Leadership and Ethics
Ethical Leadership is defined as “the demonstration of normatively appropriate conduct through personal actions and interpersonal relationships, and the promotion of such conduct to followers through two-way communication, reinforcement and decision-making. Generally, there have 2 principle areas of ethics as followed.
The first one is Deontological (Rules) theory. The famous proponent which support this view is Kent. According to BBC news 2015, Deontological ethics are concerned with what people do, not with the consequences of their actions. In addition, goodness or badness is evident in the action itself. Basically, It covered 4 main elements in Deontological:
- Do the right thing.
- Do it because it’s the right thing to do.
- Don’t do wrong things.
- Avoid them because they are wrong.
In Deontological theory, it teaches that some acts are right or wrong because of the sorts of things they are, and people have a duty to act accordingly, regardless of the good or bad consequences that may be produced. (Bbc.co.uk, 2015). For example: if someone killed a innocent people, he or she is wrong. If someone keep his or her promises, its right. In fact, Deontological theory teaches people should do the right things not the wrong things, even if it can lead to some bad influences in the produce. What’s more people have a duty to do the right thing, even if it produces a bad result.
The second one is Teleological (Consequentialist) theory. The famous proponent which support this view are Bentham and Mils. According to BBC news 2015, in Teleological (Consequentialist) theory, a bad act maybe have some good results. The result is the only way to evident goodness or badness. It means that whether an act is right or wrong depends only on the results of that act. On the next, the more good consequences an act produces, the better or more right that act. It means that in Teleological (Consequentialist) theory, the result can justified the thing is meaningful or not.
For example, people should choose the action which can reach the maximises good consequences. In general, people know that lying is wrong, they don’t like lying cause lying will produces some bad consequences. In Teleological (Consequentialist) theory, results-based ethics produces this important conclusion for ethical thinking. (Bbc.co.uk, 2015)
I will choose the The 4-V model of ethical leadership to help me define ethical leadership. 4V model as shown:
Value, which is located at the top of the triangle, is what the leaders should base their actions on. Not only do they have to firmly believe in their core ethics, but also they have to commit to them by beginning to modify their daily lives at home and/or at work. (Lee and Seo, 2015)
Vision enables the leaders to widen their perspectives and “frame” their services. (Lee and Seo, 2015)
Voice is the instrument that is necessary to pronounce the visions of the leaders. They need to persuade the public with a rhetoric that is appealing and convincing, but also with credibility. (Lee and Seo, 2015)
Virtue is located at the center of the model because it is fundamentally another name for Ethical Leadership. (Lee and Seo, 2015)
On the next, I will introduce some evidences suggest that ethical leader behavior can have important positive effects on both individual and organizational effectiveness.
The example which I intend to use is IKEA. IKEA is a multinational group of companies that designs and sells furniture. According to IKEA official website, the company’s mission statement is To make products which have minimum impact on the environment and to manufacture them in a socially responsible way. (Franchisor.inter-ikea.com, 2015). I think IKEA adopt the Deontological (Rules) theory cause IKEA has always presented itself as a really social responsibility concerned company. For achieve their mission, IKEA pay more attention in social and environmental matters. They focus on environmental protection such as use sustainable wood sourcing. IKEA only accepts wood from high conservation value forest or intact natural forest if they are verified as responsibly managed. What’s more, IKEA also use renewable energy. These can explain that what IKEA done for achieve their mission. As a result, the Deontological (Rules) theory indirectly helped IKEA established a good corporate image and helped IKEA to attract more customers.
For the bad ethical behavior, many workers face low pay, substandard working conditions. For example, behind the successful case of Apple’s global manufacturing operation, many issues have been posed. As one of the biggest Apple’s contract manufactures, Foxconn has been involved in several controversies in relation to working conditions. There has been a history of suicides in Foxconn factories. In January 2012, about 150 Foxconn employees threatened to commit mass-suicide in protest at their working conditions. (Moore, 2012)
I think ethical leader behavior can have important positive effects on both individual and organizational effectiveness. For example, based on the research, I know that Deontological (Rules) theory can achieve the aim directly, it’s faster and convenient for a company. If we compare with Teleological (Consequentialist) theory, we can know that although Teleological (Consequentialist) theory have a flexible system, but it need fully consider the consequences. For a company, it will waste their time and money. What’s more, the Deontological (Rules) theory also provides people with a set of rules that enable them to take moral decisions based on the sort of act they are contemplating. (Bbc.co.uk, 2015). Furthermore, Deontological (Rules) theory tend to focus on giving equal respect for all people. In conclusion, learn ethical leadership can help me broad-minded and open minded. What’s more it can help me increase my ambitious, let me work-hard. Moreover, it can lead me inner Harmony, free from conflict and be freedom and independence.
Bbc.co.uk, (2015). BBC – Ethics – Introduction to ethics: Duty-based ethics. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/introduction/duty_1.shtml [Accessed 12 Feb. 2015].
Bbc.co.uk, (2015). BBC – Ethics – Introduction to ethics: Consequentialism. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/introduction/consequentialism_1.shtml [Accessed 12 Feb. 2015].
Lee, K. and Seo, J. (2015). The Center for Ethical Leadership | Participedia. [online] Participedia.net. Available at: http://participedia.net/en/organizations/center-ethical-leadership [Accessed 13 Feb. 2015].
Franchisor.inter-ikea.com, (2015). Inter IKEA Systems B.V. – Providing a pattern for success. [online] Available at: http://franchisor.inter-ikea.com/Whatwedo/Pages/Providing-a-pattern-for-success.aspx [Accessed 12 Feb. 2015].
Ikea.com, (2015). People and the environment – IKEA. [online] Available at: http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_GB/the_ikea_story/people_and_the_environment/ [Accessed 12 Feb. 2015].
Moore, M. (2012). ‘Mass suicide’ protest at Apple manufacturer Foxconn factory. [online] Telegraph.co.uk. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/9006988/Mass-suicide-protest-at-Apple-manufacturer-Foxconn-factory.html [Accessed 4 Apr. 2015].