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What styles of leadership are most effective in creating ethical environments?

Ethical Leadership

What styles of leadership are most effective in creating ethical environments?

For the organization to become successful, leaders are expected to demonstrate true leadership behaviors.  True leadership moves beyond the maintenance of activities to leading followers towards the organization's vision and mission (Aronson, 2001).  Another important point to understand is that in organizational leadership,   ethics and leadership should go together.  Note that the primary duty and responsibility of an organizational leader is to create the vision, mission, objectives, goals, beliefs and values, behavioral norms strategies, and policies (Aronson, 2001).  For followers to work towards these primary objectives,   a leader should have a moral principle and moral integrity.  In other, for the organization to achieve success, the leader should be ethically orientated to promote ethical behaviors.  Therefore,   the organization leader should be a moral leader.  The following are the most effective styles of leadership in creating an ethical environment;

 Transformational leadership

  The transformational leadership style is effective in that the leader influences the moral values and encourages followers to move beyond their interests and put the organizational interest into consideration (Aronson, 2001).  Therefore, a transformational leader must have strong values, such as justice and liberty.  They act as moral agents and follow a set of moral values in making ethical decisions.  Rather than controlling the followers, they motivate and help them develop their virtues (Aronson, 2001).  Transformation leadership is effective in creating an ethical environment in that a transformational leader will instill motivation and morality to followers.  In addition, a transformational leader creates a new vision, strategy, and organization structure and helps the followers meet future challenges.  This style of leadership will help the followers practice ethical behaviors in that as the leader meets the followers' need, they increase trust and respect, and become more empowered. 

  Transactional leadership

 In transactional leadership, there is a leader-follower relationship.  They agree on tasks to be accomplished, and they hold on to values of fairness and trust for them to reach the agreed goals.  In other words, there must be ethical values in order to achieve the objectives.  This style of leadership is related to teleological ethical theories, which state that an act is moral if it produces a great good (Aronson, 2001).  In transactional leadership, the leader and the follower follow rule utilitarianism, and conform to rules to achieve the best outcome.  A transactional leader also creates a system in which the followers adhere to standards and ethical values to improve personal safety.  If followers diverge from standards,   a transactional leader applies corrective measures such as creating impersonal rules.

 Directive leadership

 This type of leadership is effective in creating an ethical environment in that the leader values the subordinates' best interest and make the decision concerning their interest (Aronson, 2001).  In addition, a directive leader listens to subordinates' opinions and makes decisions.  This style of leadership also allows followers to participate in decision-making.  It is important to note that in a direct leadership style, the leader is not a dictator.  His primary role is to establish objectives and structure for followers.  At this point, the leader will clarify roles and responsibilities, provide guidance, offer psychological support, and state the ethical behaviors (Aronson, 2001).  This style of leadership allows the leader to communicate rules and regulations, and followers will follow specific rules and avoid errors.  With clear expectations, followers will behave ethically and improve performance.

Do organizations have an obligation to strive to provide meaningful work to employees? If so, why in your experience have been the most important characteristics of meaningful work?

Organizations should strive to provide meaningful work to employees.  This is because; employees spend almost 8 hours working.  Meaningful work is important than job security, salary, among other things.  This means that employees want job satisfaction and well-being, and both are achieved through meaningful work (Michaelson et al, 2014).  In some companies, hundreds and thousands of employees are not happy, and they feel burned out and discouraged.  This is because they do not see the work as meaningful and at the end of the day, and they find the work meaningless.  Organizations are not concerned with the well-being of workers as they focus on competition and making profits and wealth.  Thus, employees contribute to suffering from work-related stress.  If organizations want the employees to produce meaningful output, they should provide meaningful work.  Note that meaningful work benefits the organization in that employees increase performance, commitment, and satisfaction (Michaelson et al, 2014).  Therefore, organizations are obligated to provide meaningful work through designs of jobs, creating clear missions and cultures, and fostering interpersonal relationships.  Meaningful work matter as it brings desirable organizational ends.  Thus, the management of meaningful work should be a managerial duty (Michaelson et al, 2014).  For example, the organization should offer compensation,   respect employees' rights, recognize employees, promote mentorship, and connect meaning with mission and values.  In general, organizations should ensure that all employees perceive the work as personally meaningful

From personal experience, the most important characteristics of meaningful work include a sense of belonging, recognition, awareness of one's self, own sense of independence, respect, personal satisfaction,  and  the fulfillment of needs.  I believe that for a work to be meaningful, employees must experience these benefits from the organization management. Thus, the organization is obligated to create a workplace environment that provides benefits for employees to derive meaning.
















Aronson, E. (2001). Integrating leadership styles and ethical perspectives. Canadian Journal of

Administrative Sciences/Revue Canadienne des Sciences de l'Administration18(4), 244-



Michaelson, C., Pratt, M. G., Grant, A. M., & Dunn, C. P. (2014). Meaningful work: Connecting

business ethics and organization studies. Journal of Business Ethics121(1), 77-90.



939 Words  3 Pages
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