Business Leadership and Ethics Should 'Literature Review' chapter

Excerpt from 'Literature Review' chapter :



Premeaux's investigation into ethics and business behavior resulted in four categories that can lead to ethical problems: a) coercion and control (the use of threats or extortion to force a manager to make a certain decision); b) conflict of interest (a manager has more than one interest and if he pursues both, harm may come to the company); c) physical environment (this relates to conflict of interest that can harm the environment); and d) personal integrity (making a decision based on one's own needs can raise a red flag in terms of right and wrong even if the law doesn't specifically spell out a guideline to follow) (16).

In a survey of managers, Premeaux received 413 questionnaires to test ethical responses. The results of those surveys (there is not enough room in this paper to report appropriate data) showed that managers have "…a heightened sense of ethical awareness with most rationales being either rule utilitarian or rights bases," which shows more ethical concern than a similar survey conducted by Premeaux in 2003 (23). Interestingly, those managers that were 5 years or less from retirement were "much more likely" to play by the ethical rules; they apparently realize that short-term gains are easily outweighed by long-term ethically-based gains; plus it would seem that those about to retire do not want to get caught up in an ethical scandal (Premeaux, 24).

"Leadership and Business Ethics: Does it Matter?" This article was published well before the Enron and WorldCom scandals, but the points made are germane to this post-Enron era. To wit: a) Ethical behavior goes well beyond what is legal or profitable; b) leadership is responsible to conform to ethical standards; c) leadership at two levels must hold ethical values high as a priority (executive management and departmental management are equally obliged to be ethical and theory and practice) (Minkes, 1999, p. 327). The world of business should no longer be operating with the "when in Rome do as the Romans do" attitude; instead, in a global business environment, value systems should be sensitive to the culture in which the company is operating, whether in Bangkok or Cairo. A very valid point that Minkes makes (330) is that managers are obliged to "persuade an organization to change and adopt the new ethical culture…" and to empower employees in the ways and means of ethical business conduct.

In conclusion, for those companies that did not learn from the Enron scandal -- and rather than adopt ethical and socially responsible behavior, continue along immoral pathways -- they may eventually find themselves in the same disastrous business black hole as Enron's executives. Minkes, et al., make a cogent point when they reference John Stuart Mill (and others that advocated adoption of utilitarianism); actions are ethical or not ethical that bring the most happiness and satisfaction to the most people.

Works Cited

Bringinshaw, John. (2006). Addressing Possible Conflicts of Ethical Management. Interbeing,

3(2), 1-4.

Minkes, a.L., Small, M.W., and Chatterjee, S.R. (1999). Leadership and Business Ethics: Does

It Matter? Implications for Management. Journal of Business Ethics, 20(4), 327-335.

Premeaux,…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Bringinshaw, John. (2006). Addressing Possible Conflicts of Ethical Management. Interbeing,

3(2), 1-4.

Minkes, a.L., Small, M.W., and Chatterjee, S.R. (1999). Leadership and Business Ethics: Does

It Matter? Implications for Management. Journal of Business Ethics, 20(4), 327-335.

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