This written assessment is the first of two, and it provides students with an exercise to assist in their understanding of two important areas of enquiry in management, viz.: the issues, concepts, themes and principles associated with business ethics and ethical practice within organisations and with the roles that leaders and their leadership, particularly ethical leadership, can have on an organisation developing, maintaining or further improving its own ethical culture. As indicated in the lecture on business ethics (and corporate social responsibility) this issue is attracting more and more attention by large organisations in terms of what their customers, other stakeholders and the general public think about them.
How do organisations go about putting in place and then embedding a socially responsible agenda and an ethical culture? It would seem that the organisation’s leaders have a role to play; but do organisations with ethical cultures create ethical leaders or do ethical leaders create, develop and embed ethical cultures into organisations? In the lecture on leaders and leadership there was a distinction made between the leaders who is a person with certain characteristics and traits and their leadership which is an outward expression of the activities and acts that these leaders have with their followers. So are leaders with high moral identity the only ones that can express ethical leadership or are leaders and their leadership not so closely coupled? These are some of the issues that you will need to consider when responding to the more specific questions outlined below in terms of your response to this assessment on ethical leadership. In addition, this written assignment provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your level of information literacy, and your ability to present a cogent and coherent piece of writing that includes appropriate critical analysis relevant to what is outlined below in terms of this assessment. THAT IS, MERELY REPORTING WHAT OTHERS SAY DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN EFFECTIVE ANSWER TO THIS ASSESSMENT. In your critical analysis you should consider the views of others and then argue on what you consider is their contribution in terms of ethical leadership. Completing this assignment will assist you to achieve learning outcomes 1, 2, and 3 shown in the unit outline.
The importance of ethical leadership is a subject of interest in current management and leadership research. To some extent this has been driven by what has been seen as an on-going sequence of large, dominant and indeed global organisations behaving badly since around the turn of this century. Many of these organisations were financial institutions involved in quite questionable lending practices that ultimately led to the global financial crisis and in some cases to their own demise. It is contended that if these organisations had had a more ethical culture then the practices by a few senior managers may not have led to either their demise or their significant loss of corporate reputation.
With hindsight possibly leaders with high moral values and good ethical leadership could have made a difference to the outcomes suffered by these organisations. Based on the discussion in the lectures on leaders and leadership as well as on corporate social responsibility and business ethics and the discussions that you had in the Week 2 and the Week 4 tutorials you are develop an essay about ethical leadership that addresses the following questions:
- Do you believe that leaders are hard wired in terms of their ethical values and so do not or cannot change; or are leaders able to be flexible so at times will they display ethical standards and ethical leadership while at others maybe not?
Does an ethical leader have to be both a ˜moral person’ as well as a ˜moral manager’? Is it easier to act unethically and express unethical leadership towards followers than it is to act ethically and express ethical leadership? For example, if unethical leadership and the acts related to this leadership rely on not being found out how realistic is this presumption? Is it the case that in the end you are always found out?What role do think Rupert Murdoch played in establishing a culture within News Corporation that ultimately led its employees to engage in the practice of phone hacking? Do you consider Rupert Murdoch to be an unethical leader?When looking at the statements or letters from your ASX-listed corporation’s Chief Executive Officer (or Managing Director) and Chairman, what inferences can you make about whether or not these people demonstrate ethical leadership within their organisation?
Your response MUST include discussion for the following sources, viz.:
Brown, ME & Mitchell, MS 2010, ˜Ethical and Unethical Leadership: Exploring New Avenues for Future Research’, Business Ethics Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 4, October, pp. 583-616.
Amernic, J & Craig, R 2013, ˜Leadership Discourse, Culture, and Corporate Ethics: CEO-speak at News Corporation’, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 118, No. 2, pp. 379“394.
In addition to the required sources shown above, you should use AT LEAST TWO other references that you have found. A superior answer will also include some real world examples as part of the evidence that supports your claims and arguments. The format of this assessment item should follow a discussion essay format with a brief introduction, a body and a brief conclusion
You also need to support any claims that you make by using relevant research literature, concentrating on peer-reviewed or scholarly sources. Note that newspaper articles and Wikipedia are not considered scholarly sources due to issues about peer review of the material presented. However, you can use newspaper articles and Wikipedia to obtain a general understanding on a topic that you are researching. Where scholarly sources are used then appropriate citing and referencing of these sources should be completed as part of your submission.
1000 words (Â± 100 words). Given the short length of this assessment item you should aim to be clear and concise in your writing in order to adhere to the word limit. Avoid lengthy descriptions, particularly of any material presented in lectures, in your text or from other sources. Do not use direct quotations but rather briefly paraphrase what is discussed in your sources. Note this word count does NOT include the words used to compile your ˜References’ section at the end of your submission.
Given the assessment asks for a response to specific questions, it is not strictly a discussion essay but you still need to follow the essay format for this assessment. As stated above, acknowledgement of any information sources must occur through using an in-text citation as well as a reference entry in the ˜References’ section at the end of the essay for each source used.
- Make sure that you insert your assignment into this assignment template before uploading to the Turnitin assignment drop box.
As you are adopting an essay format for this assessment, you should
use headings or sub-headings.Entries should be put into the footer where requested by this template.The font to be used for this assignment is either Arial or Times New Roman script, 12 point font size, 1.5 line spacing, and left justified.You also need to familiarise yourself with the Academic Misconduct Policy regarding plagiarism and collusion.