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What roles do leader characteristics, follower characteristics, and the workplace environment play in unethical leadership? How can unethical leadership be prevented?

Leaders are exposed to many different sources of ethics education and training. For instance, MBA and other academic programs often have a specific course or learning outcome devoted to ethical practice, organizations often require ethics training for all employees, especially leaders, and there are numerous ethical guidelines that exist that can help leaders avoid ethical violations. However, some leaders continue to commit ethical violations, which raises questions about the root causes of such behavior. As observed with Enron’s corporate leadership, known for one of the largest corporate bankruptcies in American history due to deceptive financial practices, the repercussions for unethical leadership may be irreparable.

In this Discussion, you will examine the causes of unethical behavior among leaders and how such behavior can be prevented.

To Prepare:

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  • Read Chapter 13 in the Northouse text. Focus on the characteristics of destructive leaders, susceptible followers, and conducive environments.
  • Read the article “Ethical Leadership.” Consider the differences between ethical and unethical leadership, characteristics associated with ethical and unethical leaders, and how to enhance ethical leadership.
  • Read the article “The Leadership Blind Spots at Wells Fargo.” Think about how certain leader characteristics and aspects of the organizational culture led to unethical and unlawful behavior at Wells Fargo.
  • Read the articles “Developing Ethical Leaders: Ethical Competence and Ethical Maturity” and “Shaping an Ethical Workplace Culture.” Identify strategies for developing ethical leadership competencies and an organizational culture that supports ethical behavior.

Post a response to the following:

Is “ethical leadership” a redundant term? Are leaders primed and trained to be ethical? If so, why do some leaders behave unethically? What roles do leader characteristics, follower characteristics, and the workplace environment play in unethical leadership? How can unethical leadership be prevented?

 

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