The Value of Ethical Leadership



Competency Iceberg Model (Spencer & Spencer, 1993)
The word ‘ethics’ in the business world in India has become increasingly important with leaders from large corporations being seen following short of set societal standards. Studies done by Den Hartog and De Hoogh, 2009 have shown the impact of Ethical leadership on Leadership effectiveness. The impact further trickles down to the rest of the employees in organizations, wherein employees are stimulated to display ethical behaviors. Ethical Leadership is also positively correlated with job satisfaction. Since, ethical leadership in organization involves a number a behaviors researchers have chosen a few behaviors such as transparency, fairness, integrity, role sharing and role clarification in their research.


The Centre for Ethical Leadership, USA defines “Ethical leadership, as knowing your core values and having the courage to live them in all parts of your life in service of the common good.” As individuals core values are based on either religious, cultural or individual orientation. Personal ethics may differ from person to person however, a few behaviours are widely accepted norms.


As the above definition mentions, the difficulty for most people is to have the courage to display ethical behavior when societal or organizational cultures are different. The value in ethical leadership is the legacy one lives and leaves behind for people they interact and work with.  


Ethical character and values are focused largely in training programs held at Breakthrough. Just as the Competency Iceberg model (Spencer & Spencer, 1993) suggests, the part of the iceberg that sinks the ship is the part underneath. Similarly, the aspects within a person, like his values and character is what will help one grow or drag one down.