Topics: Ethics, Morality, Leadership Pages: 8 (2770 words) Published: December 9, 2012
Ethics in Leadership
Terry Bradley
American Public University
Management 618
May 14, 2012
Professor Gould

Ethics in Leadership
The leadership-centric approaches are broken down into four parts that attempt to justify leaders in their rule breaking. The four parts are relativism and exceptionalism, reason and amoralism, power and elf interest, and traits and virtues. Each part has its very own distinctive approach and within this paper we will discuss the moral theory and what different theorists say about the different approaches. In contrast the group-centric approaches are broken down into five parts. Thee five parts are permission and consent, situations and circumstances, membership and moral particularity, the greater good and everyday leadership ethics. Group centric approaches deal with the study of how leaders are influenced by their followers. Leaders’ are affected mentally by the ways in which their followers respond or not respond to them. The analysis of the view that leaders are beyond reproach or justified to break rules is the main theme of this paper. This leans heavily upon the Kantian view of morality. The main point of the paper is that rule breaking cannot be justified by the everyday leader. Although moral theory that does not allow rule breaking, it is deemed acceptable in such extreme circumstances where one’s life is considered threatened (Price, 2008,). According to Price, and everyday leaders ethics can be attributed back to how they themselves and their position within society (Price, 2008). A very profound statement is made by Price in the introduction to this book, Leadership Ethics An Introduction. “The book assumes that what is common to all leaders is the moral psychology of leadership. A central component of the moral psychology of leadership is a belief about justification. The point is debated that leaders are sometimes justified in doing what others are not allowed to do. To paint a clearer picture and set the parameters on everyday leadership, it is compared to the leadership ethics of villains and heroes. In order to break the very rule that you are in position to enforce, and expect no recourse to be made one must be fully convinced in their justification. This paper does not aim to discover why a leader feels justified for it has already broken it down into the categories of leadership, & Group-Centric. The aim of this paper is to dissect what we have already discovered by comparing and contrasting the different approaches, and bring it all together in relation to every day leadership (Price, 2008). Relativism and Exceptionalism vs. Permission and Consent

Relativism and Exceptionalism could possibly be the most dangerous of all the leadership-centric theories because it allows the leader the ability to not be held accountable for his actions. When one person’s freedom imposes upon the same freedom of someone else and a justification is made for this behavior based on beliefs alone, this is relativism and exceptionalism. In this philosophy a person can justify themselves, they are the judge and the jury. In this approach what they believe to be true is beyond reproach, simply because they believe it, Whether personal or cultural in both aspects of this theory morality is determined by what specific people or individuals believe is true instead of what the majority of people believe is wrong. Relativism and Exceptionalism are even apparent in public policy. Ethical analysis is defined as the systematic examination of ethical or normative issues in public policy. Policy analysts view ethical analysis as problematic because they are quite sure how to do it. Because of this issue policy analysis steer clear of ethical analysts to keep from compromising the objectivity of their analysis. One such example that illustrates the need for ethical analysis involves the aftermath of September 11. Federal law requires random searches of individuals and...
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