retaliate in an illegal manner (Workers Doubt Integrity, 2000). Thus according to the survey, as good ethics translate to good business, it is essential that all companies continue to practice good ethics to lead to prosperous business.
Setting profit and success aside from the organizational equation, this will also ensure that the ork environment and relationships within the organization remain effective and ethical (Workers Doubt Integrity, 2000). Followers of the Ethical leader Revealing the Need for Followers Ethical leadership is not as simple as finding and sculpting a leader to be ethically sound and full of integrity. An ethical leader is defined by more than just the leadership skills and characteristics alone; an ethical leader is defined by the organization in which the leadership is being implemented.
Within this organization there are a multitude of followers that will contribute to the ontinuous process that encircles ethical leadership within an organization (Dixon & westbrook, 2003). There is an ever growing need for followers within an organization as these followers are essentially the moving and active parts that make up the entire organization. As the organization cannot be completely filled with nothing but individuals that are leaders, this concludes that there are an enormous amount of individuals that are required to follow a leader.
As the world continues to become more fast paced, reaching to far extents of the glove, and facing an information overload society; current organizations demand olid leadership that contains integrity and ethics. No leader can be expected to lead if that leader has never been willing to follow (Dixon & Westbrook, 2003). This being said it is crucial that as society and the world organizations in business continue to evolve the recognition Of the importance Of followers within an organization is acknowledged.
Followers are not to be seen as entities in which simply obey and submit to leadership. Followers must be seen as the backbone and support system of the organization. These followers must be seen as individuals in which are partnering with the ompany and leadership, ultimately seeking the same goals of success and accomplishment within the organization for the leaders, followers, and the organization as a whole (Dixon, & Westbrook, 2003). Leader-follower Relationship There is a deep connection between the leader and the follower.
Both the leader and the follower ultimately depend on one another and the decisions made by both individuals or groups will impact the other accordingly. Whether this impact is positive or negative is ultimately determined by the type of relationship in which is carried between the leader and the follower Hollander, 1995). Teamwork is an essential theme that must be established between the leader and the follower. At the core of this teamwork must be an ethical basis that develops trust and loyalty to both the leader and the follower.
The ethical challenge between the leader and follower is the process of being able to both keep a respective distance between the two while maintaining a Strong power of the leader-follower combination (Hollander, 1995). The most important aspect of the leader-follower relationship is finding the balance between authority and power form the leader over the follower. The eader is in the position of advantage and must execute strong ethics as this places the follower in a more vulnerable place throughout all interactions.
As the leader has advantages ranging from a higher influence over others not just including the followers within the organization, higher pay compensation, and the freedom to keep the relationship at a distance in which the leader can freely dictate the followers every move while not pursuing a better or more successful relationship that may benefit the follower. The leader- follower relationship must attempt to attain a shared classification in which oth individuals and groups can identify and succeed (Hollander, 1995).
Ethics for followers Honesty and Ethics are crucial for all individuals of an organization to have as characteristics. This is important for leaders to have as a core characteristic however it is as equally important for the followers of the organization and leader to display ethics and virtue. It is reported that executives that hold senior rank within an organization’s number one desire for a characteristic within an associate is honesty and integrity. The second most desired characteristic by senior executives of followers is competence (Quick &
Goolsby, 2013). Despite the fact that both competence and integrity are a good combination, the need for ethics is extremely vital to the organization and leaders in which it is controlled. A good example for the necessity Of honesty and integrity within the organization s members is the story of the Club Aluminum Company of Chicago in 1932. The company was on the brink of financial disaster during bankruptcy and staying afloat through local creditors. The company recruited Herbert J.
Taylor, known for his incredible integrity, to bring the company back into financial success. Herbert Taylor new immediately that despite his acceptance of the challenge of helping turn this company around from financial disaster to success, that there was no competitive advantage within materials, markets or even the strategy of the corporation (Quick & Goolsby, 2013). What eventually became the Taylor’s Four-Way Test, was what Herbert Taylor had implemented into the organization Club Aluminum Company of Chicago.
Herbert found a competitive advantage by turning the responsibility of the company to the people in which followed his leadership. Herbert Taylor gave the company a competitive advantage by developing and declaring that he company would hold the utmost integrity and character. The Taylors Four-Way Test was thus implemented by asking the four questions of: 1 . Is it truthful? 2. Is it fair to everyone involved? 3. Will it build good confidence and closer relationships? 4. Will it benefit every party involved or concerned (Quick & Goolsby, 2013)?
The Ethical Leader’s Influence (4 pages) Virtue Within an organization the influence of leadership goes a long way with advancing the vision and mission of the organization. Included in this organization are the individuals that are not necessarily deemed as eadership however they have a daily impact on the organization’s overall mission and vision. As a leader is maintaining leadership ethics and performing a job filled with integrity, the impact is more than likely to reach the individuals within the organization (Nubert et al. 2009). As leaders have a special opportunity within organizations, according to studies regarding the ethical leaders impact on the followers within an organization, it is argued that this special opportunity involves the leader taking the prospect of instilling virtue throughout the organization. As this irtue is enabled throughout the organization it will arguably affect and influence the individuals throughout the organization and cause a change within the ethical climate of the organization.
The perceptions of the ethical job climate from individuals within the organization would ultimately affect the way that all employees’s of an organization view job duties and overall job satisfaction. Ethical leadership therefore has a subliminal affect that is not always direct, on shaping the way the components and individuals of an organization react.