Leadership is not an inherited gift or a family heritage. Becoming a leader is a deliberate and planned process of personal and professional development that must be carried out experientially. It requires one to have the courage to say both "yes" and "no' to an everlasting chain of large and small tests. In order to become a true leader, one must be prepared to define his/her values, character, and leadership style. The resilient, tough leaders make this process a way of life, not only in business, but within their families, communities, and the world (Chandler, 2009).
Leadership can be described as "a process of social influence through which an environment is provided where personal, professional, and/or organizational goals can be successfully achieved" (Bahreinian, Ahi & Soltani, 2012). In today's rapidly-growing and spirited industry, efficient management is the major cause of making an organization superior to the other. If truth be told, management is the synchronization of financial and human resources for reaching and attaining organizational goals in a way that is acknowledged by the social order (Bahreinian, Ahi & Soltani, 2012). If room can be made for people to communicate and act out their values, the organizations in today's era might be converted into places for people to discover the secret of becoming more sympathetic and, therefore, more fully human (Atkins & Parker, 2012).
The significance of leadership to encourage ethical conduct in organizations cannot be denied. It is the sole responsibility of the leader to set the tone for organizational targets and activities within the work environment. It is also the responsibility of an ethical leader to create an ethical climate in the place of work using social learning principles and dominant processes of decision-making headship (Shin, 2012). This is needed because an ethical climate helps in the improvement of worker confidence, staffing and maintenance. Not only this, it also helps in encouraging a more positive environment in the workplace that ultimately promotes originality, resourcefulness and novelty (Marks, ).
Without a doubt, leaders frequently enjoy a position whereby they can have power over many outcomes that have an effect on the human resources (e.g., policies, goal-setting, endorsements, appraisals etc.). What leaders portray, personally and professionally, communicates their values and aspirations and this conduct serves as the motivation for the workforce to act accordingly for achieving such rewards. Therefore, it is not unexpected, that employees depend on their leaders/managers for direction and assistance when faced with ethical matters or problems (Brown & Mitchell, 2010).
According to several researches, employees conventionally follow the ethical values of their leaders. Moreover, leaders who are supposed as morally positive have a great influence over fruitful employee work behavior. In other words, an ethical leader unenthusiastically influences counterproductive work behavior (Brown & Mitchell, 2010).
Behavioral Integrity (BI)
Behavioral integrity (BI) is the configuration sample between an actor's words and conduct as perceived by other people. Therefore, the workforce perceives that their leader's deeds and words are dependable and this helps in creating a desirable workplace where positive outcomes can be easily achieved. Thus, BI has a profound effect on the organizational dedication, citizenship behaviors, actions and intention to give up the job (Kannan-Narasimhan & Lawrence, 2012).
What is Ethical Leadership?
Managers possess a lawful authority over the workforce and also have power over significant organizational resources. This means that they are in an exceptional position to dole out impartiality and fairness. More prominently, they are mostly regarded as the core agents of the business. Thus, the ethical leadership of a manger is imperative in every way as he/she affects the behaviors of the human resources working under him/her. An ethical leader can be described as "a captain piloting a ship in the right direction" (Loi, Lam & Chan, 2012). The employees within organizations always seek ethical guidance from their leaders. The personal and professional conduct of a leader that he/she displays at the workplace should thus provide a model of normatively suitable performance (Loi, Lam & Chan, 2012).
As far as the personal conduct is concerned, an ethical leader is a person of high morals who acts in a rightful manner. he/she is fair, reasonable, truthful, sincere, dependable, upright, and righteous in management, concerned about employees, and concerned about resources rather than ends. On the other hand, as far as professional conduct is concerned, an ethical leader is an ethical and just manager who treats people in the approved manner. he/she put up unambiguous moral standards and expectations. Not only this, he/she proactively communicate these principled standards and expectation to his/her subjects. he/she makes use of rewards and discipline for encouraging the workforce to take on ethical manners (Loi, Lam & Chan, 2012).
Thus, ethical leadership is that type of leadership which helps in the development of a positive work attitude among the employees like job loyalty and organizational commitment. Moreover, ethical leadership behavior is mainly concerned with practical justice in terms of paying attention to the concerns of workforce and fair decision-making. When leaders have a tough sense of ethics and integrity, procedural justice becomes essential and momentous because the workers then draw on it to assume how they will be treated by the organization (Loi, Lam & Chan, 2012).
Ethical leaders use an open two-way communication to convey their ethical expectations to the followers. Their stress on faithfulness to organizational strategy and practices represent employees' consideration to the organization's fair procedure. On the other hand, unethical managers who put poor ethical leadership on show keep away from discussing fairness and ethics with their employees (Loi, Lam & Chan, 2012).
Thus, it becomes crystal-clear that "ethical behavior on the part of the leader would appear to be necessary condition for the establishment of ethical organization, but it is not alone sufficient. Ethical leadership is required. (…) Leaders must establish the sprit, set the ambiance and determine the boundaries of acceptable behavior" (as qtd. In Ays, e Begum o tken • Tuna Cenkci).
To cut a long story short, an ethical leader acts with integrity and trustworthy individual. he/she makes sure that moral behavior in their personal life is matches up with the ethical standards they advocate in front of others. he/she does the right thing and acts with honesty and decency in his/her actions. An ethical leader takes responsibility for his/her actions, shows concern for others and treats them in a fair manner. he/she makes use of the values for providing guidance to their own behavior and decisions. Ethical leaders are just in implementing decisions and make them based on sound principled ethics. They are also the ones who make decisions using their common sense and possess a sense of goodness that, at times, surpasses organizational performance and effectiveness (Webber, Gousak & Ser).
What is Unethical Leadership?
Unethical behavior of leaders can be depicted as "the organizational process of leaders acting in a manner inconsistent with agreed upon standards of character, decency, and integrity, which blurs or violates clear, measurable, and legal standards, fostering constituent distrust because of personal self-interest" (Chandler, 2009).
In every organization, according to "dark side" research, there are members who engage in negative or "deviant" work behavior. Workplace deviance can be described as manners that go against important organizational standards and harms organizations and its associates. Workplace abnormal conduct, belligerence, counterproductive work performance, social discouragement and vengeance are some examples of unethical workplace conduct. In many organizations, leaders are the ones who are responsible for deviant acts (Brown & Mitchell, 2010).
Unethical behavior entails acts that are against the law and/or are ethically wrong to larger society. An unethical leader may have many dark qualities including abusive management, manager undermining, noxious headship, and autocratic control. According to research, such leaders are domineering, insulting, controlling, and deviously undermining. Their actions are perceived as deliberate, calculated and damaging, and may be the basis of lawful action in opposition to the organization. It simply means that vicious leader behavior is unethical (Brown & Mitchell, 2010).
Unethical leadership, on the other hand, goes beyond the leaders' own conduct. An unethical leader can promote dishonest and immoral acts within their organization to carry out organizational objectives. Unethical leaders encourage unethical behavior among the human resources without getting involved themselves and do so by means of rewards, overlooking non-conformers, and paying no heed to any immoral acts within the work environment. The wrongdoers are not punished by such leaders. Instead, they encourage like-minded individuals intensify corrupt behavior within workplace (brown & Mitchell, 2010).
Thus, supported by such leaders, employees get themselves involved in immoral acts to make organizational performance better or help the organization in some other manner. Such implanted practices can protect leaders from primary responsibility, providing them "believable deniability" for all intents and purposes (Brown & Mitchell, 2010). Unethical leadership offers a precarious model for workforce of today's contemporary era. It is not an untold secret that unethical behavior of leaders is the principal reason of the decline in organizational output and accomplishment. The stumpy standard of unethical conduct by higher supervisors…