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Moral Leadership Development Today Using Social and Cultural Texture Analysis of Socio-Rhetorical Criticism

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Business executives accept the moral impact of their leadership behaviors, rarely, to begin with, at any time be neutral

Nevertheless, executives in leadership capacities, are able to shift the culture of the organizations’ ethical behaviors both positively, as well as in negative directions. Powerful and positive leaders, are compelled to self-regulate their ethical behaviors emulating the example, motivating others in the organization establishing the same behaviors, culturally normal, considered, a matter of routine.

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The dual challenges of understanding the nature of leadership development and implementing effective leadership development practices will likely be greater than ever before. At the same time, we find ourselves guardedly optimistic about the field’s future. Our optimism is directly tied to some of the trends that make the future both challenging and interesting. For example, leadership development practices will need to become better integrated in the broader context of organizational business challenges and systems. Thus, not only will organizations need to hire and develop leaders, they will also need to be the kind of organizations that nurture and reinforce enactment of the kinds of behaviours desired in those leaders. Similarly, demands to demonstrate ROI can encourage greater rigor and clarity in our understanding of the nature of leadership development and in how we assess its impact. Meeting such challenges will be one important thrust of more comprehensive efforts in the years ahead to demonstrate convincingly the strategic role of people in organizations.While leadership development is strategically important, it is usually expensive. Yet while leading-edge companies today such as PepsiCo, IBM, and Johnson and Johnson spend significant time and resources on leadership development, attempts to quantify its benefits precisely have remained elusive and have led some to speculate that investment in developing better leaders may be falling short of the desired impact. In today’s economy, leadership development expenses will likely have to meet certain standards of proof of impact or return on investment. Demonstrating and quantifying the impact of leadership development investments is likely to emerge as a priority for organizations committed to building leadership strength

To maximize ROI for leadership development efforts, its payoffs organizations must effectively plan, implement, and evaluate their initiatives. They must create a “chain of impact” that connects leadership development to relevant organizational outcomes. Bass and Steidlmeier noted that transformational leadership is only authentic when it is grounded on the leader’s moral character, concern for others, and congruence of ethical values with action. A leader’s credibility and trustworthiness are critical, and increasing numbers make the case that character-as defined by qualities like one’s striving for fairness, respecting others, humility, and concern for the greater good-represents the most critical quality of leadership. Assuming there is continuing if not increasing interest in the character of leaders, much work is needed in the years ahead to assure greater clarity of concept about these vital-yet-elusive concepts if they are to play a prominent role in leadership development practices in organizations.

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Leadership has been one the most discussed topics over the past few decades. There are several leadership models, some of which outline the characters of leaders, whereas others focus on the relationship with followers. Leadership theory is full of options—from authentic leadership to transformational leadership, and from servant leadership to values-based leadership. More recently, there has been a greater attention to ethics in leadership with a moral dimension

Moral leadership puts a great emphasis on the role of ethics in key decision making. With the emergence of ethics initiatives via organizational codes of ethics and/or conduct, moral leadership is a requirement today. Also, with the growth of social media, people around the world are able to judge and share their comments on leadership decisions,which increase the need for morality in leadership. There is a public consensus that “ethics pays” and any lack of ethics can only lead to self-destruction. To understand the practical challenges of an effective, moral leader, one must understand the study of the moral conduct. “Based on the study, there are three practical challenges that shape the ethical challenge faced at work – time, ambivalence and the sense of self ” (Rhode, 2006, p 4). Moral leaders need to manage all three factors, especially under real ethical challenges. Moral leadership requires clear conviction, avoidance of impulsive decisions and commitment. Understanding these challenges and actively navigating them are the core values of moral leadership. Moral leadership involves leading people and organizations to accomplish a higher order of moral purpose, and because different cultures and countries have different moral values, it is difficult to clearly outline global moral leadership. Global moral leaders are individuals that influence and transcend their societies but, eventually, during their lifetimes make an impact on people and organizations across the globe. “Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King can be described as moral leaders.”

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In conclusion, ethics programs are able to detect ethical issues and violations in an early stage so that they can be reported or addressed

For example, when an organization is known to an actual or potential violation and avoids reporting it to the concerned authorities, it is treated as a criminal act, e.g., in business dealings with certain government agencies, such as the Defense Department. When all these related and somewhat overlapping components combine synergistically, they increase the power and influence of individuals, teams, and organizations. Also, most people know that ethical behavior can empower their personal lives as well. All these happening prove beneficial for business on a long term.

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Cohen, R. (2002). The good, the bad and the difference. New York, NY: Random House, Inc.

Erickson, J., T., Alsop, R., Nicholson, P., Miller, J. (2009, February). Gen Y in the workforce. Harvard Business Review 87(2) 43-49

Gallerman, W., S. (1986). Why good managers make bad ethical choices. Harvard Business Review on Corporate Ethics, 49-66.

Johnson, E., C. (2009). Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership: Casting light or shadow. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Inc.

Rhodes, L., D. (2006). Moral leadership: The theory, practice of power, judgment and policy. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

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