Ethical Context of Leadership

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Shared leadership has a deep-rooted connection with one of the celebrated ethical leadership concepts, which is known as Utilitarianism. Utilitarian leaders focus on creating happiness for a larger section of the community through their action because they believe that creating happiness for members of a social community can reduce the total level of pain for them. Utilitarian model of ethical leadership suggests that leaders should take right and moral decisions in order to promote well being for as many individuals as possible. Utilitarian leaders should focus on producing social benefits, advantages and decreasing micro and macro environmental threat for a larger section of the society in order to justify their leadership style as an ethically valid one. Relationship between ethical leadership, utilitarian model and shared leadership can be explained in the following manner:- Utilitarian leaders believe that behaving ethically can produce utility in terms of greater pleasure and decrease the pain among people in the society. Therefore, utilitarian leaders consult their subordinates for taking important decisions which can affect the interest of members of society. Hence, it is clear from the discussion that the core values of shared leadership have a strong relationship with the ethical orientation of utilitarian leaders.
It is very difficult for organization leaders to maintain equilibrium between increasing profitability for shareholders and showing a sense of morality to internal and external stakeholders. Philosophy of ethical leadership can be defined by two types of attitudes of leaders:- Leaders might try to justify their decision on the basis of ethical principles. Leaders might try to avoid a priori perception regarding inferior and superior pleasures. Real-World Example- Procter amp. Gamble This section of the study will express my views on the current state of ethical leadership in a real-world corporate scenario, by citing an example of a recent incident in Procter and Gamble. I have selected the example of Procter and Gamble in order to establish juxtaposition between real world corporate practice and the current state of ethical leadership. The example of Procter and Gamble suits very well with the ethical orientation of leadership in a real-world business scenario. In 2011, Procter amp. Gamble detected microbial contamination in the 350 ml and 500ml category of their Oral-B mouthwash product line in China. The company found that the 350 ml and 500ml category of Oral-B mouthwash product line were contaminated while it was manufactured in Columbia. The company found that more than 35,000 bottles of Oral-B mouthwash were contaminated by microbial contamination. Unfortunately, the consumer goods company was unable to identify exact batch numbers of the contaminated Oral-B mouthwash products. It was an ethical challenge for the leaders of Procter and Gamble to redress public grievances regarding the contaminated mouthwash products. Forcing consumers to use contaminated mouthwash products might cause pernicious disease among consumers which could even take theirlives. on the other hand, withdrawing contaminated products from Chinese market would not only decrease the profitability of Procter and Gamble in China but also negatively impact their reputation among the Chinese people.