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Ethical Leadership and Employee Behaivor - Dissertation Example

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Ethical Leadership and Employee Behavior 1. Introduction The recent global financial crunch was perpetuated in part by unethical leadership on the part of business leaders. Scandals such as Enron and WorldCom have effectively removed the trust of people from corporations…
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Download file to see previous pages Furthermore, there is the pressing need to investigate all the manners in which ethical leadership tends to affect employee behavior. A number of steps have already been taken in order to promote ethical behavior such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Though this is a step in the right direction but it cannot be termed as an end in itself. Instead, there is a constant need to explore the issue of ethical leadership and its impacts on employees to gauge methods to improve ethical conduct in organizations. This paper will attempt to analyze the dimensions of ethical leadership and its impacts on employee behavior as best as possible. Given the expansive nature of the topic, it is unrealistic to assume that all aspects and perspectives will be covered but this paper will attempt to delineate as much as possible. 2. Ethical Leadership Both ethics and leadership have been investigated for a very long time distinctly based on either normative or philosophical approaches. Results from these investigations were traditionally used to decipher what leaders should do in order to bolster leadership. However, neither ethics nor leadership have been investigated on a strong scientific and social basis thus leading to fundamental gaps in understanding ethical leadership. ...
cement and decision making also falls under the domain of ethical leadership (Brown, Trevino, & Harrison, 2005) (Trevino, Brown, & Hartman, 2003) (Trevino, Hartman, & Brown, 2000). In contrast philosophers have tried to define ethical leadership using normative perspectives by delineating how leadership ought to behave in organizational and other context (Ciulla, 2004). This approach to defining ethical leadership has narrowed down the focus of the subject. Instead the social scientific approach being pursued in this paper emphasizes describing ethical leadership, its antecedents as well as its consequences. Researchers have concluded for a long time that certain traits are more important to leadership than others. For example personal integrity has been linked with leadership effectiveness. Furthermore, perceived leader effectiveness has been linked to the perceptions of the leader’s character as per honesty, integrity and trustworthiness (Kirkpatrick & Locke, 1991) (Den Hartog, House, Hanges, Ruiz-Quintanilla, & Dorfman, 1999) (Posner & Schmidt, 1992) (Kouzes & Posner, 1993). In addition to these traits cognitive trust is also associated with effective leadership styles (Dirks & Ferrin, 2002). In this context cognitive trust has been defined as being composed of exercise of care in work, dependability and professionalism (McAllister, 1995). This concept has been used by Trevino et al (2000, 2003) in order to research what ethical leadership means to proximate observers of leaders. The research utilized structured interviews with twenty ethics or compliance officers as well as twenty senior executives. The respondents were asked to think of an ethical leader they knew about and to answer a broad survey that queried the motives, characteristics and behavior model of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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