Essay Sample on Ethical Challenges of Leadership and Followership

Published: 2018-04-03 13:40:55
503 words
2 pages
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Ethical challenges involve those ethical dilemmas in which one is expected to execute a specific directive even if they do not agree with the instructions. The followers in an organization have a duty to carry out their duties as advised by their leaders and in most case, the followers have to make decisions that may not be in line with their ethical perspectives (Rynning, 2006). The most common follower challenge is the challenge of obedience because the followers are under obligation to follow their leaders irrespective of their ethical perspective about the directive or even if the leader' command call for unethical behavior. The other ethical challenge faced by followers is the ethical challenge of cynicism that involves that distrust of the leaders or their motives. In most cases, the employees are forced to serve leaders or work with fellow employees with malicious motives. According to McDougall, (2011), the effects of cynicism are that it kills employee commitment, causes distrust among the employees and vase employee dissatisfaction. When faced with these challenges, employees are more likely to exit the company by resigning, or wait in the hope of future changes and better outcomes, while some whistle blow by voicing their concern and the worst are those who neglect and behave as if nothing is wrong. Cynics do not focus on problem-solving but are more likely to quit when they face such challenges (Tu, et al., 2014).

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The challenges of dissent whereby an employee is faced with situations that think are not right, for example, an employer may impose changes on the employees. Bowers (2016) argued that the challenges might range from new policies, procedures or orders and work patterns. However, when the employees are not in support or the challenges, they dissent, and in most cases, their dissent is in the form of threats of quitting the job, circumventing their immediate supervisors and talking to an influential manager in a higher position of power. By speaking about the challenge to a supervisor or a manager above the immediate supervisors, the employee would appear competent and may not be victimized for his action. In other circumstances, repetition to draw the management's attention to the issue of concern over a period or even factual appeal in a direct way to the managers.

To overcome these challenges, using facts of the situation such as physical evidence, organizational policy violation, or personal experiences can be used effectively to overcome the follower challenges faced. Employers consider direct factual appeals more mature, competent, and responsible as compared to the circumventing and threatening resignation


Bowers QC, J. (2016). Whistleblowing. Law & practice (1st Ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McDougall, R. (2011). Understanding Doctors' Ethical Challenges as Role Virtue Conflicts. Bioethics, 27(1), 20-27.

Rynning, E. (2006). Research Biobanking ethical and regulatory challenges. MĂ©decine & Droit, 2006, 30-32.

Tu, Y., Lu, X., Guo, W., & Wang, Z. (2014). What do Benefits Do Ethical Leaders gain? Ethical Leadership, LMX Mean, and Leaders' Benefits. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 46(9), 1378.

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