SPCOM 227 Chapter 11: Chapter 11

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Chapter 11: ethical leadership and followership
Ethics refer to standards or moral conduct, to judgements about whether
human behaviour is right/wrong
The ethical challenges of leadership: casting light or shadow
Leaders cast more shadow than light when they:
Lie, particularly for selfish ends
Use information solely for personal benefit
Deny having knowledge that is in their possession
Gather data in a way that violates privacy rights
Withhold information that followers legitimately need
Share information with wrong people
Put followers in moral binds by insisting that they withhold info that others
have right to know
The challenge of responsibility
Acknowledge and try to correct ethical problems
Admit that they have duties to followers
Promote ethical standards and behaviours
Take responsibility for consequences of their orders and actions
Take reasonable steps to prevent crimes and other abuses by followers
Hold themselves to same standards as their followers
The challenge of power
Greater the power, greater the potential for abuse
Impulsive, self centered individuals more often seize powerful positions
Powerful leaders frequently protect their status by attacking those they view
as threats
The challenge of privilege
Most agree that leaders deserve additional privileges because they have a
broader range of responsibilities than followers but how far should they
The challenge of loyalty
The challenge of consistency
Components of ethical behaviour
Component 1: moral sensitivity
Identifying the existence of ethical problems
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