Ethical Leadership Research Paper Essay- It reflects on ethical stewardship,importance of ethics in leadership, and support notions of ethical leadership:
The problem to investigate in this ethical leadership essay is whether earning trust and commitment of organizational members through ethical stewardship and trustworthiness helps leaders, to channel their organizations to success in a highly competitive world context. In any business organization leadership and management is one of the most vital factors that promote organizational success through the management of employees, provision of resources and ensuring that the company’s goals and objectives are met in an effective manner. All organizational functions depend on how the leadership runs and guides the company. Bad leadership often led to failure because of poor leadership and management strategies. Successful leadership in organizations is tied to ethical considerations that are provided for leaders to observe.
Caldwell et.al (2010) in his article explains the relationship that exists between leadership behavior and the perceptions that employees have on their leader as showed in the leader’s ethical considerations and duties (Caldwell, Hayes, & Long, 2010). This is associated with an independent leadership style where leaders do not have to be pushed to perform their duties or initiate programs that go hand in hand with their ethical considerations and the objectives of the organizations where they serve. Leaders play an important role in determining the behavior that employees take up as their engage and perform their duties in the organization. When leaders put trust on their subordinates, it encourages the subordinates to perform their duties because they understand that they have certain responsibilities that they have to undertake that do not require the supervision of the leadership of the company.
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Good leaders are those who assign their subordinates responsibilities and duties and let them fulfill those responsibilities with minimal or without any supervision (Daft, 2008). When subordinates understand that they do not need to be supervised to do their work, they do it effectively because they understand that they have the liberty they require while, at the same time, they have to complete their assignments in order to keep the freedom in play. Bad leaders are those who are characterized by unfaithfulness and carelessness. These are the kind of leaders who are not guided by any ethical standards. These leaders tend to maximize issues of supervision and apply mediocrity when dealing with their subordinates. Because they lead through mediocre, they also tend to tolerate mediocrity among their subordinates to cover up for their failures as leaders.
Caldwell et.al (2010) explains that understanding the relationship that exists between the behavior of leaders, their trustworthiness and the perceptions that subordinates have on the leaders are important in the success of the organization (Caldwell, Hayes, & Long, 2010). Successful organizations normally have certain ethical standards that are supposed to be observed by every employee that work in those organizations including leaders. The ethical standards are important in the sense that they guide the employees on what to do and what not to do. Ethical standards act as a guide to the behavior that employees should emulate while working in the organizations. In this respect, leaders are very essential in influencing the behavior of employees within an organization. When leaders provide good examples by observing the ethical principles provided in the organization, it becomes easy for the subordinates to follow the example provided by the leaders. Ethical considerations as observed by leaders discourage issues of theft and the failure to carry out the required duties and responsibilities. It helps leaders carry out their functions with diligence and hard work thereby promoting success to the organization.
The perception of employees towards their leaders is an important aspect in the success of an organization. The perception that employees have on their leaders depends on the behavior of leaders. The manner in which leaders behave as they carry out their managerial responsibilities is significant in influencing the employees to take up certain behaviors within the organization. For example, when a leader is hardworking and is trustworthy, it is likely that employees will perceive the leader in a similar way and possibly behave in a similar manner. However, when a leader is careless, it becomes easy for the subordinates to perceive him or her as a careless persona and one who lacks seriousness. The employees are more likely to emulate this type of behavior and influence the organization towards failure because they will neglect their duties and responsibilities just as the leader does (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2012).
Leaders have a remarkably significant role in influencing the culture of a business entity. This means that the relationship that a leader has with his or her subordinates determines the success or failure of an organization. Therefore, it is important that leaders develop trustful relationships with their subordinates in an organization. In this regard, leaders must ensure that employees develop a culture that utilizes the aspect of ethical stewardship in order to influence their subordinates to develop a sense of corporate trustworthiness and responsibility (Daft, 2008). This can also be transferred to various stakeholders of the organization. This will help an organization achieve sustainability in a highly competitive market. For instance, a leader of an organization, through ethical stewardship can influence distributors and retailers to perform their duties without failure or delay. Through the work ethics of the leader, the distributors and retailers must understand that they should collect goods at a certain period failure of which can be detrimental to them and to the company. This will influence retailers as stakeholders to take their responsibilities seriously, avoid wastage of the organization’s products, and lead to success of the organization.
As observed by Caldwell et.al (2010), leaders who implemented ethical stewardship are those who maximize long-term wealth amassment through the creation of important relationships that exhaust the possibilities of stakeholder ownership and commitment (Caldwell, Hayes, & Long, 2010). A research conducted by Ryan Buchholtz & Kolb (2010) studies the issues of stewardship theory and the assumptions of the goodwill of leaders and their interest in the maximization of the motivations of the employees. In the research, the authors were studying the relationships that exist between leaders and the corporate boards that govern their organization. The author asserts that good leaders are ethical leaders. A strong personal relationship that a leader shares with his subordinates influences a positive impact on the subordinates and makes them committed and motivated to do their duties, responsibilities and to ensure that they meet the organizational objectives. The authors assert that influential leaders have the capacity and capability to bring together workers to concentrate on one target through the consideration of time, commitment and dedication of the employees. This also helps them formulate positive attitudes towards their work and do everything probable to guarantee that they fulfil the responsibilities put on them by the organization.
Karnes (2009) asserts that lack of proper leadership in organizations leads to poor employer-employee relationships. The leadership in an organization performs an important function of linking employers and employees together (Karnes, 2009). When there is proper leadership that is guided by ethics, stewardship and trustworthiness it becomes easier for employees to form healthy relationships with their employers because of mutual understanding. However, when proper leadership is lacking, mutual relationships between employers and employees becomes lacking. A healthy relationship between employers and employees that is influenced by proper leadership is directly tied to the success of an organization. This works in the sense that employers are able to understand the resources and other provisions that employees need to remain motivated in performing their duties. In the same manner, the employees get to effectively understand what their employers require from them. Therefore, the two parties perform their duties and responsibilities and ensure that they meet the goals and objections set for the organization, thereby achieving success.
Leaders who are trustworthy help companies to achieve positive outcomes in their operations and dealings. Mayer et.al (1995) provides three factor model that shows how trustworthy leaders help create success for organizations. The authors suggest that for a leader to be considered as a trustworthy leader, he or she must be able to do the expected and ensure that it reaches the best level (Mayer, Davis, & Schoorman, 1995). This means that a trustworthy leader must be able to undertake his responsibilities without complaining or engaging in unethical behavior. Secondly, a trustworthy leader must have the integrity to ensure that he operates within the standards that he or she is expected to operate under. This means that a trustworthy leader must ensure that all his actions and activities in the organizations are done with integrity and that he or she does not violate any provisions of the organization. This way, the leader will help promote success for the organization because of the integrity. The third aspect of a trustworthy leader has to do with benevolence. This means that a leader must desire good for the persons that he or she is serving. The leader should be able to be benevolent even when it does not benefit him or her, as a person. When working in an organization, a leader should desire good for all the stakeholders that he is serving without being self-centered. Good leaders are those who are willing to sacrifice personal benefit for the benefit of many. A leader with these qualities will influence success for the organization.
Healthy relationships between leaders and the employees are essential in the sense that they develop climates of trust, willingness to learn, risk taking and the opportunity for growth and success. This is achieved through the balance of priorities. Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee (2001) explain that good leaders prioritize balancing between the normative and value-based issues (Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee, 2001). A leader must be able to resource utilization in an organization to be able to understand the most essential aspects that need urgent or more resource allocation. This will help organizations achieve success because resources are channeled to the rightful plans and needs.
In conclusion, effective leadership in organizations is tied to the issues of ethical stewardship, trustworthiness and abled leadership. Organizations cannot succeed when they have leaders that have no ethics, do not provide effective leadership styles or cannot be trusted. Effective leaders are those who influence positive perceptions among their subordinates and help create healthy relationships between employers and employees. Through ethics, leaders are able to achieve a balance in the prioritization of resources and governing employees effectively to be able to fulfil their duties and tasks with the least supervision possible. Effective leaders encourage and motivate their employees to work hard, be committed and remained determined to achieve success. They do this by influencing the employees through creating positive perceptions and by acting as good examples for them.
Caldwell, C., Hayes, L. A., & Long, D. T. (2010). Leadership, Trustworthiness, and Ethical
Stewardship. Journal of Business Ethics, 96, 497-512. Doi: 10.1007/s10551-010-0489-y.
Daft, R. L. (2008). The Leadership Experience + Infotrac. New York: Cengage Learning.
Ferrell, O. C., & Fraedrich, J. (2012). Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making & Cases. New York: Cengage Learning.
Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R., & McKee, A. (2001) Primal Leadership: The Hidden Driver of Great
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Karnes, R. E. (2009). A Change in Business Ethics: The Impact on Employer-Employee
Relations. Journal of Business Ethics, 87, 189-197. Doi: 10.1007/s10551-008-9878-x.
Mayer, R. C., Davis, J. H., & Schoorman, F. D. (1995). An Integration Model of Organizational
Trust, Academy of Management Review, 20(3), 709-734. Doi: 10.2307/258792.
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