Management Dynamics


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:

a. 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?
b. Does an ethical leader have to be both a ‘moral person’ as well as a ‘moral manager’?
c. 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?
d. 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?
e. 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. For further help on how to write an essay, see the ‘College of Business Essay/Report Writing Guide’ which is available in the ‘Assessments’ folder on the Management Dynamics vUWS site.

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.