Building an Ethics-Based Workplace Culture

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Buildingan Ethics-Based Workplace Culture

Buildingan Ethics-Based Workplace Culture

Themost important characteristics of ethical leadership

Doing the logical and right thing reinforces an ethical leader’smessage and style conduct. Oates and Dalmau (2013) define ethicalleadership as the act of serving, guiding, influencing, and inspiringpeople to attain a shared goal in an uprightly acceptable manner.This means that moral leadership concerns with motivating and guidingpeople to behave in an ethical manner. The concept assumes thepresence of a fundamental difference between wrong and right. Thus,ethical leaders develop a situation for the attainment of the rightthing for the long-term advantage of all stakeholders. In thisregards, honesty, justice, respect, encouraging initiative, andleading by example are some of the most fundamental traits of ethicalleadership (Mihelic, Lipicnik, &amp Tekavcic, 2010). Sinceconducting oneself morally is the fundamental basics of ethicalleadership, one needs to be just and fair, treating individualsequally, and obstructing all forms of bias and prejudice.

A moral leader should always be just and avoid undertaking somethingor behaving in a manner that exploits a situation or people for one’sadvancement at the expense of others. Furthermore, ethical leadershipshould encompass respect for followers by revering all team membersthrough effective communication, appreciating their contribution,showing kindness, and being compassionate. Oates and Dalmau (2013)assert that by showing respect, ethical leaders should also be honestsince followers respect, admire, and trust dependable leaders whocommunicate transparently. In guiding and inspiring followers toattain a shared goal ethically, leaders should also encourageinitiative by praising followers who develop innovative ideas or takethe first step. Leaders should lead by example by behaving ethicallyand taking the first step in doing the reasonable and moral thing. Infact, encouraging initiative and leading by example allow followersto thrive and flourish.

Relationshipbetween ethical leader and follower

Most firmssucceed based on the leadership style of their leaders and thefollowership aspects developed by the followers. This means that therelationship between the followers and the leader determine thesuccess of an organization. Since both the follower and the leaderare fundamental to the success of an organization, their relationshipis purely synergetic. An ethical leader gains great inspirationconcerning the behavior of followers. Leaders committed to ethicalconduct evoke a feeling of honesty and trust from their followers. Onthe other hand, followers support their leaders, which means leadersdetermine the performance and behavior of their followers. Oates andDalmau (2013) contend that leaders serve, influence, guide, andinspire their followers who in turn support the leaders. This meansthat the relationship is symbiotic in that both the leader and thefollower support each other in the realization of ethical performanceor success. The interactive framework that occurs between the twopeople allows a follower to play the participatory role and theleader a leading role.

Importanceof the relationship between ethical leader and follower to a moralorganization

Both thefollower and the leader require each other since the ineffectivenessof one means the end of their relationship. Mihelic et al. (2010)posit that the relationship is extensively significant to anethical-grounded firm because the support from the follower ensuresthe effectiveness of any developed ethics program. However, therelationship must be positive and efficient for it to benefit theorganization since a scenario where a leader fails to lead or afollower does not support a leader means illustrates a void in theenhancement of any strategy. Firms trying to behave ethically benefitwhen the relationship remains effective, collaborative, supportive,and just. Furthermore, the interrelationship allows both people tounderstand their roles: followers as participating and supportivepeople, and leaders as principles of any implementation or strategy.In this regards, it is critical to note that through thisrelationship, firms become accountable and committed to theirobjectives.

Roleof Chief Ethics Officer and the role’s relation to anorganization’s success

The Chief EthicsOfficer plays a supervisory role in ethics related matters andreports to the senior management. The officer serves as the firm’scontrol point for ethics and acts as a bridge between employees andthe senior management. His roles range from dealing with allegations,conflicts of interests, ethics, improprieties, and corporateleadership. Furthermore, he creates and disseminates statements,policies, forms, and guidelines for employees. Gnazzo (2011) andTerris (2005) contends that the officer oversees and reviews allethical policies, strategies, investigations, and procedures. Theofficer is fundamental to the success of a firm since all employeesreceive compliance strategies and guidelines from the officer. Terris(2005) asserts that the ethics office deals with the training anddevelopment of all employees. This training and compliance measuresadvance integrity, teamwork, and trust thus, it allows a firm tomotivate and engage the employees. The success of a firm depends onthe effectiveness of the officer since performing or conducting in anunethical manner means that a firm does not evoke trust or respectfrom the public. Today, most lawsuits develop from unethicalbehavior, which shows that the formulation and standardization ofregulations and ethical values promote a firm’s strategy.


Gnazzo, P. J. (2011). The Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer: A testof endurance. Business &amp Society Review (00453609),116(4).

Mihelic, K. K., Lipicnik, B., &amp Tekavcic, M., (2010). Ethicalleadership. International Journal of Management and InformationSystems, 14(5), 31-41&nbsp

Oates, V., &amp Dalmau, T. (2013). Instilling ethical leadership.Accountancy SA, 38-41. Retrieved from the Trident OnlineLibrary.

Terris, Daniel. (2005) Ethics at work: Creating virtue at anAmerican corporation. Brandeis University Press. Waltham, MA

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