Ethical Leadership Develops Moral Communities

Leaders in businesses and schools must determine what is right for their employees and students to ensure that the organization continues to improve. In many cases, improving the organization requires that the leader develop strategies and programs that will address ethnic, racial, and gender challenges. Overcoming the described challenges requires the leader to also use an ethical decision-making process.

An appropriate ethical decision-making process will ensure that the leader develops strategies and programs which are good for all persons in the organization.

That process begins with examining the ethical issue that is creating a challenge for the leader or organization. During this phase the leader must answer three essential questions: (1) Have I defined the problem accurately? (2) How would I define the problem if I stood on the other side? How did this situation occur in the first place? In the second phase the leader must identify alternative courses of action and then test for right-versus wrong issues.

In the third phase the leader must project the probable consequences. This requires that the leader to respond to the following questions: (1) Whom could my decision or action injure? (2) Could you disclose without qualms your decision or action to your executive, manager, school board, superintendent, family, or society? (3) Test for right versus-wrong values. While testing for right-versus-wrong values the leader must also evaluate the short-term versus long-term consequences.

In the fourth phase the leader must find a fit to solve the challenge that is facing the organization. The leader must also determine under what condition he/she would allow exceptions to stand.

During the final phase the leader should revisit and reflect on his/her decision. After the revision and reflection process the leader must overcome the ethical challenge by developing a moral community.

  • The leader and individuals in the organization must become committed to developing a moral community.
  • The leader develops competence by collectively including all individuals to ensure that all stakeholders learn and improve together.
  • The leader can guarantee contribution by using individuals talents to collectively develop the moral educational community.
  • The leader develops collaboration by identifying various groups at higher levels that can assist with developing the moral community.
  • The leader facilitates second-order change which corresponds to continuity.
  • The leader raises the conscience of the organization by communicating moral expectations appropriately.
  • Finally the leader must facilitate conversation by sharing and making community moral values that build relationships and solve moral problems.

Dr. Derrick L. Campbell

PO Box 4707

Cherry Hill, NJ 08034


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