Leadership Ethics: An Introduction

Report
Leadership Ethics:
An Introduction
Ronald F. White, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy
College of Mount St. Joseph
Topics
•
•
•
•
•
Ontology of Organizational Leadership
The Great Man Theory of Leadership
Enduring Bias Within the Great Man Tradition
Prescriptive Moral Theories
Discussion Questions
Ontology of “Leadership Theory”
• Key Concepts in Leadership Theory
– Organizations
– Leaders
– Followers
– Relationships
Organizations
• What is an Organization? (Facts)
– Organizations as cooperative/competitive
communities
• Political, Business, Public (governmental), Military, Private
(non-governmental), Athletic, Musical etc…
• What is a “Good Organization.” (Values)
– Organizational Ends-worthiness of goals
• What does the organization attempt to do? (Descriptive)
• Are these ends good? (Prescriptive )
– Organizational Means-efficiency
• Are the means of achieving that end ethical?
• At what cost?
Leaders
• What is a leader? (Descriptive)
– How do you become a leader?
• Natural Leadership
– Biology
» emergence
– Social Science
• How do you lose leadership?
• What is a good/bad leader? (Prescriptive)
– How do you become a good (or bad) leader?
Followers
• What is a follower? (Descriptive)
– How do you become a follower?
• Biology• Social Science
• What is a good/bad follower? (Prescriptive)
– How do you become a “good” (or bad) follower?
Relationships
• Descriptive Relationships:
– How do leaders and followers relate to one
another in the “real world?” (is)
– How should leaders and followers relate to one
another? (ought)
History of Great Man Theory
of Leadership
• Great Man Theory
– origins
• Refinements to Great Man Theory
– Trait Theory
– Behavior Theory
– Relational Theory
• Transformative Leadership Theory
• Social Psychology
– Contextual Theory
• Complexity Theory
• Evolutionary Leadership Theory
Enduring Biases Within the
Great Man Tradition
•
DESCRIPTIVE BIASES
–
LEADER BIAS: Followers are only “passive” responders to effective leadership, therefore, leadership ethics
trumps followership ethics.
–
–
–
–
–
HUMAN BIAS: Only human beings organize themselves, naturally, based on leadership and followership.
NATURE OR NURTURE BIAS: Leaders are either “born not made” (Nature) or “made not born.” (Nurture)
MALE BIAS: Leaders are always men.
HEROIC BIAS: Great leaders are “active” and accomplish “heroic acts.”
MACRO BIAS: Bring about macro-level, revolutionary social change
•
•
•
Blame the leaders not the followers
Lower-level leadership is less important
PRESCRIPTIVE BIASES
–
ETHICAL LEADERSHIP BIAS: Immoral and/or ineffective leaders are not “real leaders”
•
“ The Hitler Problem”
–
MORAL ABSOLUTES BIAS: Ethical Leadership involves conformity to universal moral rules, even at the
expense of efficacy and efficiency
–
INTERNAL MENTAL STATES BIAS: Ethical leadership is about internal states such as motives, intents, beliefs
etc.
•
•
•
–
No “Dirty Hands”
Ethical leaders morally “transform” malleable internal states of followers .
Rejection of “transactional leadership” (needs more research on incentives and disincentives) “Nudge”
ALTRUISTIC MOTIVATION BIAS: Altruistic motivation is necessary and sufficient for ethical leadership
•
•
Altruistic motives always trump efficacy
Moral absolutes
Prescriptive Moral Theories
• Cognitive Moral Theories
– Virtue-Based Theories» Good Leaders/followers are virtuous
– Teleological Theories» Good Leaders/followers are effective
– Duty-Based Theories» Good Leaders/followers follow rules
• Non-Cognitive Moral Theories
– Emotivism
– Constructivism
– Feminist Ethics
• Subjectivist Theories
– Cultural relativism
» There are no universal standards for ethical leadership
» Good Leaders/Followers are contextually sensitive
Discussion Questions
• Are there at least some universal facts of leadership that transcend
context, or is leadership entirely contextual?
– Are these universal facts embedded in human nature that transcend context,
or is leadership contextual?
• Are those facts shaped by biological determinants, cultural determinants, or both?
• Are leaders born, made, or both?
• Are there universal values of leadership that transcend context, or is
leadership ethics contextual?
– Are “good leaders” virtuous, effective, or dutiful?
– Are “good leaders” born, made, or both?
• Are prescriptive moral values descriptive biological facts?
• Are values discovered via scientific research?
• Are all prescriptive moral values descriptive cultural facts?
– Are values invented and transmitted via cultural evolution?
• Is there a difference between large-group morality and small group
morality, or are the product of one single set of biological facts?

similar documents