Strategically Logical and Ethical Decision-Making in Leadership and Management

Strategically Logical and Ethical Decision-Making in Leadership and Management

Sara Rodberg (Florida Atlantic University, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1049-9.ch119
OnDemand PDF Download:
$30.00
List Price: $37.50

Abstract

The contents of this report explain what strategically logical and ethical decision making is for leaders and managers and how to identify problems and apply logical and ethical decision making practices. Several methods included describe approaches to ethical and logical decision making and models that have been studied and revised to meet the needs of today's organizational structures. The models described include the Hill Model for Team Leadership, McGrath's Critical Leadership Functions, Control Theory, and the Leader-Participation Model of Decision Making. The purpose for this material involves the need to provide a comprehensive guide to understanding team dynamics as they pertain to the decision making process in leadership. Understanding the ethical and logical components of a team encourages leaders to make decisions that are involved with the sometimes complicated implementation of the decision and this material offers guidance for recognizing which decision making strategy best serves the organization's objectives.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

One of the more complex aspects of leadership and management include the logical and ethical decision making processes required for organizational success. Leaders and managers can strategize methods to guide the logical and ethical decision making process to meet organizational goals and standards and by exercising collaborative efforts and influencing employees to adopt the values and vision of the organization. Several models of leadership can be found in this section about leadership styles and decision making processes, including the Hill Model for Team Leadership, McGrath’s Critical Leadership Functions, and the matrix associated with the Revised Leadership-Participation Model. Familiarity with various leadership styles should be explored and established to encourage the flexibility and adaptability needed to be an effective leader. It is also worth mentioning that problem solving models and skills should be reviewed, with particular recommendation to Kolb’s Model of Problem Solving as a Dialectic Process (Osland, 2007). Since each organization differs in dynamics and function, one consistent factor is that decision making should be oriented toward the greater good organization with a code of ethics and logic as a guide so that the team members are not forced, however gently, into compromising their ethics and integrity.

Leaders might find that distinguishing what is ethical is shaped by gray area. Essentially, ethics are doing what is considered to be right and according to Thomas Fernandes, “all one needs to do is to look at the positive values of society and the organizations one belongs to, and what is right or wrong should be evident” (2009). Fernandes goes on to describe what ethics look like in a professional workplace as earning the public trust, basic honesty and conformity to law, minimizing conflict of interest, orientation to service and fairness, and compromise and social integration (Fernandes, 2009). Concepts listed as causes of unethical behavior include individual and group dynamics. Control Theory, or cybernetics, explains system dynamics to account for how leaders set goals and motivate followers in multilevel systems and organizations (Kinicki et al., 2011). The individual reasons for unethical behavior consist of lack of understanding of complex strategic issues that obscure ethics, competition for power or position and resources, and conflicting loyalties (Fernandes, 2009). These may include personal biases that influence those behaviors, such as narcissism. Narcissists often approach challenges willingly when there is a greater perceived opportunity for recognition and a tendency to emerge as leaders although they may lack long term interpersonal skills (Hoffman et al., 2013). Group dynamics that fuel unethical behaviors is a far more complex problem faced by leaders and organizations, consisting of groupthink, people who are unwilling to compromise from their ideologies, and negative organizational responses to ideas that are considered different than the norm (Fernandes, 2009). In contrast to complexities like groupthink, Control Theory establishes networks of leadership from past and present theories (Kinicki et al., 2011) to encourage a group dynamic that values diverse ideologies and supports organizational decision making.

Fernandes identified how leaders are expected to build an ethical climate, naming several steps as follows: strategic leaders set the tone by demonstrating how they manage ethical issues and make decisions, leaders should establish ethical policies, and then increase and promote awareness of those ethical policies (2009). Transformational leadership is already a leadership approach that appeals to the morals and values of followers, which compliments the topic of ethical leadership, and encourages movement of people toward the path of moral and ethical improvement and production (Zhu et al., 2011). Although it is not unheard of that narcissists may fill leadership and managerial roles, “in highly ethical contexts, [the] deleterious effects of narcissism on ethical and effective leadership become more pronounced” (Hoffman et al., 2013).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Bounded Awareness: The narrowing of awareness or perception so that information that may be useful to the decision maker falls outside awareness and is not attended to (Osland, 2007 AU52: The in-text citation "Osland, 2007" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Leadership Decisions: Associated with the Hill Model for Team Leadership, leadership decisions are concerned with team effectiveness and involve considering options for taking action or monitoring, identifying tasks and relational leadership approaches, and taking action on external environmental factors as they relate to decision making ( Northouse, 2016 ).

Cost of Decision: Decision quality and decision implementation refer to a decision’s effectiveness. However, efficiency is also a factor because decision making consumes resources, such as time and energy. For example, more participative decisions require more time and utilize more person-hours than autocratic decisions (Osland, 2007 AU53: The in-text citation "Osland, 2007" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Transformational Leadership: The process whereby a person engages with others and creates a connection that raises the level of motivation and morality in both the leader and the follower ( Northouse, 2016 ).

Decision Implementation: Many high-quality decisions are never implemented because employees are not committed to doing so. Allowing people to participate in decisions yields greater acceptance and commitment, which usually translates into more effective implementation of the decision (Osland, 2007 AU54: The in-text citation "Osland, 2007" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Ethics: “Standards of conduct that indicate how one should behave based on moral duties and virtues arising from principles about right and wrong” (Osland, 2007 AU58: The in-text citation "Osland, 2007" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Decision Quality: The quality of the decision relates to how wise, well-reasoned, and sound it is. This depends on where the information and expertise needed for a particular decision reside, whether the decision makers care about the good of the organization, and whether the decision team is synergistic rather than dysfunctional (Osland, 2007 AU55: The in-text citation "Osland, 2007" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Decision Significance: Weighs in on the significance of the decision to the success of the project or organization (Osland, 2007 AU56: The in-text citation "Osland, 2007" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Development of Decision Making: The greater costs of participative decision making are offset by the development opportunity they offer. Team members have a chance to practice problem solving, create a collaborative team, and, because they have a greater voice, employees are more likely to identify with the organization (Osland, 2007 AU57: The in-text citation "Osland, 2007" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset