Good ethical behavior continues to be an issue that employees and leaders are faced with. Competition, cutbacks, and productivity are leading causes of why members of organizations feel pressured to take shortcuts, break the rules, and use other forms of questionable methods (Robbins & Judge, 2009). The ethical issues are prevalent in many organizations and range from a variety of unethical practices such as: officials padding their own bank accounts, engagement in bribes, inflation of profits to increase and cash in stock options, to name a few. The excuses provided for these unethical behaviors are “everyone does it” or “you have to seize ever advantage nowadays” (p. 26). Unethical actions can lead to decrease in employee morale, lack of trust, employees mimicking the same unethical behaviors, loss of productivity and employee turn-over. With these types of attitudes, it has become increasingly more difficult for managers to create ethical climates for employees. For these reasons, this paper seeks examines how ethical leader behaviors manifest in employee behavior and affect the organization. Rational For Topic
The increase of unethical behaviors has led to leaders’ implementation of creating ethically healthy climates with the use of ethical codes, guides to assist employees with faced with dilemmas, and training. Personal achievement, in many cases, seems to overpower ethical behavior leaving companies with a lack of stewardship over leaders. Ethical motivation is on the decline, leaving employees questioning what the benefits of doing the right thing are. The role of leaders is more than just a role to promote ethical employee behavior, it is now a role of creating employee perceptions of leaders’ behavior to determine employee outcome or, in simpler terms, to create a link between leadership behaviors and individual trust and commitment to the organization. Elements of Thought
The intent of this paper is to address the outcomes of employee behavior based on the behaviors of leaders from all levels. The questions raised are:1) How strong will employee commitment or engagement be?2) What is the likelihood of trust in the employee – manager relationship?3) How willing will employees be to report suspected ethical issues?4) Is there an acceptable level of unethical decision-making; that is, are some decisions ok to make if the benefit outweighs the cost? An alternate method of interpreting this information is that leaders are not aware of the results of their actions. It is possible that leaders believe their decisions are to benefit the company; however, studies thus far have proven this is not the case. Although there has been some research conducted on the outcome of employee behavior, there is still more research that needs to be conducted. There is, however, much research available to support the claim that employee behavior will not be beneficial to the organization, nor will the organization survive if the ethical behavior of leaders is on the decline. The assumption made is that all employees are concerned with their leader’s behavior. There may be many employees who simply want to get paid. The implication is that leaders should put what is best for the organization before their personal needs thereby creating a solid organization in which they are trusted, well respected, and have followers willing to be more productive. Arguments
The only reasonable argument for unethical decision-making could be that sometimes it is necessary to do the wrong thing for the right reason. By that, it could be inferred that there are some issues that are in the best interest of the leader, employee, and organization. For instance, it could be argued that it might be better to tell a small white lie to protect an employee from termination. Although the lie is harmless, it still sends a message that, in some instances, it is ok to be unethical. It...