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Ethical Breakdown and Leadership - Essay Example

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This essay dissects some stories that have showcased ethical breakdowns by leaders, and the result of such actions. The author states that a lot of finances and energy have been greatly applied in institutions to install codes of ethics in the workplace in order to protect their moral standards …
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Ethical Breakdown and Leadership
According to the Harvard Business Review article on Ethical Breakdowns, an ethical breakdown is a degradation or complete loss of moral value by an individual or a group of people. In recent times, it is noticeable that new stories continue to emerge focusing on ethical breakdowns. As much as people are aware that choices have consequences, ethical breakdown continues to be part of the social environment. A lot of finances and energy have been greatly applied in institutions to install codes of ethics in the workplace in order to protect and harness their moral standards (Bazerman & Tenbrunsel, 2011). This essay will dissect some stories that have showcased ethical breakdowns by leaders, and the result of such actions.
Although the vice has changed dramatically in the past decade, consider the past infamous Ford Pinto case which was produced during the 1970s. The car brand became disreputable for its tendency to leak fuel and explode into flames. Many deaths and injuries were recorded due to the manufacturing faults before they were recalled to correct the hitch. Investigations revealed that due to competition from Volkswagen, and other manufacturers the production of the cars was rushed, although the engineers noticed the mishaps during the reproduction crash tests, they went on with the production (Bazerman & Tenbrunsel, 2011). The main reason for the leaders of Ford to go on with the production is mere greed rather than a marketing decision which was highly unethical.
US Secretary of defense Chuck Hagel recently commented on the unethical behavior of the military, after it emerged that 30 officers of the US navy cheated on an exam for nuclear reactor instructors. The test in question is expected to gauge knack by launch officers in handling “emergency war orders”. The pentagon describes the scandal as an ethical issue, although others may view it differently. Others may see the problem as more of a cultural problem (Ortiz, 2014). Personally, the breakdown mainly occurs due to the high standards that have been put by the system for the officers to achieve. The pressure to get good grades and a zero tolerance on wrong answers can be one of the reasons that the officers decided to cheat during exams. The failure by the authorities to notice the breakdown also raises some questions in their leadership abilities (Ortiz, 2014). This is due to the fact that it took one sailor who saw this as unethical to report the matter to the seniors.
On Sunday March 2 2014 Newcastle United, an English Premier League Football Club travelled just down the road to Kingston to play Hull city. The fixture cannot be recalled for its entertainment merit, but rather for the unfortunate incident involving Newcastle’s manager Allan Pardew (Savage, 2014). The Newcastle manager head butted Hull city’s David Meyler in an unexpected confrontation between the manager, and the player. As the manager of the club; one would expect the manager to lead by example instead he received unforgiving disparagement from the media for his ethical breakdown. The manager managed to redeem himself by offering a quick apology and being remorseful for his actions.
In conclusion, in reference to the above example, this was a good move as it proves once again that we are all humans and mistakes are bound to happen. It is a perfect example when human resources are led by a team upholding corporate or organizational. This acts as a confirmation or a validation of the values placed in the organization, and why they should be greatly respected.
References
Ortiz, E. (2014). Cheating scandal only latest embarrassment for U.S. nuclear force: Retrieved from http://www.usnews.nbc.com.
Bazerman, H., & Tenbrusnel, E. (2011). Ethical breakdowns. Cambridge: Harvard Business Review.
Savage, R. (2014). Alan Pardew head butt: Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com.s Read More
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