Student leaders, just like organizational leaders, face various ethical dilemmas which influence their actions. Ethics are the moral requirements, standards, and behaviors which prescribe the acceptable ways of behaving and differentiate them from the unacceptable ones. As a result, according to Ehrich et al. (2015), ethical behavior is that character which is considered to be morally good and right compared to other situations which are considered to be both bad and wrong. Ethics constitute of certain codes of values and moral principles which serve to guide an individual regarding what is right and wrong (Arar et al., 2016). Apart from acceptability by individuals, ethical behavior is respected and accepted by the larger community. In the school setting, student leaders are expected to have higher moral standards compared to their followers. However, in the decision-making process, they face various ethical dilemmas. This paper focuses on the ways in which ethical dilemmas influence student leaders.
Ethics play a significant role to the students when they become leaders. One of the importance of ethics is the creation of credibility. In specific, Arar et al. (2016) state that a student leader who is driven by moral values is respected not only his/her followers but also the society. The other importance is uniting people and leadership. In this regard, ethics help student leaders align behaviors within their followers to the achievement of the common goal. Ethics is key to improving decision making. Notably, the destiny of a leader is a sum total of the decisions that he/she makes. Additionally, Ehrich et al. (2015) assert that decisions are driven by moral values and the decisions of the student leaders will be pegged on their ethical values. Student leaders guided by ethics are not only successful but also exemplary in the society. As a result, ethics are critical in ensuring that students leaders provide guidance to their followers and achieve their set goals based on the best decisions.
The decision-making process has a significant impact on an individual's ethical leadership journey. Notably, ethical decision-making involves student leaders evaluating the process and hence choosing the best alternative based on its consistency with ethical principles. As the process of making an ethical decision requires competence, commitment, and consciousness, the nature of a decision is depended on the moral values of an individual (Arar et al., 2016). When student leaders are faced with ethical issues in their decision-making process, the alternatives they choose are pegged on their moral values. As a result, the ethical decision-making process reveals whether the leader values ethical leadership or not (Ehrich et al., 2015). However, it is key to have ethical decisions as they are a demonstration of respect and responsibility. However, when a decision is ethical it is also considered effective.
In conclusion, ethics consist of the morally accepted standards which are satisfactory to individuals as well as the society. Student leaders face various ethical dilemmas which influence their ethical leadership journey. Ethics are important in aiding in the decision-making process. Additionally, moral values grant student leaders respect from their followers. Moreover, it is through ethics that student leaders become successful in their quest to achieve their set goals. In the ethical leadership journey, the decisions made are pegged on the moral values of the individual. As a result, ethics influence the decisions of student leaders and demonstrate the kind of values they hold dear.
Arar, K., Haj, I., Abramovitz, R., & Oplatka, I. (2016). Ethical leadership in education and its relation to ethical decision-making: The case of Arab school leaders in Israel. Journal of Educational Administration, 54(6), 647-660.
Ehrich, L. C., Harris, J., Klenowski, V., Smeed, J., & Spina, N. (2015). The centrality of ethical leadership. Journal of Educational Administration, 53(2), 197-214.
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