AN EXAMINATION OF LEADERSHIP TO DETERMINE A DIRECT CORRELATION BETWEEN LEADERSHIP STYLE AND ETHICAL DECISION MAKING
Michael S. Huckaby
BBA 4751 Business Ethics
Professor Fernando Chavez
Leadership is a complex and ever evolving skill-set. Good leaders not only guide behaviors of followers, but lead them and their organization to achieve common objectives. Good leaders have an ability to adapt to any setting so everyone feels empowered to contribute creatively to solving problems. Leaders of various levels of success have been studied throughout history, some good, some bad, but everlasting questions are always at the forefront of studying leadership: What is a good leader? What ...view middle of the document...
The study of leadership is as debated a topic as any in any philosophical fields. The word "leadership" has many definitions and is as abstract as the words love, democracy, freedom, and peace. Given the various interpretations of the word leadership, most concede a good working definition of leadership is: the process of influencing people to achieve a common goal. It is a process, where leaders influence followers and followers influence leaders (Northouse 2001). A leader's primary responsibility is to be a role model by setting a good example, keeping promises and commitments and by supporting others in doing so (Hartman, DesJardins, & MacDonald 2014). The study of leadership recognizes numerous theories regarding leadership styles, each presenting unique strengths and weakness. Here, three of the more prevalent leadership theories are examined beginning with transformational leadership.
Good leadership fosters change that is both transformative and sustainable; effective leadership requires leading others to think innovatively. Transformational leadership involves the ability to inspire and motivate others to accept the vision and work toward a common end (Jones & Rudd 2007). Transformational leaders offer purpose that transcends short-term goals and focuses on the higher needs of the individual and the organization (Piccolo 2004). The theory of Transformational leadership is made up four dimensions or distinguishing characteristics, Idealized Influence, Inspirational Motivation, Intellectual Stimulation, and Individualized Consideration (Armstrong 2008). P. G. Northouse in his book, Leadership Theory and Practices described the four leadership dimensions as follows:
* Idealized Influence describes leaders who are change agents, sets the standards and vision for the organization and act as strong role models for followers. They (leaders) are deeply respected by followers, who identify with them and usually place a great deal of trust in them. Typically Idealized Influence leaders have high moral and ethical values and are able to provide their followers with a sense of vision and mission.
* Inspirational Motivation describes leaders who communicate high expectations to followers, inspiring them through motivation to be committed to and part of a shared vision in the organization. The Inspirational Motivational leader engages in clearly communicating high expectations to followers and increases team spirit and enthusiasm.
* Intellectual Stimulation is a style of leadership that stimulates followers to be creative and innovative and to challenge their own beliefs and values as well as those of the leader and the organization. Transformational leaders demonstrate this dimension when they try new approaches and challenge followers to find creative solutions to the task at hand (Jones et. al 2007).
* Individualized Consideration represent leaders who provide a supportive climate in which they listen...