Effect of Ethics and Gender on Leadership

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Can unethical behavior occur for a leader who has proper values and intentions?

The notion of good leadership and its effects on employees and the whole organization has long been accepted globally. Leaders have the audacity to regulate the organizational development and thus eventually enhance the outcomes of their employees. The impetus practiced by an organizational leader depicts their ethics and values, this is the reason why employees head towards their leaders whenever faced with any ethical or technical difficulty. This shows how important it is for a leader to show good work ethics and enthusiastic mindset. Studies have shown that a leader’s good work ethics can have a positive imprint on its employees ultimately leading to better and improved outcomes.

Ethics are basis for good administration in all types of organizations. A leader who practices proper work, intentions and values can never promulgate unethical and immoral behavior. According to a recent research conducted by (Rahaman et al., 2019), a leader’s approbatory stance towards good ethical behavior lay down the ground for his ethical ambitions and leadership. Leaders having good intentions and ethical behavior always consider the betterment of their organization in terms of both short and long term. They have the cognitive aptitude and the level of emotional-intelligence to differentiate between the wrong and the right way to successfully escalate their company’s success rate. Their positive attitude and values are therefore implicated in their work, actions and their goals. This has an optimistic effect on their employees as they learn and motivate themselves to work hard and achieve their goals.

According to Treviño and colleagues, an ethical leader is described in context of two realms: a good person and a good manager. This means that if a person is morally correct then he would serve as a morally correct manager as well. A person with good morals is candid and reliable. He understands the situation of others and has a higher level of emotional-intelligence in every phase of life. The same person, which is a moral manager, would uses his values and customs to bring about an ethical administration at the workplace. Ethical managers set example of good customs by practicing themselves and make sure of their implementation at the workplace by exercising award and punishment approach (Brown & Mitchell, 2010). In summary, an ethically accurate manager has to be ethically befitting in order to promote a healthy and decent work environment.

In contrast, a leader or an employee can practice unethical behavior while having good intentions and values. This concept has been replicated recently when the term “unethical pro-organizational behavior (UPB)” was coined. This is distinguish as any form of unethical work that is performed by the employees in order to benefit their organization but breaching the laws and ethical conduct of the community at the same time. This type of behavior can be detected at any level of the company. Their intentions of achieving bigger goals and directing the company towards the roads of success can sometimes lead them to do unethical or unlawful acts. Such acts come under the headings of either commission or omission. Confounding the validity dates in order to remarket expired items, corrupting consumers to pitch upon competitors, twiddling with the financial figures to escalate company’s value in the stock market are all unethical ways but leaders commit them to enhance the reputation of the company (Zhang et al., 2018).

The GLOBE project

The GLOBE project is an acronym for “Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness”. The concept of this plan was laid down in 1993 by “Robert J House” to analyze the norms, customs and values of different organizations worldwide. Moreover it also focuses on evaluating the beliefs of organizational leaders and its effect on the institutional success report. It focuses on the study of cross-cultural leadership that spreads in more than sixty countries’ culture worldwide (The GLOBE Project, n.d.). This research project has been very beneficial for all business set ups as it provides the important leadership traits that helps in the success of any organization. This project has created nine cultural and six leadership dimensions in order to evaluate differences in organizational and societal cultures. This knowledge of difference helps leaders to differentiate between their norms and that of other organization leading to a significant ramification on administrative department.

As the time passes, the world is transforming into a global village. The import and export of goods and other services has become twice in the last ten years while it has been estimated that the transactions between countries will increase the total transaction within the countries (Javidan & Dastmalchian, 2009). With more and more countries collaborating with each other culturally and business wise, it is imperative to understand the norms and values of all those cultures to promote smooth business strategies. In the same way, it has become important for all the leaders to better understand the cultural differences in order to understand their employees, customers and the international market. When organizations decide to go global, they should train their managers and leaders to deeply study the cultural values, norms and beliefs of the society of that country as depicted by the GLOBE project.

GLOBE project is essential for worldwide leaders so that they can effectually acquaint themselves with all domains of universal congruous businesses. Because when dealing with international businesses, managers need to acquire the circumstances of the place they are dealing with. For example, Walmart is a very successful store business in America with huge freestanding stores surrounded by vast parking lots. But when they expanded their business in Mexico, people found it difficult to walk to the store as majority of their population travelled by buses. Later on, they added shuttle busses for their customers to help them reach the store (Dimensions of Cultural Difference and Their Effect | Principles of Management, n.d.). As GLOBE project aids cross-cultural business, it not only help managers to realize the difficulties their employees face but also the adversities faced by their customers. This abets the globalization of the firm and motivates the culturally diverse staff that their difficulties are being heard and thus they work hard for the expansion of their organization.

Case Study: Madison, Jones, and Conklin

Gender discrimination at work place has always been a debating topic. Females have always been treated as unequal competitors to males in a workplace where they clearly showed traits of higher abilities. This inequality not only effects the productive outcomes of the organization itself but also lowers the morale of the employee who is being discriminated. Stereotypes play a huge role when it comes towards gender-discrimination in the workplace. For example, a cliché regarding sales marketing is that women are less able and less competitive in this field as compared to men. As a result, less women are hired in this scope of expertise and if they are hired they are not given the promotion and appreciation that they deserve for their credibility (Heilman & Caleo, 2018).

There are many types of gender discrimination that could be experienced in a workplace and the victim could be anyone irrespective of them being a male or a female. Some of the forms of gender discrimination includes direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimization (Sex Discrimination | Equality and Human Rights Commission, n.d.). In context to the particular scenario of Jones, Madison, and Conklin organization presented, the form of discrimination faced by Laura was “direct discrimination”. This type of discrimination occurs when a person is treated in an unfair manner as opposed to an employee of an opposite gender who is in the same position. As the organization was male- dominated and fairly informal, Laura was unable to incorporate herself in the workplace environment. Moreover, all the challenging projects were deliberately given to male employees despite of her being more qualified and credible. This not only lowered her morale but harmed her portfolio as well.

Firstly, Laura should have had read the company’s policies before joining as it should have mentioned to protect every employee from any type of discrimination. Now that she was a victim and even after talking to the company’s president could not resolve her issue, she should have had issued a complaint on different helplines and commissions that would have had assisted ber regarding her rights in the particular case. Her boss on the other hand, should have evaluated the unconscious or conscious biasness among the employees and had mediated the situation right then and there by realizing the form of discrimination faced by Laura and redistributing the projects irrespective of employee’s gender. The boss should have been forethoughtful, unbiased and used objective criteria while evaluating company’s employees. One most important thing that a boss should realize is that every employee should have a mentor in the company who helps them and gives them pieces of advice during any difficulty (Verniers & Vala, 2018).

Using the Internet, survey current research comparing male and female leaders, summarize the major trends.

It has always been a taboo in our society that females can never be a good leader and that they lack good leadership abilities. This is why when it came to running a company or a country, a male leader has always been preferred. However, the time is changing and that too very rapidly. Females are now being recognized as a competitive leadership no matter what the institution is. Whether it is running a country like Benazir Bhutto (former Prime Minister of Pakistan) and Jacinda Ardern (the current Prime Minster of New Zealand) or being Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors. Women have started to own businesses, schools, universities, fashion brands, property dealing and so much more. Female leadership has been an intriguing source of ponder for many researchers, especially the contrast of male and female way of leadership. Many studies have been conducted to compare and contrast the male and female leadership; the way they think, act and implement their values and beliefs while leading an organization.

As a result of different personality traits, cognitive abilities and way of thinking, there are a few differences that makes female and male leaders to stand out from each other. Female leaders display “higher levels of effort, performance, and advancement across organizations” (Jenni, 2017). They possess skills that are required to manage an organization on a higher level. Women depict a more democratic style while administrating in an organization and have a strong interpersonal relationships and objective achievements as compared to men (Gardiner & Tiggemann, 1999). Females tend to demonstrate a conjoint, vicarious and a way of leadership style that is more contributing whereas on the other hand, males are more like rivalrous and power based managerial style (Robinson & Lipman-Blumen, 2003). Males tend to depict an “aggressive and hierarchical” mode of leadership as opposed to more rewarding and relationship building mode of female leaders (Sabharwal et al., 2017).

In the contrary, according to some studies, there are not much differences but similarities between the leadership style of male and female (Jenni, 2017). Similarly, there is no major dissimilarities amongst female and male managers’ transformational leadership styles as well as in their emotional intelligence (Mandell & Pherwani, 2003). This means that no matter the gender of the managers, how they lead and how they perceive the feelings of others is somehow the same. A study accomplished by (Silva & Mendis, 2017) suggests that females prefer more transformational leadership style as compared to men because they are more objective in achieving their goals whereas men are subjective when it comes to completion of a task and hence are more effective leaders as compared to Men (Sabharwal et al., 2017). Surprisingly, it has been noticed that female leaders working in a male dominated workplace tend to alter their working style similar to men in fear of losing the job and position (Gardiner & Tiggemann, 1999).

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