Ethics in education to direct business behaviour.

How pioneering education in ethical behaviour could iron out some flaws

Leadership and ethics have a long, cross-cultural history that has been debated from Sun Tzu and Socrates to now. History has pages of both ethical and unethical leaders, but as we move forward we need to understand the role that leadership plays in the ethical decision making of organisations. Leadership is nonessential for actually undertaking ethical decision making in modern organisations but plays a critical role in the process of understanding and promoting ethical decision making in society. Leadership stems from social or position power through “personal actions…, the promotion of conduct to followers through two-way communication, reinforcement, and decision-making” (Brown, Trevino & Harrison 2005, p. 123). Modern organisations are political, business or social groups of individuals that share a common purpose. Modern organisations provide stark contrasts in leadership and ethical decision making, from exemplary actions like IBM’s corporate social responsibility and equality programs to the unethical demise of ENRON. This paper explores leadership, behaviour, the nature of ethics, and the role of leadership in ethical decision making for modern organisations.

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