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Review pertaining to Ethics - Article Example

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Stories can be viewed as a particular philosophy of leadership. They are used as leadership tools frequently in a subconscious sense. Story telling is interested in…
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Article Review pertaining to Ethics
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Storytelling and Ethics Storytelling and Ethics Introduction Story telling has gained a strong thresh hold in leadership position and practice during the previous two decades. Stories can be viewed as a particular philosophy of leadership. They are used as leadership tools frequently in a subconscious sense. Story telling is interested in expansive resources that build and convey leadership as a power. With respect to power, story telling is not connected to sovereign power but socially shared in the organizational process where leadership attached power is constructed, relayed and contested (Boje, 2001).
In any company, different forms of stories exist such as myths; legends and humorous anecdotes. Most of these stories flowing within the companies are well established and openly expressed narratives with a clear design. However, some stories are fragmented and hidden from the public lime light. Stories have a moral position within organizations as they contain and deal with both bad and good issues. We can therefore conclude that story telling is a suitable tool for studying ethics within organizations (Gabriel, 2004).
Stories on the other hand can be informative of leadership styles used within a company. This is because stories may refer to more democratic and empowering leadership. Instead of direct and intimidating command, stories are interpreted with a view to influence the listener or the follower. On the contrary, an empowering story may turn out to be disempowering to the follower or precisely to employees in an organization. Stories can also be used as a seduction or manipulation tool to staff in an organization. Manipulation in many cases is viewed as a non-ethical way of leadership. The use of hidden power is accounted for as stories are seen as latent way to influence followers (Boje, 2001).
Plato stated that anyone who narrates the story governs. To further clarify; this means the narrator has the ability to influence followers through a discursive reality. The narrator can create a publicly expressed social reality and shape it to their desired motives. This places focus on ethical dimensions in leadership stories. Through this, an individual may have either good or bad intentions while narrating their story. The narrator may purse to conceal his intentions with manipulation unknowingly to the listener on the power wield attempts falling upon them. Thus, such a position of leadership is termed as bad and unethical (Ciulla, 2005).
This begs the question of what kind of leader possess powerful story telling techniques and resources. A charismatic leader is most influential. Charismatic authority in fact possesses the ability to build its own leader cult. For example, Adolf Hitler, the infamous German dictator, was portrayed as a heroic leader. His image largely dependedon propaganda and public storytelling, unfairly taking advantage of existing national legends. These expectations were largely maintained by the power of stories (MacIntyre, 2007).
Stories were used to paint a reality of the Fuhrers will. This was made possible as his followers told his stories to each other in order to find a way to act upon his will. Hitler so fit that his will be obeyed without directly commanding his followers but rather through storytelling. We can therefor e note that public story telling using Hitler’s example may turn contemptuous (Boje, 2001).
Can modern analytical ethics work to curb evil and ill-intended motives during story telling? We can refer to ethical paradigms. An ethical philosophy helps to create a good narrative through exploring stories in organizations and companies in general. It is important to analyze organizational stories through ethical concepts. For example, deconstructing existing stories within an organization either to find concealed influences like manipulation or ill intent.
Boje, D. (2001).Narrative methods for organizational and communication Research.Sage
Ciulla, J.B. (2005).The State of Leadership Ethics and the Work that Lies Before Us, Business
Ethics: A European Review.
Gabriel, Y. (2004). The Sage Handbook of Organizational Discourse. London: Sage Publications
MacIntyre, A. (2007). A Study in Moral Theory. Helsinki, Finland: Gaudeamus Helsinki
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