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Ethical leadership

Published on April 11, 2011 Reviewed on October 28, 2018   50 min

Other Talks in the Series: Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

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Hello, and welcome to this talk which will explore the subject of "Ethical Leadership". My name is Ian Ashman,
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I've been researching and writing about issues associated with business ethics and leadership for a number of years now. The only thing I am certain of when it comes to notions like ethical leadership, is that there are no simple answers. We might wish there were, but there is a danger that in trying to simplify complicated ideas and problems, we generate theory that is increasingly removed from the reality of our day-to-day experiences and difficulties. It is for that reason that my intention here is to be provocative rather than prescriptive. There's plenty of material available that sets out to tell us how and why leaders should be ethical. But in my view, the arguments are often naive, and perhaps even flawed.
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So, the aims of this talk are. First, to provide you with a broad understanding of the concept of ethical leadership. Second, to provide you with food for thought to help you evaluate ethical leadership and assess how it relates to your own values and experiences. Third, to identify various sources that will allow you to pursue the subject further. I can only skim the surface of the issues I am about to cover. So, I hope you want to find out more. The final aim is to help generate ideas that may encourage you to reflect upon your own ethical leadership. After all, despite some of the reservations I have, understanding about the ethics of leaders in organizations is significant to the future of all of us. Actually, I doubt that anybody who chooses to listen to this talk needs to be convinced of the importance of ethical leadership. And yet we are all aware that despite all the warnings from history, we still have many unscrupulous leaders in our midst.