باز اندیشی رهبری اخلاقی : رویکرد یکپارچه میان رشته ای
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1663||2012||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Leadership Quarterly, Volume 23, Issue 5, October 2012, Pages 791–808
The purpose of this paper is (1) to identify critical issues in the current literature on ethical leadership — i.e., the conceptual vagueness of the construct itself and the focus on a Western-based perspective; and (2) to address these issues and recent calls for more collaboration between normative and empirical-descriptive inquiry of ethical phenomena by developing an interdisciplinary integrative approach to ethical leadership. Based on the analysis of similarities between Western and Eastern moral philosophy and ethics principles of the world religions, the present approach identifies four essential normative reference points of ethical leadership — the four central ethical orientations: (1) humane orientation, (2) justice orientation, (3) responsibility and sustainability orientation, and (4) moderation orientation. Research propositions on predictors and consequences of leader expressions of the four central orientations are offered. Real cases of ethical leadership choices, derived from in-depth interviews with international leaders, illustrate how the central orientations play out in managerial practice.
The recent high-impact ethics scandals in the banking sector and the oil industry have aroused strong public concern and led to a lively debate on business ethics, making ethical leadership one of the “hot topics” in organizational practice. In view of these distressing events, organizations are expected to assume responsibility and to increase their efforts in demonstrating ethical governance and promoting ethical leadership throughout the organizational hierarchy (Mayer, Kuenzi, Greenbaum, Bardes, & Salvador, 2009). Despite the importance of this issue, the body of social scientific research on ethical leadership still is rather small (see Brown and Treviño, 2006, Den Hartog and De Hoogh, 2009, Toor and Ofori, 2009 and Treviño et al., 2006) – though growing – and has critical shortcomings. A review of the pertinent literature reveals that current research on ethical leadership focuses on an empirical-descriptive Western-based perspective. The widely shared definition of ethical leadership (from Brown, Treviño, & Harrison, 2005, p. 120) – “the demonstration of normatively appropriate conduct … and the promotion of such conduct to followers” (e.g., used by Detert et al., 2007, Piccolo et al., 2010 and Walumbwa and Schaubroeck, 2009) – appears to be rather vague as it does not specify any particular norms ethical leaders can refer to. Hence, in order to prevent ethical relativism, several researchers called for more collaboration between normative and descriptive approaches in ethics research (Klein, 2002 and Treviño and Weaver, 2003) and demanded specification of the relevant norms for ethical leadership (Giessner & van Quaquebeke, 2010). As Bellah (1983, p. 373) put it: “Without a reference point in the tradition of ethical reflection, the very categories of social thought would be empty.” In answer to these calls, the present paper develops an interdisciplinary normative approach to ethical leadership and transfers it to the social sciences. Integrative analysis of the seminal works in ancient and modern moral philosophy from the West and the East – ranging from Kant, Plato, Aristotle to Tagore and Confucianism (see Chen, 1997, Cline, 2007, Morgan, 1992 and Radhakrishnan, 1992) – and of the ethics principles of the world religions – Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism (see Harvey, 2000, McGrath, 2006, Radhakrishnan, 1998 and Rice, 1999) yielded four essential normative principles of ethical leadership, the so-called central ethical orientations: (1) humane orientation, (2) justice orientation, (3) responsibility and sustainability orientation, and (4) moderation orientation. All four central ethical orientations present established leadership attributes in general leadership literature in the social sciences as well (e.g., Brown et al., 2005, Ferdig, 2007, Johnson, 2009 and Kalshoven et al., 2011). However, a comparative analysis with social scientific literature on ethical leadership ( Brown et al., 2005, Ciulla, 1995, Kalshoven et al., 2011 and Resick et al., 2006) showed that current approaches have concentrated on humane and justice orientation but have neglected both responsibility and sustainability orientation and moderation orientation. Implications for future research and managerial practice are clearly outlined. Research propositions are offered on the antecedents and outcomes of leader expressions of the four central ethical orientations. Real cases of day-to-day business situations and moral dilemmas from in-depth interviews with international senior leaders are given to exemplify how the four central orientations can explain leader ethical decisions. To sum up, this paper contributes to ethical leadership literature by (1) providing a coherent review and a critical discussion of current conceptual approaches to ethical leadership in the social sciences, (2) identifying four central normative principles for ethical leadership by means of an interdisciplinary analysis of Western and Eastern philosophical and religious ethics approaches, (3) offering research propositions on the antecedents and consequences of leader expressions of the four central orientations, and (4) illustrating how the central orientations play out in leader practice by giving real business examples of ethical leadership choices.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Addressing recent calls for more collaboration between normative and empirical-descriptive approaches in business ethics research (e.g., Klein, 2002 and Treviño and Weaver, 2003), the present paper contributes to current literature by providing an interdisciplinary integrative approach to ethical leadership and specifying normative reference points. An integrative analysis of the seminal works in Western and Eastern ancient and modern philosophy and the world religions identified four essential principles of ethical leadership, the central orientations, which tap the leadership components of setting goals or influencing others: (1) humane orientation, (2) justice orientation, (3) responsibility and sustainability orientation, and (4) moderation orientation. Comparison with social scientific research yielded that current approaches to ethical leadership cover the humane and justice orientation but neglect to consider the responsibility and sustainability orientation as well as the moderation orientation of ethical leadership. Three sets of research propositions were developed, specifying how leader moral identity and cognitive moral development relate to expressions of the four central orientations and how leader expressions of the central orientations impact different organizational outcomes. Real cases of ethical leadership choices and moral dilemmas, derived from in-depth interviews with international senior leaders, illustrate the practical application of the central orientations. 7.1. Research implications The present approach sheds light on the significance of responsibility and sustainability for ethical leadership and thus hopefully stimulates future research to integrate this orientation in the ethical leadership concept. In view of increasing globalization and the “burning” global challenges of scarcity of resources, climate change, and world poverty, the issue of responsibility and sustainability is likely to gain even more importance in the near future and may become a critical success factor for organizational continuance and long-term excellence. As one of the leaders pointed out: The arguments around sustainability and framing all these decisions from a sustainability perspective ‘What is the right thing to do?’ gets more buy from business management at all levels … the one that really cuts through is: ‘What is happening to the climate change? What does that mean for our business and our potential to grow in the long term? What is happening to our raw material process? Why is that happening? What are the pressures on that resource system on which we depend?’ This is all sustainability and we need to find a way of doing it differently. The research propositions on the antecedents and consequences of leader expressions of the central ethical orientations should be empirically tested. For that purpose, measures of responsibility and sustainability orientation and moderation orientation need to be developed and empirically validated, because current scales of ethical leadership only cover humane and justice orientation of ethical leadership (cf. Brown et al., 2005 and Kalshoven et al., 2011). Although the interviews with the senior leaders were not intended as validation of the present approach but merely as illustration of how the central orientations play out in managerial practice, they raised some questions on the specific role of moderation orientation for ethical leadership. Moderation orientation is emphasized particularly in Confucianism, Buddhism, and Islam and may be even more important to leaders coming from an Eastern cultural context, especially in view of the influence religion has in the Eastern compared to the Western world (please note that the Islam is classified as a Western religion because of its Abrahamic roots but is preponderantly practiced in the East; see footnote 2). Although the interview sample was composed by multinational leaders, there was a slight majority of interviewees coming from a Western background, potentially resulting in a certain underestimation of the relevance of moderation orientation. More research is needed that analyzes under what conditions moderation orientation is useful in explaining leader moral choices and actions. For that purpose, further critical incidents of leader moral decision making should be collected and analyzed. Related to that, future research should generally turn more strongly towards the study of contingencies as the specific importance of the central orientations for leader ethical decision making may vary with different types of situations, organizations, and industries. Subsequent works may identify further conditions that influence the importance of the central orientations and examine which circumstances modify the nature and/or strength of the relationship between the central orientations and both followers' and customers' development of trust. In addition, different stakeholders may differ in their endorsement of the central orientations. For instance, as humane, justice, and moderation orientation specifically tap interpersonal relationships, leader expressions of these orientations in an organization may be endorsed more strongly by followers than by public stakeholders. The reverse pattern may hold true for responsibility and sustainability orientation, which particularly refers to societal and environmental issues as well as to the interests of society on the whole. Furthermore, as the present approach presents a leader-centric perspective on ethical leadership, it should be complemented by further research on how follower behavior and the dynamic interaction between leaders and followers can affect leader expressions of the central ethical orientations. Work from Hernandez and Sitkin (2010) suggests that followers are able to influence leaders' ethicality by the mechanisms of sensemaking, guiding, eliciting, and modeling. Moreover, future research should study under what conditions leaders who initially had a strong intention to behave and decide ethically failed to adhere to their moral principles and violated the central ethical orientations. For that purpose, leaders' decision making processes when faced with an ethical dilemma should be analyzed in detail. Leaders at a conventional level of moral development are assumed to be particularly susceptible to situational influences (see the theoretical development of Proposition 1c). For instance, an organizational environment in which the formal incentive system puts emphasis on ethical leadership and the organizational climate promotes ethics, fairness, and respect (Tenbrunsel, Smith-Crowe, & Umphress, 2003) may help such leaders uphold moral principles. As one of the senior leaders pointed out: So it's … a canon of values for which one also needs a certain degree of independence. So it's like they say: ‘the jacket is emptier than the pants’. But one also needs, I'd say it like that, a stable environment, to be able to afford something of the kind. There are extreme conditions such as war that seem to greatly hinder the likelihood of ethical leadership emergence as they almost inherently foster actors' mental stereotyping and “black and white” thinking in terms of friends versus enemies (e.g., using political propaganda) and imply the violation of at least some people's rights and dignity by using physical and/or psychological force (Aron, 2003, p. 364). Famous historical leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi or Sophie Scholl, one of the leading members of the German resistance during World War II, who are commonly perceived as ethical leader prototypes, indicate that it still is possible to uphold moral principles of humanity, justice, and responsibility in times of military threat, oppression, and under torture. The cross-cultural study of the four central orientations offers another important area for future research. Following a Western-based perspective on ethical leadership, Resick et al. (2006) showed that ethical leadership dimensions of altruism and integrity, which overlap with humane orientation and justice orientation, are universally supported as important for effective leadership but that the degree of endorsement significantly varies across societal clusters. Proceeding from that, future research should address the following questions: To what extent does the endorsement of responsibility and sustainability orientation vary by culture? How are the central ethical orientations enacted in different societies? Are there culturally contingent consequences of the central orientations? Answering these questions may significantly contribute to the cross-cultural understanding of ethical leadership and help leaders face the challenge of managing multinational projects. 7.2. A practitioner's note From a practitioner perspective, the present approach provides a sound starting point for the professional education on ethical leadership and the development of leadership training programs as it specifies what normative principles are central to ethical leadership and decision making, thereby referring to both the leadership component of setting goals and influencing others. To prepare managers for dealing with moral dilemmas, training courses should aim to create ethical awareness and sensitivity and to develop managers' capacity to find morally justifiable solutions by briefing them on the central orientations and using real business case studies to illustrate how the four central orientations can facilitate ethical decision making in practice. For optimal learning success and transfer, such courses should combine lectures on business ethics, on typical moral leadership challenges, and on the central orientations with interactive learning phases (e.g., case studies, role play, peer discussions) in which newly acquired knowledge can be deepened and new problem-solving strategies and skills can be practiced in a safe environment under expert supervision.