Leading Through Values and Ethical Principles

INSPIRING LEADERS, Cooper & Burke, eds., Routledge Publishing, 2005

14 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2010 Last revised: 4 Nov 2014

See all articles by R. Edward Freeman

R. Edward Freeman

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Kirsten E. Martin

George Washington University - Department of Strategic Management & Public Policy

Bidhan L. Parmar

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Margaret Cording

Rice University

Patricia H. Werhane

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to introduce a view of leadership that infuses ethics into its definition. This chapter will demonstrate that previous conceptions of leadership within management literature define leadership as either amoral or having an instrumental use for values. However, we are able to develop an ethical view of leadership from research outside the management literature. As we will demonstrate, the common principles that cross different types of leadership situations, organizations, and goals are infused with moral implications - one could say that the only commonality across various types of leadership is ethics. The implications to theory, research, and practice are outlined based on these ethical leadership principles.

After examining how dominant leadership theories treat leader, constituents, process/skills, situation, and outcomes, we develop ethical principles. These ethical leadership principles include:

Leader: The ethical leader articulates and embodies the purpose and values of the organization. The ethical leader separates criticism from ego.

Constituents: The ethical leader finds the best people and develops them.

Process/Skills: The ethical leader creates a conversation about ethics, values, and the creation of value for stakeholders that is alive. The ethical leader creates mechanisms of dissent. The ethical leader takes a charitable understanding of other's values.

Situation: The ethical leader makes tough calls while being imaginative. The ethical leader knows the limits of the values and ethical principles they live.

Outcomes: The ethical leader frames actions in ethical terms. The ethical leader connects the basic value proposition to stakeholder support and societal legitimacy.

Keywords: Leadership, Ethics

Suggested Citation

Freeman, R. Edward and Martin, Kirsten E. M. and Parmar, Bidhan L. and Cording, Margaret and Werhane, Patricia H., Leading Through Values and Ethical Principles (2005). INSPIRING LEADERS, Cooper & Burke, eds., Routledge Publishing, 2005 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1668079

R. Edward Freeman

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
804-924-0935 (Phone)
804-924-6378 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/freeman.htm

Kirsten E. M. Martin (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Department of Strategic Management & Public Policy ( email )

Washington, DC 20052
United States

Bidhan L. Parmar

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

Margaret Cording

Rice University ( email )

6100 South Main Street
Houston, TX 77005-1892
United States

Patricia H. Werhane

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-924-4840 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/werhane.htm

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
97
Abstract Views
1,948
rank
270,298
PlumX Metrics