Ethics is also one of the most important aspects of the contemporary organization as increasing demands from different stakeholders require that the organizations must not engage in activities which are considered as unethical. Sustainable leadership ethics is therefore considered as an iterative process as it requires continuous improvement of the various inputs, actions and their output. There are two major philosophical foundations of the ethics in general which are also applicable to the organization and work environment too. These two systems or philosophical foundations are the deontological and the teleological ethics systems and are largely based on the writings and ideas of Kant and Stuart Mill.
The deontological system of ethics often reflects upon the individual’ s capacity to apply the universal laws of ethics regardless of the actual circumstances. According to this set of principles, ethics are considered as universal and everyone has to follow them in their true spirit. This school of thought if applied to the leadership and ethics within the organization would suggest that the leaders have to follow a certain pre-defined path while negotiating with the issues of ethics and ethical behaviour.
The implications for such course of action, however, can be significant too because of high follower expectations that the leaders will demonstrate a particular set of values and ethical behaviours and any off-tracking from such values may result into employee demoralization and de-motivation. (Duarte, 2008). Teleological system of ethics, however, broadens this concept of ethics and discusses it in a much larger perspective by also including the relevant consequences of such ethical behaviours or actions also. The ethical implications under this system of ethics are therefore largely focused not on the universal laws of ethics but it discusses the rightness and wrongness of action from the viewpoint of its consequences.
It also means that those actions which may be apparently unethical can be ethical if their actual and overall outcome is in the favour of the majority. This school of thought also, therefore, gives more credence to those actions of leaders which may be unethical from one point of view but their consequences may be beneficial to the organization as a whole.
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