A CEO bankrupts the company he is supposed to be leading. A retiree donates thousands of hours to her community. A company's leadership decides not to relocate a factory overseas, for the sake of the residents of an economically challenged town. A president of a club on a college campus encourages members to cheat on their examinations so that the group's members can earn academic honors. An elected public official arranges a tryst with a lover and abandons his duties for days on end.
These behaviors raise questions about motivation, rationality, and intent, but with a difference; these actions cannot only be judged as correct or incorrect in terms of effectiveness or competence, but as ethically right or wrong.
Copyright (c) 2011 SAGE Publications, Ltd. This book chapter first appeared in The SAGE Handbook of Leadership.
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Ciulla, Joanne B. and Donelson R. Forsyth. "Leadership Ethics." In The SAGE Handbook of Leadership, edited by Alan Bryman, David Collinson, Keith Grint, Brad Jackson, and Mary Uhl-Bien. London: SAGE Publications, Ltd,., 2011.