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Beyond competence ethical leadership

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Beyond competence ethical leadership

  1. 1. Beyond Competence? Ethical Leadership
  2. 2. “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts” (Bruce Cameron)
  3. 3. Define Ethics Differentiate between Principle Based and Utilitarian approaches. Debate ‘applied ethics’ and decision making around ethical dilemmas. Synthesize ethics with other leadership theory.
  4. 4. Before we begin: A point for debate 1. How useful are ‘standards criterion’ at promoting expected practice, or do they promote ‘competence’? 2. Is ‘competence’ good enough’? 3. Do leaders have to ‘be’ and behave in ways that are somehow ‘beyond these standards’? 4. Can leadership be enhanced by a clear understanding of ethical leadership and improved self-efficacy?
  5. 5. Darley’s law – ‘Play’ the system? Darley states, a person with the best will in the world, does what optimizes his or her performance measurements, without realizing that this is not what the system intended” (1994:18-19). A standard-based system can have another, more ethically questionable and destructive side effect. Individuals faced with an established standard may cheat the system by exploiting its weaknesses. (Source: Bazerman et al, 1997)
  6. 6. The Pinto Fire Controversy (1970’s) • A new design would decrease the possibility of the Ford Pinto exploding. (Ford new about this design fault) • The company chose not to implement the design, which would have cost $11 per car, even though it had done an analysis showing that the new design would result in 180 less deaths. • The company defended itself on the grounds that it used the accepted risk/benefit analysis to determine if the monetary costs of making the change were greater than the societal benefit. • Based on the numbers Ford used, the cost would have been $137 million versus the $49.5 million price tag put on the deaths, injuries, and car damages, and thus Ford felt justified not implementing the design change.
  7. 7. What are ethics? • Is a derivative of the Greek word ethos, meaning customs, conduct, or character • Is concerned with the kinds of values and morals an individual or society ascribes as desirable or appropriate • Focuses on the virtuousness of individuals and their motives
  8. 8. A Dictionary Definition • 1. a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture. • 2. the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics. • 3. moral principles, as of an individual: His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence. • 4. (usually used with a singular verb ) that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.
  9. 9. Principle based “The Categorical Imperative” Utilitarian The Most Use
  10. 10. Principle based (Kantian) 3 Minute Philosophy: Deontological • Duty-based or Deontological ethics The word 'deontological' comes from the Greek word deon, which means 'duty'. • Deontological (duty-based) ethics are concerned with what people do, not with the consequences of their actions. • Do the right thing: Do it because it's the right thing to do. • Don't do wrong things: Avoid them because they are wrong. • Under this form of ethics you can't justify an action by showing that it produced good consequences, which is why it's sometimes called 'non-Consequentialist'.
  11. 11. Utilitarian (Teleological) 3 Minute Philosophy: Utilitarianism • Consequentialist theory: the ends justify the means. • Humans have 2 masters (motivations) • 1. Humans seek happiness • 2. Humans avoid pain. • Therefore, we should maximise happiness and minimise pain.
  12. 12. What are applied ethics? • Applied ethics is distinguished from normative ethics, (see earlier slides) which concerns what people should believe to be right and wrong, and from meta-ethics, which concerns the nature of moral statements. • Require a decision to be made in a contentious context. • Require contexts to be realistic.
  13. 13. Ethical Dilemmas • Trolley Dilemma • Prisoner’s Dilemma • Two friends out for a drink (my example). • Cheating Partner (my example). • Worthy Donation (my example).
  14. 14. Leadership Ethics • Has to do with what leaders do and who leaders are • It is concerned with the nature of the leaders’ behaviour and their virtuousness • In any decision-making situation, ethical issues are either implicitly or explicitly involved • What choices leaders make and how they respond in a particular circumstance are informed and directed by their ethics
  15. 15. Principles of Ethical Leadership Honest leaders are authentic but also sensitive to the feelings and attitudes of others Leaders: – Are not deceptive – Tell the truth with a balance of openness and candor while monitoring what is appropriate to disclose in a particular situation Leader behaviors – Don’t promise what you can’t deliver – Don’t suppress obligations – Don’t evade accountability – Don’t accept “survival of the fittest” pressures – Acknowledge and reward honest behavior in the organization
  16. 16. Application • Can be applied to individuals at all levels of organization and in all walks of life • Because leadership has a moral dimension, being a leader demands awareness on our part of the way our ethics defines our leadership • Managers and leaders can use information on ethics to understand themselves and strengthen their own leadership • Leaders can use ethical principles as benchmarks for their own behavior • Leaders can learn that leader-follower relationship is central to ethical leadership
  17. 17. Centrality of Ethics to Leadership • Influence dimension of leadership requires the leader to have an impact on the lives of followers • Power and control differences create enormous ethical responsibility for leader’s • Respect for persons – sensitive to followers’ own interests, and needs • Leaders help to establish and reinforce organizational values – an ethical climate
  18. 18. • Teleological Theories: focus on consequences of leaders’ actions, results – Ethical egoism (create greatest good for the leader) • Closely related to transactional leadership theories • Example: leader takes a political stand on an issue for no other reason than to get re-elected – Utilitarianism (create greatest good for greatest number) • Example: leader distributes scarce resources so as to maximize benefit to everyone, while hurting the fewest; preventive healthcare vs. catastrophic illnesses – Altruism (show concern for best interests of others) • Authentic transformational leadership is based on altruistic principles – Example: the work of Mother Theresa, who gave her entire life to help the poor
  19. 19. Ethical Theories CHARACTER • Virtue-based Theories: about leader’s character – Focus on who people are as people • Rather than tell people what to do, tell people what to be • Help people become more virtuous through training and development • Virtues present within person’s disposition, and practice makes good values habitual – Examples: courage, honesty, fairness, justice, integrity, humility
  20. 20. Pitfalls in Ethical Decision Making 1. The false-necessity trap (convincing yourself that no other choice exists) 2. The doctrine-of-relative-filth trap (comparing your unethical behaviour with someone else’s even more unethical behaviour) 3. The rationalization trap (justifying unethical actions with excuses) 4. The self-deception trap (persuading yourself, for example, that a lie is not really a lie) 5. The ends-justify-the-means trap (using unethical methods to accomplish a desirable goal)
  21. 21. Organizational Ethical Trap: Darley’s Law (again) beyond competence? • Performance measurement systems can incentivise unethical behaviour • Cheating/lying – to protect or advance self • Cheating/lying – to protect or advance organization (“cooking the books”) • Sub-optimization - Optimize metrics to detriment of overall organization
  22. 22. Framework for Identifying and Resolving Ethical Issues (source: Dunn & Bradstreet) 1. Why is this bothering me? – Am I genuinely perplexed? – Am I afraid to do what I know is right? 2. Who else matters? – Implications for customers, peers shareholders? – How does the problem appear from the other side? 3. Is it my responsibility? – What will happen if I do/ don’t act? 4. What is the ethical concern? – Legal obligation? – Honesty, fairness, promise-keeping, avoiding harm? 5. Whom can give me advice? – Supervisor, peers, HR, legal, ethics hot line? 6. Am I being true to myself? – Consistency with my values and personal commitments? With company values? – Can I share my decision with family, colleagues, customers? – Can I see my decision on the front page of the newspaper?
  23. 23. Conclusions Part 1 • As a leader (and practitioner!) You will often need to make decisions without someone, ‘telling you what to do’. • On what basis do you make these decisions? • Most if not all decision making involves considering ‘options’. • Ultimately, one option is selected and other options are rejected, then acted upon. • The selection and rejection of options is influenced by values.
  24. 24. Conclusions Part 2 • Hence, all decision making is value based or ethical at some level. • Ethical dilemmas are able to starkly demonstrate these ethical components. • Identifying the ethical component within ‘day to day’ decision making can be a more tricky business – perhaps REFLECTION can help?

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  • vogel0361

    Mar. 25, 2015


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