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Ciulla, Joanne, , . Leadership Ethics: Mapping the Territory
1995, Business Ethics Quarterly 5(1): 5-28.
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Added by: Carl Fox, Contributed by:

Abstract: In this paper I argue that a greater understanding of the part of ethics in leadership will improve leadership studies. Debates over the definition of leadership are really debates over what researchers think constitutes good leadership. The ultimate question is not “What is leadership?” but “What is good leadership?” The word good is refers to both ethics and competence. Research into leadership ethics would explore the ethical issues of current leadership research, serve as a critical study of the field, analyze and expand normative theories of leadership, and develop new theories, research questions and ways of thinking about leadership

Comment: A useful sketch of the ethical issues that arise in the context of leadership.

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Ciulla, Joanne, , . The State of Leadership Ethics and the Work that Lies Before Us
2005, Business Ethics: A European Review 14 (4): 323-335.
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Conclusion: As you can see, this paper raises far more questions than it answers. I do, however, believe that the relationship between ethics and effectiveness (or technical and moral excellence) is at the core of leadership ethics and, for that matter, all areas of professional ethics. The question of how ethics is related to effectiveness lurks behind the problems with studying leadership that I mentioned earlier – the problems of language and definition, descriptive and normative confusions, the discussions about altruism and self-interest and the question of causation and history. Ethical assumptions are deeply embedded in the leadership literature and the way that people think about leadership. Leadership ethics requires scholars to first critically read the leadership literature, separate the normative ideas from the descriptive and then put the two back together again. Like most philosophical endeavors, digging for the questions is the most difficult part. Once the questions are unearthed, the task becomes slightly easier. For thousands of years, moral philosophers have wrestled with questions about the relationship between knowledge and morality, free will and determinism, etc. In our libraries reside the works of some of the greatest minds in history to help us with these questions. We should use them.

When we consider the horrendous problems caused by leaders today and in the past, it is extraordinary that there are not more scholars working in the area of ethics and leadership. Most people agree that leaders should be ethical, but few have delved into what this means. How do we prepare leaders who have the capacity to responsibly use power, to carry out moral obligations to followers, make sound moral decisions and serve their organizations and constituents well, etc.? And, how do we develop followers, organizations, systems and institutions that support good leadership and do not tolerate bad leadership? These are questions faced by people everywhere and we will need the help of scholars around the world to
answer them.

Comment: A useful sketch of the ethical issues that arise in the context of leadership, particularly in the business sphere.

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Mulla, Zubin R. and Krishnan, Venkat R., , . Transformational Leadership. Do the Leader’s Morals Matter and Do the Follower’s Morals Change?
2011, Journal of Human Values 17 (2):129-143.
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Abstract: In a study of 205 leader–follower pairs, we investigated the impact of the leader’s values and empathy on followers’ perception of transformational leadership and the effect of transformational leadership on followers’ values and empathy. The moderating effect of leader–follower relationship duration on the effect of transformational leadership on followers’ values and empathy was also investigated. We found that the leader’s values were related to transformational leadership and transformational leadership was related to followers’ values. Over time, the relationship between transformational leadership and followers’ empathy and values became stronger

Comment: This text provides an excellent background reading on issues related to leadership and business ethics, making clear connections between philosophical theory and its practical application.

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