Role of business ethics in leadership and management

Introduction

In the contemporary business environment, there have been changes in technological breakthroughs and industrially to a significant extent than before. In this regard, a study by Tushar (2017) that focused on evaluation of ethical leadership in developing sustainable organisation noted that organisations must create a path of sustainable success amid of these changes and source for a potential role of ethical leadership and management that guide such an organisation. Apart from ethical leadership and management, the leaders and managers must equally prioritise on excellence in terms of technical and professional quality and competence and engagement to ensure things are done efficiently.  According to Carter and Donohue (2012), ethics is an instrumental factor in these aspects of leadership and management. As a conventional best practice, the leadership and management role is advancing an organisational profitability and market dominance. As a consequence, organisations prioritizing on short term profit maximization could end up suffering from corporate scandals which are unethical.  From an individual experience in the world of business, the most recent ethical issues in organisations such as Enron (Bello, 2012), World Savings and Fannie Mae (Donaldson, 2012), WorldCom, HealthSouth, Galleon Hedge Funds, Guidant Medical Devices and Qwest and religious entities have been as a consequence of failure of integrating ethics in their leadership and management development (Wesarat et al., 2017).  This is an indicator that business ethics are instrumental in leadership and management development. Also, there is a need for setting elaborate ethical standards in preparation, designing and selecting individuals to partake in training.

Role of Business Ethics in Leadership and Management Development

Ethics is identified as a philosophical concept sourced from the Greek word “ethos” meaning custom or character (Mihelic et al., 2010).  From this definition, it is relevant to note that ethics are concerned with describing and prescribing moral requirements and behaviours suggesting the existence of acceptable and unacceptable approaches of behaving serving as a function of philosophical principles. In other words, Mbonu and Worlu (2018) noted that business ethics is behaviour in business that is accepted as behaviour normally accepted as good and right contrary to bad or wrong in specific phenomenon.  Hence, for an organisation to leverage from a good reputation in their external environment and in comparison with their competitors, they must integrate business ethics in their leadership and management development.

The first role could be informed by Piccolo et al. (2010) study that evaluated on the relationship between ethical leadership and the other components of the job characteristics model (i.e., task significance and job autonomy). The study hypothesised that a leader or a manager who has ethically developed commands a positive influence on their followers and subordinates. This is by allowing their voice in decision making and using rewards to facilitate ethical behaviour among their followers. This is also affirmed by CIPD factsheet on ethical practises which has pointed out that

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