Ethical Relationship Between Leaders and their Teams

This blog explains the role of ethics in the leadership style of a top-level manager and its impact on the organisational effectiveness and culture. Ethics can be explained as moral principles that govern the behavior of an organisation.


Ethical foundation embodies basic morals that govern the internal relations in an organisation that concern fair standards of employment and relations with members, including the authorized team leaders (Mullins 2010: 705). It is vital part for a leader to function in this constantly changing environment to focus on ethics in his leadership styles. According to me, a leader is responsible for role modeling by visible ethical actions, rewarding his team members and maintaining discipline amongst the member in order to hold them together to follow the ethical code of conduct.


To be perceived as an ethical leader, he should possess both the qualities of an ethical person and an ethical manager. Being a moral person alone is not sufficient and similarly, being just a moral manager is not sufficient. The moral management only gains legitimacy when the group members feel that their manager is a caring and principled person in real life.


Ethical leadership also has a direct impact on organisation’s effectiveness. An ethical corporation that effectively integrates concerns of the community through its leaders is likely to improve economic and social performance (Berenbeim 2006). Ethical leaders also consider consequences of organisational decisions and regulations, and hence embed their principles in systems of employee evaluation.


Robert Zoellick, President of The World Bank Group is a remarkable example of an ethical leader. Under Zoellick’s leadership, the World Bank followed the ethical code of conduct and punished many firms and countries that engaged in corrupt behavior. This increased World Bank’s prominence as more organisations looked for support. These changes under his leadership inspired the members individually, and also had a positive impact on the organisation’s image and effectiveness. (ethisphere 2011)


I hereby conclude that value of ethics in a leader is an important part as it influences the team members and also the final prominence of an organisation in terms of its financial, social and cultural performance. Ethical leadership in practice also enhances the decision-making processes and interpersonal relationships in an organisation.



Berenbeim, R. (2006). Defining an organisation’s ethics brand, vital speeches of the day, 7, 501-504. [Accessed 25th March 13] EBSCO Host

Ethisphere website (2011) 2010’s 100 most influential people in business ethics [available at] [Accessed 29th March 13] 

Mullins, L. J. (2010), Management & Organisation Behaviour, 9th Edition, Prentice Hall

Rubin, R, Dierdoff, E, & Brown, M (2010) ‘Do Ethical Leaders Get Ahead? Exploring Ethical Leadership and Promotability’, Business Ethics quarterly [available], 20, 2, pp. 215-236

One thought on “Ethical Relationship Between Leaders and their Teams

  1. Pingback: Moral Intensity - Pilant's Business Ethics

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