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KRISTINA RICKETTS, PH.D. JULY 29, 2009 Right vs. Right – The Complexity of Leading Ethically.

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Presentation on theme: "KRISTINA RICKETTS, PH.D. JULY 29, 2009 Right vs. Right – The Complexity of Leading Ethically."— Presentation transcript:

1 KRISTINA RICKETTS, PH.D. JULY 29, 2009 Right vs. Right – The Complexity of Leading Ethically

2 Today’s Objectives Define the basics of ethics Introduce Kohlberg’s theory of moral development Outline ethical leadership behaviors Determine why ethical decision-making can be difficult Establish what affect groups/organizations have on leaders Discuss two types of ethical leadership

3 What do you think? Is right and wrong always clear cut and easy to recognize? Do you think we have a problem with ethical leadership in today’s society? Why or why not? Think of a personal example where you were faced with an ethical decision – what did you do?

4 What you may perceive as a simple lie…that doesn’t hurt anybody and protects the company, sooner or later will come back to bite you… If you can’t be open and honest at all times, you’re sending a signal to the organization that you will let them get away with lying occasionally. And that includes lying to you. - D. Clare, CEO, Johnson & Johnson

5 Important Definitions Morals: an individual’s determination of right and wrong Ethics: a set of moral principles; the study of moral obligations Moral leadership: to display a commitment to right action while influencing others Values: something (as a principle or quality) intrinsically valuable  Influence individual morals, ethics

6 The Basics of Ethics Two types of ethics  Ethics of justice – based on principles of justice, fairness, equality, and authority  Based on moral principles, laws that should be applied equally  Style can be cold, inflexible, uncaring  Ethics of care – based on the principle to reduce harm or suffering to others  Based on equity, appropriateness, and fitting the situation  Special circumstances considered  Responsive to suffering and harm – but may seem arbitrary/subjective

7 Moral Development Three stages (Kohlberg’s theory)  Preconvential – ages 4 to 10  Something is good because of adult influence, or it satisfies a need we have  Conventional morality – begin to consider what is good for others/or the whole  Postconventional (develops as an adult) – develop appreciation for moral principles, individual ethical thinking  Includes principles of justice, equality of human rights, respect for dignity of human beings as individuals  Some individuals never get to this stage

8 Moral Conduct Moral leadership involves…  Ethical conduct of leaders AND  Capacity to inspire such conduct in followers Moral character  Fixed character traits – partially responsible for ethical behavior  Upbringing, background  Moral conduct is highly situational  Heavily influenced by peer pressures/reward structures

9 Ethical Leadership Behavior Being honest & trustworthy – deal with integrity  Leaders today are often seen as untrustworthy  Integrity: working under a loyalty to rational principals Pay attention to all stakeholders  Treat everyone involved fairly  Authentic leadership – perceiving leadership role to include having an ethical responsibility

10 Ethical Leadership Behavior Build community  Helping people to achieve a common goal  When people work together towards a common goal, building community Respect the individual  Keep promises, telling the truth, treating others fairly – shows respect Accomplish silent victories  Working “quietly” on an ethical agenda

11 Ethical Decision Making Four components of ethical decision making:  Moral awareness: recognition that a situation raises ethical issues  Moral reasoning: determining what course of action is ethically sound  Moral intent: identifying which values should take priority in the decision  Moral behaviors: acting on ethical decisions

12 Guidelines for Ethical Decision-making Is it right? Is it fair? Who gets hurt? Would you be comfortable if the details of your decision or actions were made public in the media or through ? What would you tell your child, sibling, or young relative to do? How does it smell?

13 Contributing Factors to Ethical Issues Individual leaders differ  Level of greed and gluttony  Level of moral development  Preconventional, conventional, postconventional  Sense of entitlement  Specific situation – organizational culture  Person’s character

14 Organizational Influence on Ethics Factors contributing to unethical climates  Elevation of personal interests over moral values  Enron – hypercompetitive, profit-at-any-cost environment  “Rank and yank” evaluation system – financial performance key indicator  Mutual peer rewards  Key point – Many leaders failed to exercise appropriate moral oversight and create a climate that would encourage it  Ethical indifference  Moral leadership isn’t made a priority  Difficulty of decision-making in organizations  “Right vs Right” decisions

15 Values-based Leadership Values-based leadership: understanding the different and conflicting needs of followers, and energizing followers to pursue a goal than they had never thought possible  Effectiveness – measuring the achievement of the objectives  Morality – measuring how change affects concerned parties, and  Time – measuring the desirability of any goal over the long term

16 Social Change Model of Leadership Basic premises:  Values demand a conscious focus  Leadership out to bring about desirable social change  Leadership is a process  Anyone is a potential leader  Service is a powerful vehicle for leadership development Seven core values:  Personal/individual values  Consciousness of self, congruence, commitment  Group values  Collaboration, common purpose, controversy with civility  Societal/community value  Citizenship

17 Review Define the basics of ethics Introduce Kohlberg’s theory of moral development Outline ethical leadership behaviors Determine why ethical decision-making can be difficult Establish what affect groups/organizations have on leaders Discuss two types of ethical leadership

18 Questions?


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